Unified Communications Nation

Mar 20 2013   8:07AM GMT

Cisco wants to breathe new life into the desk phone

Gina Narcisi Gina Narcisi Profile: Gina Narcisi

Cisco is trying to do for the enterprise desktop phone what smartphones did for the mobile phone, according to Roberto De La Mora, Cisco’s senior director of worldwide collaboration solutions marketing, during an interview with TechTarget.

Cisco announced its latest desktop phone offering,  the DX650, at the Enterrise Connect conference. While still a hardware offering, the slick, Android-based phone can offer many of the same capabilites users can get from their smartphones.

“Our customers have been asking for innovations on the deskphone because they want to be able to collaborate from their remote, home, or virtual offices and have a single point for voice, video and Web conferencing. De La Mora said.

The touch-screen interface — slightly smaller than an iPad mini — looks like any tablet or smartphone interface, complete with apps. But the phone’s screen can grant users quick access to business applications from the phone’s built-in Web browser, De La Mora said.  Cisco also built software into the system that can grant users access to corporate cloud services and apps.

The DX650 offers voice and HD 1080p video, and users can dial into a Telepresence room or connect to any standards-based video endpoint from the device. Users can also see the real-time presence status of other users and share documents, he said.

The phone system has built-in VPN functionality, allowing remote users to have the same access that employees sitting at their desk at headquarters would have to business applications. It can also join the network via Wi-Fi.

But the offering hasn’t been designed with just the remote or teleworker’s needs in mind. If the business has employees using shared work spaces, the phone systems can be personalized to the user by entering the employee’s passcode.

While the phone still has all of the features users expect from their deskphone, Cisco wanted to add integration with the collaboration environment more users are adopting, as well as extend video to more users and smaller businesses.

“Users will never know if you joined a meeting from a telepresence offering, or from this phone,” De La Mora said.  said. “It’s that in-person experience you get with high-end telepresence offerings, at a lower price point.”

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