When it comes to office and interpersonal communications, phones are still essential. If your office has (or needs) phone lines, then you need quality phones to handle the calls.
Cisco makes a wide variety of phones serving a ton of different functions. In terms of IP phones (that can support VoIP calling), there are three different series that stand out: 7900, 7800, and 8800. Each series has a different set of pros, cons, and specializations. When you see the clear differences between each series, you can better determine which might be right for you.
The Cisco 7900 series was the first of the groups up for discussion. Originally released in the 1990s, it served as the flagship phone series for many years. While some older models are out of service and support, Cisco still manages upgraded 7900 series models to this day.
The 7900 series wrote the book on unified communications. Models from this series can provide voice, video, data, and application resources on a single phone. They’re great in multi-function roles that require a phone to keep up with different modes of work all while streamlining workflows and providing efficient communication.
In other words, these phones are great in office settings where communication comes in all forms and from all directions. They are work horses that can keep up with demand, and because the technology is so tried and tested, it is extremely reliable. You can also choose some of the seasoned models to save a little money, all while knowing that the phone enjoys Cisco’s legendary support.
In order to maintain all of this, 7900 phones typically come with Gigabit Ethernet ports that enable data, VoIP, video, and all of the other services supported by the phone series.
The Cisco 7800 Series came quite a bit later, originally releasing in 2013. It takes the multi-role functionality of the 7900 series and expands on it with a few notable improvements.
To begin with, the series supports up to 16 lines on a single phone (depending on the model). This allows for even more communication and management.
The 7800 series also presents programmable keys allowing for more customization and better workflow management. Adding to that benefit is an ergonomic design. While it does make the phones look sleeker, it also helps minimize stress injuries and other issues related to ergonomics.
Lastly, the entire series is certified by Energy Star. This is ideal for energy compliance and demands. On top of that, the phone series is more energy efficient when compared to earlier models and series, lowering the overhead costs associated with phone-based communications.
The Cisco 8800 series also debuted in 2013. While it has plenty in common with the 7800 series, it has stark differences that make it another notable option for high-end phone communications.
Every phone in this model is designed for high-activity workstations, and it supports mobile work.
While the series above both offer video communications, the 8800 series provides high definition video. Better yet, it integrates that video capability with mobile devices, allowing you to combine communications devices and customize how you communicate according to your own preferences.
Using Cisco Expressway, remote workers can utilize single sign-on encrypted access to communicate via these devices, even while they remain in the office. It makes secure communication easier and more consistent than ever.
While the 8800 series still provides ergonomic benefits, the design and engineering process are further refined through circular principles. This leads to easier recycling and more sustainable manufacturing in general, making this a greener option than the alternatives.
Even with all of these benefits, you’re still looking at a phone series that works great as a central communications device for very busy work environments and mission-critical communications nodes.
Key Features and Differences
If you’re trying to decide which phone series is ideal for your business, here is a quick look at the key features and benefits of each model:
|Cisco 7900||Cisco 7800||Cisco 8800|
|Cat 5 up to 54 Mbps bandwidth||Cat 5/5e/6 1000 Mbps max bandwidth||Dual-band Wi-Fi up to 54 Mbps|
|2” color display||3.5” grayscale display||2.4” color display|
|IP 54 rating||No minimum IP rating||IP 67 rating|
|6-line support||Up to 16-line support||6-line support|
|AES-128 encryption||AES-256 encryption||AES-256 encryption|
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