Which phones work with 3CX?

The short answer is: most SIP phones work with 3CX but there are some limitations.  For example, the Cisco 7940G, 7960G, 7941G, and 7961G are all supported but there is still no support for the more modern Cisco phones like the 7942G/7962G with enhanced two-tone display, the 7945G/7965G models with full color display, the newest 8900 series Unified IP phones with built-in videoconferencing, or any of the 7800 and 6800-series Unified IP phones.  My guess is since these phones are mainly deployed in enterprise environments 3CX thinks their out of the SMB’s price range so they’re focused instead on Yealink, snom, and the Cisco SPA phones instead.  If you’re still curious why companies are deploying 3CX you might be interested in the top five reasons we think people are deploying it.


3CX Supported IP Phones

  • Cisco 7940/7960/7941/7961
  • Cisco SPA 303, 501G, 502G, 504G, 508G, 509G, 525G
  • Cortelco C58/C58P, C62/C62P
  • Fanvil C58/C58P, C62/C62P
  • Gigaset N510 IP PRO
  • Panasonic KX-TGP500B01 (DECT)
  • Polycom Soundpoint 300, 400, 500, 600, and 700 series
  • Polycom Soundstation 5000, 6000, 7000
  • snom 300 series, 700 series, and 800 series
  • Yealink T19, T20 series, T30 series, T40 series, VP 530, and W52P

3CX Supported SIP/PSTN Gateways

  • BeroNet BeroFIX 400, 1600, and 6400 – ISDN PRI, E1, GSM, FXS, and FXO
  • Patton Smartnode SN4112 and SN 4144 – Analog 2 / 4 ports
  • Patton Smartnode SN4940, SN4950, SN4960, SN4970, SN4980, SN4990 – ISDN T1 and E1
  • Patton Smartnode SN4120, SN4552, SN4554, SN4634, SN4638, SN4658 – ISDN BRI
  • Welltech Wellgate 2540 for 3CX Phone System 12

3CX Certified SIP Trunk Providers (United States only)

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Why 888VoIP may be my new Favorite VoIP Distributor

888Voip Logo

DBS has been an 888VoIP customer for several months now.  While we maintain relationships with many larger distributors, 888VoIP specializes in VoIP hardware and carries specialty items like CyberData IP paging speakers, Yealink IP phones, Patton PSTN gateways and 3CX licenses so they’re a great partner to have since DBS has such a strong focus on VoIP and collaboration solutions.  Our 888VoIP account executive, Tom Wanderlich, is outstanding.  In fact, everything about my 888VoIP experience was perfect right up until a couple weeks ago…

The Problem

Early this month I ordered a few CyberData products for one of my best customers.  One of the items, an IP-enabled overhead paging speaker by CyberData, absolutely had to be on-site by Thursday the 18th so it could be installed the next day.  That gave me thirteen days to get the speaker to my client – no problem!  Or so I thought…

Five days after placing my order my client asked where his equipment was so I emailed Tom for tracking information.  He replied that two of the items were in transit and the third was on a 3-week backorder.  I checked the backordered SKU and of course it was the paging speaker – the one item my client had to have ASAP!  I tried to source it elsewhere but couldn’t find it anywhere.  It was starting to look like a lost cause so resigned myself to failure and broke the bad news to my client.

The Monday before the speaker was to be installed my client called to ask if there was anything else I could to expedite delivery or find it elsewhere.  I searched again, found nothing, and called 888VoIP customer service as a last resort.  I was elated to hear the IP speaker was in transit!  …until they told me it was in transit to the 888VoIP headquarters in New York and wouldn’t get to my customer until a week after it was needed (and three weeks after I’d ordered it).

A pair of pack mules hiking up a mountain.

I think these guys would have done an excellent job of getting my client their equipment. Don’t you agree?

At this point I felt a rage start to build.  Maybe I’m just spoiled by D&H‘s two-day ship times but when the 888VoIP customer service rep told me how long my client would be without their equipment my blood really started to boil.  I don’t remember exactly what I said to the poor lady but I do seem to remember asking her if they could just strap the paging speaker onto the back of a pack mule and have him walk from California to Cincinnati because that had to be faster than their current shipping methods.

Honestly the shipping time isn’t even what made me mad though.  When I ordered the paging speaker there was no mention of a three-week back order.  Neither when I initially priced and quoted it to my client nor when I actually ordered was I given any indication that this item wasn’t sitting in the 888VoIP warehouse and shipping out within a day or so.  They charged my credit card, sent me an order confirmation, and I expected everything was a-ok.  If I’d known ahead of time the product was unavailable I never would have ordered it!  Now my client was forced to spend more money to have their installer come out a second time just for this speaker whenever it arrived and THAT’S why I was mad – because an avoidable situation was costing my customer extra money they hadn’t planned on spending.

