One of the main reasons we chose Cisco over Alcatel was because of the one vendor support. It's often difficult troubleshooting an issue when you have to call back and forth to several vendors and Cisco provides a one stop solution for all Voice over ip requirements
Besides that, we found these features, as I heard from Cisco; very attractive and competitive
1. Automatic VLAN discovery
- Uses Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) on our phones today
- In the future use standards-based 802.1x will be supported, so this benefit will be extended to 3rd-parties that develop to that specification as well.
2. Inline Power
- We use a pre-standard version on our phones today
- In the future use the standards-based 802.3af, so this benefit will be extended to 3rd-parties that develop to that specification as well.
3. E911 support through nomadic-phone detection
- We use SNMP to get into the Switches, and then use CDP to
discovery the physical location of the phone, down to the switch port
that it is connected to. Than, Cisco Emergency Responder (CER) will
correctly route any 911 calls to the correct Public Safety Answering
Point (PSAP) with the correct Automatic Number Identification (ANI) so
that the PSAP can return the call if the call is disconnected
4. Quality of Service
- All Cisco voice products support the Differentiated Services (DiffServ) standard.
- QoS markings are automatically "negotiated" between the switch and the phone (uses CDP today, 802.1x in the future). Reference the term "Trust Boundary" in Cisco design/best practices documents.
5. Voice products inherent in the data infrastructure
- Voice gateways built into Cisco IOS routers and CatOS Switches.
- Conferencing/Transcoding reasources built into the same.
- Cisco IP Telephony Services (ITS) - Call Processing built into Cisco IOS Routers for branch-office solutions in stand-alone mode.
- Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) - Call Processing built into Cisco IOS Routers for branch office locations in fail-over mode.
6. SNMP management and open Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs) to manage all of the above.
7. Breadth of Phone models to choose from.
- 7902, 7905, 7912, 7940, 7960, 7914 Line Extender, SoftPhone, and many more coming in future months.
- Close to 2Million phones shipped to date! Marketshare leader in the IP Phone market.
8. Expertise with IP, and voice
- Only company with true end-to-end leadership in *both* areas
9. And more important, Single vendor to call on for support
Thanks! Very complete and excellent technical points. Particularly the E911 feature/benefits. I really appreciate your time/effort on this post, and I'm sure it will help other Cisco customers reviewing VoIP from competitors (Nortel and Alcatel in our case).
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Topology: IP Phone > Switches > Microsoft NPS setup to forward 802.1x
proxy to > ISE 2.1 patch 3 Authentication: EAP-TLS using Cisco MIC SANs
Phone Models 802.1X support? 802.1x flavor Addtl Comment EAP-MD5 EAP-TLS
Cisco 3905 Y Y N Cisco 6911 Y Y N Cisco ...