Product Type: Cisco VoIP-Telephones
Newest Review: ... the 7940 does not lubricate this process, and in fact, actively restricts it. Later Cisco phones resolve this issue substantially, presuma... more
Won't help you make friends.
Cisco IP Phone 7940
Member Name: Ellendel
Cisco IP Phone 7940
Advantages: Functional, uniform looks, lots of options
Disadvantages: Poor call quality, uniform looks, not particularly user friendly, could be more efficient
Ah, the Cisco IP 7940, my greatest adversary, always ringing for the provision of bad news or additional work!
I'm not a huge fan of this phone, and not just for the aforementioned reason; but lets start with the good points. It can be connected in a variety of complex and bountiful fashions. As it's wired into a network port, you can have multiple identifiable lines (2) on the same phone, and one line can lead into more than one unit. This is great if you want to set up a call centre, or share a phone line between a few members of a small business or team. Equally, whilst sharing a phone line, you can use your second line as a conduit for personal calls; which is highly practical.
The phone can access a directory of numbers (if one has been created by your business), allows floating identifications (i.e - you can log in and out rather than having a static line, which is good for hot-desking), operates in conjunction with your network answer-phone service, can allow telephone conferencing, and has a variety of hands free, volume and loudspeaker options. This all sounds great, and is probably not an exhaustive list of its capabilities, but that's more or less where my praise ends.
The call quality on these phones is poor. A workplace telephone system should aid you in providing a great communication experience, not hinder you. I work in an environment whereby I communicate with people with different nationalities regularly. Accents and language can be problematic in both directions, and so call clarity is absolutely key to enable you to adjust you hearing, and your communication style so as to develop understanding, or rapport. The dull, muddied tone offered by the 7940 does not lubricate this process, and in fact, actively restricts it. Later Cisco phones resolve this issue substantially, presumably simply by using a higher quality speaker. On such an expensive phone, that is largely dependent on external networking tools to provide the majority of its functions, cost cutting in this department seems sinful.
My second gripe, is that despite being quite massive, this phone only has a basic array of buttons, some of which are quite user friendly (in my opinion), and others which are not. Navigation of the various screens - some of which are required to access functionality mid-call - tends to be a bit cumbersome, as is typing out names with the number pad, and the result of this can be delays in transferring calls etc, unless you happen to have memorised the number you require, or keep your own written/digital records, which slightly defies the point of this phone's functionality!
I don't understand why companies like Cisco don't take their lead from companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google, and make systems simple and efficient to use. Just because someone walks into work and sits down at their desk does not make them a technical specialist; and even if it did, people do not draw satisfaction from using cumbersome systems. The same people using Cisco phones at work, are also buying Android phones and Ipads. These are much more complex devices, with fewer peripherals, that manage to make processes infinitely easier and more time efficient.
Other than these issues, the phone is functional. If it were my business though, I'd expect more, especially considering the large level of ICT resources & expertise these phones require, and thus their overall minimum expense.
Summary: Would scrape by, but cost of usage is very high, unless you already have ICT support and a network.