My Response

After I vented to the 888VoIP customer service rep I proceeded to called Tom and he was of course very apologetic but he couldn’t really do anything to help.  Frustrated that I still hadn’t made any headway in actually solving my client’s problem I took to social media to vent.  First I left some not-so-friendly comments on 888VoIP’s Facebook page and then I sent some less than professional tweets about my experience which I’m less than proud of:

The Solution

I found out pretty quickly that 888VoIP keeps a very close eye on their social media because my Facebook comments got the attention of Eric Jeffers, 888VoIP’s marketing manager within just a few hours.  He responded to my comments on the 888VoIP Facebook page and then called me personally to apologize for the confusion.  He told me via email that he would take personal responsibility for finding a way to notify customers ahead of time when items aren’t in stock.  He also said he’d be working closely with Bill Majerczak of CyberData to get my order filled but at this point I was skeptical.  Then I saw Bill’s Facebook comments and I finally started to think we could make this happen after all.

CyberData Corporation "The IP End Point Company" would be happy to ship to you direct and even overnight if needed Phil Denton.

By the next day Eric had somehow managed to chase down CyberData’s production team and get my client’s hardware moved to the front of the build queue.  The CyberData team completed construction of the overhead IP paging speaker in record time, sent it directly to my client via priority overnight at no additional charge, and the item arrived on my client’s loading dock at 1030AM the morning of the 18th as promised and as required.

Needless to say, my client is happy so now I’m happy too.  Last month I would have said there’s no one who cares as much about my clients as I do but now 888VoIP and CyberData are giving me a run for my money.  This type of commitment on the behalf of larger companies that I rely on as suppliers is rare so I wanted to make sure to give credit where credit is due and the credit for this win definitely goes to the 888VoIP and CyberData teams, especially Eric Jeffers, Tom Wanderlich, Bill Majerczak, the unknown 888VoIP customer service rep who I asked about the pack mule, and the CyberData production team.  Thank you for all of your help and if any of you guys is/are ever in Cincinnati let me know and the first round is on me.  You may have just won over a client for life!

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How not to Clean a Cisco IP Phone

One of our best clients is a manufacturing company who several years ago deployed a Cisco Unified Communications solution consisting of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM), Cisco Unity Connection (UConn), and Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX).  In addition to the new Unified Communications applications, they of course deployed a bunch of Cisco phones to go with them.

Cisco IP phones are made of durable ABS plastic and are generally pretty sturdy, unless they get zapped in a lightning storm (which would never happen because you use surge protectors and UPS, right?) or something.  Unfortunately this 7911 below met with an early demise when an employee took it upon himself to clean the phone up a little bit…  with acetone.  Not only was the Cisco logo almost completely burned off, but so was most of the silver paint AND apparently enough of the acetone/paint mixture seeped into the phone itself that the buttons are now immovable.  The phone still boots and I suppose it may still receive calls, but its days as a production phone are over.


Cisco 7911 IP Phone Before and After

A typical Cisco 7911 and the 7911 subjected to an acetone cleaning. The Cisco logo is almost gone and you can’t even see the model number any more!


The moral of the story here?  As per this handy Cisco doc, avoid pouring liquids of any type, even cleaning solutions, directly onto your Cisco IP phones.  Clean them only with a cloth slightly dampened with your cleaning solution of choice.  Acetone is a little too caustic so we recommend simple soap and water or perhaps Windex or rubbing alcohol again, applied only via a slightly dampened cloth.  Regardless of which solution you clean your phones with remember these two things:  1) As every cleaning solution says on the back of the bottle – test in a small inconspicuous area first, and 2)  If your phone starts to melt… stop cleaning!

Have your users ever tried to help you fix an IT problem only to end up compounding the issue?  Let us know in the comments!

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Cincinnati’s newest Meraki Authorized Reseller

Guess who just became Cincinnati’s newest Cisco Meraki authorized reseller?  We did!  Denton Business Solutions is proud to announce we are now officially authorized to provide clients with Meraki cloud networking solutions.

Cisco Meraki Logo

What is Cloud Networking?

Cloud Networking empowers you to deploy, configure, monitor, and troubleshoot your IT infrastructure through the cloud.  With Cisco Meraki, your IT staff maintains and operates your company’s IT infrastructure from an easy-to-use web-based dashboard.  Gone are the days of console cables and memorizing command line syntaxes, replaced with the implementation of enterprise IT policy with a few clicks of the mouse.  From Mobile Device Management to secure guest access and Layer-7 prioritization of business-critical applications, the Cisco Meraki dashboard does it all from inside of your favorite web browser.

