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Getting by on the cheap - Existing switch and UC320W

Here's something we are faced with when quoting UC320W systems.... 

The clients are typically smaller, with around a dozen users, and have an existing network, in many cases consisting of gigabit switches.

When we quote a system and include a new switch with POE and gigabit connectivity, they almost have a coronary due to the expense.

The first question is always going to be "Why do we need a new switch???  We just bought this one!".

The existing switch is typically a year old or maybe two, and they paid 250-300 to their vendor for it.

I'm just wondering how other people working this. Are they selling a phone system to the client, with phones, and using their existing switch which doesn't support vlans, doesn't have any QoS, or POE?

Not every client can handle the expense of the ESW-540-24P.

I know, someone is going to say "Why not sell them an ESW-540-8P for just the ports with phones on them?"...   Because:

1. The client has gigabit, and the SPA5xx phones do not pass gigabit through to computers.

2. These are old clients, in old buildings we can't just drop new lines in easily.

3. People are thrifty! Even the additional cost of a single switch is a turn-off for some.

I guess, to simplify what I want to know....

How do you handle the budget minded client with existing gigabit networks?

Thanks for your input!

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Getting by on the cheap - Existing switch and UC320W

We fell out badly with our supplier for the UC320W because they did not tell us this ahead of time until after we had purchased it. It was really annoying that the cost of a new switch was greater than the cost of the PBX. I'm currently trying to source some b-grade Cisco switches that will be supported. I was very, very annoyed.


Re: Getting by on the cheap - Existing switch and UC320W

Hi John,

I think the answer comes down to support. Who supports what product and at what price. How much more difficult is it for a support tech to work on a problem when he can't replicate the hardware in situ - and can't rule out another vendors bug.

Recently we had a partner who installed a 3rd party vendor's LAN (cheaper and more margin) and a UC540. They had multiple trips back to "fix the Cisco" when it turned out to be a malconfigured LAN. Yes a Cisco LAN can be configured incorrectly too, but you stand a change of it being looked at by the Cisco engineer you have a case open with.

Technically (my view) you're fine with multi vendor, but you need to understand how to to configure the network to match the install requirements.


Community Member

Re: Getting by on the cheap - Existing switch and UC320W

I just looked at the ESW-540-24P, at nearly 2k, it doesn't fit with the UC320 price wise.  If they really need gigabit, i guess that's what they need, but as you said, gigabit isn't supported on the phone.

I've installed 3 units in our offices utilizing an SF-200 24p.  They're $350 and they're plug and play with the UC320.  You will have to do a firmware upgrade to the most recent release to get plug and play, but they've been great little switches for me....

I'd steer you in that direction, and definitely not the ESW.


Community Member

Getting by on the cheap - Existing switch and UC320W


That is exactly the issue we have had.  Recently, a client had brand new Cisco SR-2024C in place, a budget unmanaged gigabit switch with GBIC on it.  It will not work *at all*, so the client was told they needed to upgrade their switch, which doesn't fly well.

The SF-200 24p is not gigabit...

We're dealing with a >$1000 dollar UC320W, what is needed is a way to provide gigabit throughput, and half a dozen phones or so.   The cheapest possible solution.

We can sell UC540s and  ESW-540-24Ps to the clients who have a couple dozen phones, they generally can afford it.


Community Member

Getting by on the cheap - Existing switch and UC320W

Hi Adam,

I come across this all the time, partly because the sales guys just don't listen and want to sell for the sake of making a sale

Basically your alternatives are to go for a lower ranged SG-300 8 port PoE which is about half the cost of the UC-320W, or...

Put Power packs on the phones and then choose a non PoE switch (Yuck!!!) but this works as the non PoE switch is much cheaper especially when it is Gig-E.

But here is the thing, if the sales cycle process is done right (Which I am not saying you are not doing it right BTW!!) you can show the value proposition to the client from the word go, you also need to show the vast differences with the switching fabric you are offering versus the one that is currently in place and managing the network... Then you ensure they understand the long term vision of the Cisco Support and Warranty when they place in there business any of the SMB Switching systems I.E the 3 year 8X5XNBD which is an extremely useful thing to have.

But alas sometimes no matter what you do it just aint enough to keep a tight budgeted client happy



Cheers, David Trad. **When you rate a persons post, you are indicating a thank you or that it helped, but at the same time you are also helping to maintain the community spirit - You don't have to rate posts and you wont be looked down upon :) *
Community Member

Getting by on the cheap - Existing switch and UC320W

I solved this issue for plenty of my SMB clients with some Netgear POE switches. They wound up being cheaper and also feature rich for the price. Most have gig uplinks so you can tie them into a gig data infrastructure with no problems at all.

When you look at many SMB clients, they dont really use higher speeds and the point about the phone not being gig is offset by the fact that POE helps cut down the desktop clutter. Most folks using the phone for pass thru as I see em are in fields where they are just doing info lookups either from the web or from an internal server and 100/Full is just fine for non-bandwidth intensive casual use.

Community Member

Re: Getting by on the cheap - Existing switch and UC320W

I wanted to stick with a pure Cisco solution...

Now one install we did last week had an inexpensive TRENDnet unmanaged, no PoE, no QoS switch in place (TEG-S24g) which was gigabit, 24port and the dozen 504, 525 phones worked flawlessly and we have a very happy client there.

Of course, each phone is using power adapters at the desk, making it not so pretty.

We also have put in phones where gigabit ethernet was in place, and at the client's desk, put a cheap 5 port gigabit switch to hook the computer and the phone to, so their computer still had gigabit, and that worked okay as well.


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