Cisco, Plantronics team on SMB communications bundle

First joint solution in a new program from Plantronics pairs a Cisco IP phone with a unified communications-capable headset.

Plantronics is trying to build up its credentials with SMB customers through a series of technology alliances. One of the relationships within that program, an alliance with networking and unified communications company Cisco, has resulted in a joint solution from the two companies.

The bundled solution includes a Cisco SPA525G2 five-line IP phone with a Plantronics Voyager PRO UC Bluetooth headset. The headset can be used with IP softphone applications and it supports multidevice connectivity. What that means is this: if you are on your mobile phone, you arrive at your office and you want to switch the call over to the "office" phone, you should be able to do that. Alternatively, you should be able to wear a single headset that lets you take incoming calls from either a mobile phone, a computer or an IP phone that supports Bluetooth connections. That's useful for those trying to pare down the gadgets in their life.

The bundle is so new that I wasn't able to find pricing on it yet. However, the suggested pricing for the headset alone is just under $200 and this phone lists for about $550 on the CDW online site.

Based on my past experience with "bundled" solutions that have a specific market focus -- people tend to feel boxed in by them -- I need some proof that smaller companies really want this approach. But I appreciate the fact that Cisco is realizing that hands-free talking will be an important component of unified communications and collaboration solutions.


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