Voice over IP technology continues to gain ground over traditional technology everyday and will eventually replace it entirely. To meet this growing technological need Cisco offers up a wide variety of IP phones that are both technologically advanced as well as durable replacements for existing phones. The 7940G, is a well built functional VoIP phone perfect for the average employee. A perfect complement to a Cisco Call Manager installation, this phone preforms well and is ideally suited to modern day offices.
The 7940G can be configured for up to two lines, each with a physical button to the side of the display screen. Other physical buttons include a messages button, which can be set to automatically enter one’s voicemail. There is a directory button to access missed dialed and received calls, as well as a corporate directory if it is configured in your system. There is a settings button that can be used to configure options on the phone, both technical such as networking settings, as well as items such as ring style and contrast. There is a services button that allows access to additional features that have been configured such as soft speed dial, news, and weather. Finally in the middle of those four is a help button that offers on screen assistance.
Along the bottom are three additional buttons. The first is shaped like a headset, will allow you to speak and hear through a seperatly attached headset connected to your phone. The button all the way to the right is the speaker phone button, allowing you to handle calls hands and attachment free, though be mindful of those around you, if you aren’t in an office or an enclosed cubical you might want to pass on the speaker phone, at least for calls to the doctor… Finally in the center is a mute button, useful for allowing you to hear the caller but not the other way around.
Other features include up to three person conference calls as well as your standard hold, and resume call options. With a configured phone system this can even be programed to play music or other recorded options. Also you can power the phone either though Power over Ethernet, or an external adapter. Plus there is an Ethernet jack on the back so that you can plug in your computer without having to worry about using up multiple connections.
With all Cisco products you can opt to get their warranty called Smart Net. Now, if you’re a small company who purchased three phones, you may want to protect your investment. If on the other hand you purchased five hundred phones, it will be cheaper to keep a few spares on hand. Generally speaking these phones will encounter few problems, they are durable, and well built. The only fragile part on them is the screen which can be damaged if hit too hard, so watch out for violent phone hang ups!
There’s not too much else to say about these phones. They offer the standard features of a digital phone plus a few extras. They are well made and hold up to wear and tear and for general office use this phone fits the role perfectly. If you need more lines, or hard coded speed dials, the 7960G is a similar phone with six buttons that can either be used for phone lines or speed dials. One last bit, despite the G in the name, the phone only connects at a 10/100 speed limiting both itself and any devices connected behind it. Something to consider if you want gigabit Ethernet to the desktop.