I'm very disappointed in UC300 series because Cisco seems to forget some basic features.
Long wait for firmware release 2.2 and big frustation because it doesn't fix some important things
I would remind you that still don't make automatic outbound call routing without having first to press a digit; same issue for redial a missed call without editing the number to append a digit.
There is still no a branded cordless phone, so we have to buy third party phones with limited integration.
There is still no a branded solution for conference.
No support for softphones and remote office through vpn.
No ability to manage the calls routing through providers to choose the best rates (for example for cellular or international calls).
Finally, everything know the importance of a office address book and I think that the address book management can be seriously improved.
Small business doesn't means not relevant customers, you agree ?
I agree that small business does not mean relevant customers. However, you really must take into consideration what the UC320 is. It's Cisco's entry level phone system. If they start adding all kinds of features like remote office, soft phones, ect, then it becomes more than what it's meant to be. I see complaints like this all of the time, and I think it's because partners don't understand what the system was designed to do.
It's designed for a non complex environment where the customer doesn't need advanced call routing and wants a simple to use GUI for configuration changes so they don't have to rely on a Cisco partner for ever little change that needs to be made. If your client wants more, then it may be time to start looking at the UC540/560. Those systems are made to be more customizable and have the advanced features that you are talking about.
That said, yes conferencing and a handheld IP phone would be nice. But, please, let's not take this solution down a path of change that would make this simple to use system so hard that it takes away the market for it. Position the system where it's meant to be positioned, don't try to fit a customer into it because it's inexpensive.
I'm an end user and not a reseller, I can agree on remote office and softphone features, even up to conference phone, but the outbound call routing and redial without having to enter a digit is an embarrassing issue.
The right sizing of a phone system could be made by number of ext lines, phones, sip providers or extensions managed and not just in features, but this is just my thought.
First of all, grazie mile for your direct feedback, it helps us to make our products and solutions better. Please note the following.
- Our first priority continues to be focused on partner profitability, i.e. making sure that margins related to prices as well as install/maintenance (e.g. reduced install and config time, ease of install, minimal training) are best in class. That being said, our initial releases have been focused on delivering quality and features related to make our partners more profitable while satisfying end-user expectations (Brad comments about product positioning are key to keep customer satisfaction high).
- We understand there are some features our end users and partners are asking, most of them mentioned on your email (teleworker, mobile/wireless clients, enhaced call routing) and we are working on those, as we continue to develop inline to our roadmap.
I encourage you to be a bit patient on the delivery of this, I cannot share more until we have firm/official commitment around dates, but I can tell you we are working on those as I write these lines, so hopefully we can turn your dissapointment into positive expectations. Meanwhile, the system has a robust set of end-user features you can rely on such as mapping almost every single call control feature to the line keys for enhanced usability, time-based incoming call routing and a large etc which can make your business very productive.
Please continue providing feedback, since this is what we need to continue enhancing the product and customer satisfaction.
That "embarrassing issue" extends all the way up the chain of Cisco phone systems. Dialing an access code to get an outside line is something that everyone with a PBX type system has to endure. Could it be automated for redial? I don't know. I know that some small businesses are used to key systems,(A system that usually doesn't need an access code for an outside line) but the customer loses some PBX functionality with that type of system.
You are correct about the sizing of a system. This system only supports 24 phones and 12 SIP trunks(I forget the FXS support, because we don't deal in POTS lines). I don't think, however, that the system needs to start supporting remote offices, and other advanced features. That adds a layer of complexity that an end user (most small business end users are not as tech savvy as you seem to be) would have to configure and maintain. Again, this system was purpose built to be less complex and easier for a lay person to configure and maintain without the constant intervention of a qualified Cisco partner.
I also understand that there is new DECT IP phone that will be out very soon for this system. That will give us the handheld phone.
Today many phone systems recognize if the number dialed is an outside call, an extensions or a service number by the length of digit and the initial digit. I'm talking about some inexpensive PBX software that I've personally tested.
In my opinion the concept of the access code could be a little outdated, let the machines become more intelligent !
I agree regarding remote offices and advanced features, although I think the routing of calls to a provider over another is a requirement to save money quite simple and not reserved just for a high-end customers. However the system is very easy to manage and I hope that soon will be improved in many features.
Although many small businesses may not need teleworker functionality, I would not have purchased this sytem without the promise that it is coming "soon". In our case, we need a single phone at home to communicate with clients in the evening. It should be possible to add that capability without dramatically increasing the complexity of setup for businesses that don't use it. Done well, there would be a world of difference between having that advanced capability in a GUI vs. the command line interfaces or config files of other systems.
What I find highly frustrating is that Cisco keeps saying that features are coming "soon" or are "on the roadmap" and we'll learn more when the schedule is committed. Based on what I have seen so far, releases aren't committed until the Friday before and then it's only to say it's coming sometime in the following week, not even a firm date. No information is available about what is actually in the release until it's posted. That's not the kind of information sharing I expected to see.
I am mostly happy with the UC320 except for the missing teleworker feature. Without more information about release dates, I am seriously considering replacing this sytem.
I am a new user and up to now I am very happy with the UC320W. The install with the ESW540 switch and SPA525G2 phones was very easy. I have installed all the system under 2000$. If I consider the quote I had from a dealer with a UC540 who asked $1200.00 just for the installation and training the UC320W is very well priced.
If you want more you have to pay more. There are some futures which should be there like redial without editing. The system know from which line the call came in. This line could be deafult or the system can add a prefix automaticly and the user could have the option to change it. Another future would be IPhone integration.
Overall I am not frustrated with my purchase and ask the Cisco staff to pass more information for new futures and timelines to us.