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You'll shoot your eye out!

Cisco phones rock.

I have a Cisco IP phone on my desk at home. Since I’m a telecommuter, I live and die by my phone. I came across a few cases recently where Cisco phones simply rock:

  • I initiated a 3-way call with 2 non-Cisco people (i.e., I made external calls to them). We’re all chatting away when I accidentally pushed the wrong button and hung up. “Whoops,” I thought. “I’ll just call them back.” So I tried calling them both back and got their voice mail. I waited 2-3 minutes and tried again — still got voice mail. So I IM’ed them both and said, “Guys — hang up — I accidentally disconnected and need to call you back.” They both said, “Oh, we thought you went on mute, we’re still connected.” That’s cool.
  • A colleague of mine in San Jose called another Cisco employee down in Austraila by dialing 011…(etc.). The Cisco phone system automatically recognized that he was calling a Cisco phone number and switched it to an in-system call (rather than place an international call which would have been both expensive and have dubios voice quality — Cisco’s PBX is VOIP, so we can just route the traffic over our own, internal networks). Granted, lots of PBX systems do this kind of thing these days, but it’s still cool.
  • That same colleague then made a 3-way call to join me into the conference (with the guy from Austraila). When my phone rang, the caller ID said “Conference.” We chatted for a while, and then the guy in San Jose hung up. Not only was I still connected to the guy in Austrailia, my caller ID switched to show his name (and his caller ID switched to show my name). This means that some programmer specifically thought about this case (a caller initiates a 3 way call and then disconnects) and made the system not only keep the callers connected, but also realize that it could update the caller ID intelligently. That’s a well thought-out system.

Cisco rocks!


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