Why is Cloud Networking such a Big Deal?

Cloud Networking allows you to manage your entire network infrastructure from one convenient web-based dashboard.  Currently the Meraki product lineup includes the MR-series Access Points, MS-series access switches and aggregation/distribution switches, and MX-series security appliances.  Basically, everything you need to run your business.  Here are some additional highlights of the Meraky cloud networking solution:

Cisco Meraki Deploys Rapidly
Cisco Meraki Visibility and Control
Cisco Meraki Built-in Multisite Management
Automatic monitoring and alerts
Cisco Meraki Products are Future-Proof!

Rapid deployment with self-provisioning, self-optimizing hardware

Control applications, users and devices

Built-in multi-site management

Cisco Meraki includes automatic monitoring and alerts

Future proof and always up to date, with seamless over-the-web firmware updates and new features delivered quarterly


Are Meraki Solutions Right for my company?

Meraki offers several ways for you to learn more about their products.  You can contact us of course, but if you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, I suggest you sign up for one of Meraki’s one-hour webinars.  You’ll hear the Meraki story, get a better look into one of their products or solutions, and in return for your time they’ll send you a FREE Meraki MR12 Access Point that you can plug in and test out for yourself.  If you want a more in-depth demonstration of how Meraki equipment can work in your environment they’re even willing to send you some of their Cloud Networking products so you can do you own in-house trial.

# # #

Meraki, Cisco, Cisco Meraki, and Cisco Systems and the Meraki, Meraki Cisco, and Cisco logos are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems Inc. in the United States and certain other countries.

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No, the SPA302 is not Compatible with the UC300 or UC500 (SBCS)

Update 1/9/2014: Last summer Cisco published an End-of-Life announcement for the UC320W and UC500-series products. We DO NOT recommend these products for new installs as SMARTNet is only available on them until January of 2017. Deploy with caution!

I know, I know – it’s featured on the Cisco SMB products homepage (seen below), it’s clearly listed as a 300-series SPA phone right next to the SPA301 and SPA303, but… unlike its siblings the “Cisco SPA302 Multi-Line DECT Handset” will not work with either the UC320W or the Cisco Smart Business Communications System (“SBCS”).  There are determined engineers out there who have duct-taped together a working integration but a) it’s a quite tedious and b) it’s not supported by Cisco TAC so I can’t recommend forcing the SPA302 into a solution using the Cisco small business phone systems.

Cisco SPA302 Shown on Cisco Small Business Homepage


Why won’t it work?

Cisco SPA302D Wireless Phone

Cisco SPA302D Wireless Phone

The SPA302 doesn’t use the same type of wireless network as laptops and smartphones.  It uses a protocol called “DECT,” which is like a modern version of the 900MHz cordless phones that have been available since the mid-1990s.  Without the ability to communicate with other IP-enabled devices such as the Cisco UC300 or UC500 series small business phone systems, it can’t be configured by or used with them.


Alternatives to the SPA302

If you’re looking for a wireless phone to work with the UC320W your best option at the time of this writing, unfortunately, is to use a regular analog cordless phone attached to the FXS port on the UC320W chassis. If your company needs additional FXS ports you can add a Cisco SPA8800 Analog Telephone Adaptor (“ATA”) the environment and it will provide you with four more FXO ports and four more FXS ports.

If you need a wireless phone for the Cisco SBCS then go for either the Cisco 7925 or Cisco 7926 wireless IP phones.  The only difference between the two is the 7926 has a two-dimensional barcode scanner, while the 7925 does not.  The only downside to the 7900 series wireless IP phones is they are a little pricey for the SMB market.  I think the last 7925 “kit” (phone, battery, charger, and Cisco SMARTNet) I sold came out to around $600.

If you were wanting the SPA302 to work with a Cisco phone system I hate to have been the bearer of bad news but hopefully you found this article before ordering any hardware.  Honestly, I wish Cisco had called this device the “SPA402″ to avoid the compatibility confusion but it is what it is.

Either way, thanks for taking the time to read this post.  If you still need help figuring out what phone will work best for your environment feel free to contact me.  I’ll probably write a more in-depth review of the SPA302 and SPA232 in the near future so click the “Like” button on the right to see when that comes out.  Just out of curiosity, have you found any stand-out cordless phones to use with a UC300 or UC500?  If so please let me and your fellow engineers know in the comments below!

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Life Before Computers

While Denton Business Solutions is only a few years old, most of our clients have existed for decades or longer.  Sure, most of those clients now depend on technology to stay competitive but we realize their businesses haven’t always depended on computers…

Before There were PCs

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