One2Call was kindly invited by NEC to their preview roadshow in the Long Room at Nottingham's historic Trent Bridge Cricket Ground to get a first look at their new Univerge SV9100 business communications platform, the successor to the SV8100. Here's a quick run down on some of the things we found out.
Handsets - New vs Old
Firstly, a game of spot the difference (pic below). The phone on the right is from the NEC SV8100, the phone on the left is from the new SV9100 range (and has a 12 button hot key expansion module attached). Can you spot the difference?
Well, the answer is, there aren't that many! But that's no bad thing. There was nothing inherently wrong with the old SV8100 handsets, and this also means legacy handsets are fully compatible with the new system, keeping upgrade costs low.
In case you didn't spot them, the main changes are:
- Backlit keypad buttons
- White on black keypad buttons
- Segmented toggle in the bottom left, making selection easier
- Some slight differences in materials you can't quite see from the picture
- Call alert light in the middle (top) rather than over to the right.
There were some other changes I don't have notes for! We'll update these when we add a page to our website on the NEC SV9100.
Handsets - Revolution vs Evolution
The presentations talked a lot about 'evolution nor revolution', but there were 2 new handsets which caught the eye, both of which act as regular system handsets, but also run Android OS to allow for a greater use of apps by the business (like productivity apps, email apps etc...).
Pictured (below right) this is the new top of the range phone which is essentially a phone receiver bolted to a 7" Android tablet with built in camera and hands-free capability. Ideal for companies or executives looking to embrace video conferencing, as a CCTV linked door entry phone, or for customer-facing employees who just want a really impressive handset! They can presumably even play Angry Birds on it if they so wish.
NEC DECT G966
DECT (or wireless) phones are useful in all kinds of environments where mobility is essential; from hospitals and schools to hotels and warehouses. However, the look of traditional DECT phones are uninspring to say the least, usually resembling the manufacturers cheapest cordless phone from 5 years previous.
Which makes it all the more refreshing to see this new smartphone-inspired DECT handset from NEC. This is not a smartphone as there's no SIM slot (thereby ensuring calls are kept of costly mobile networks) but it does, like the UT880, run Android OS to allow web browsing and app use also. Disappointingly it didn't seem to have a camera, so using barcode scanners in a warehouse environment is ruled out, but nonetheless we can see this being a popular option where DECT is necessary, especially as we were advised that costs will not be too dissimilar to existing DECT models.
The PBX - Specs
The SV9100 has been beefed up in a number of areas over the SV8100, the takeaway message of which from NEC was that it is "5 times more powerful" than it's predecessor. Obviously on a short introduction like this it's difficult to really test what affect this has, but can't really be a bad thing.
It's also good to see the SV9100 is handling 400 SIP trunks, and from multiple carriers (against the single carrier SV8100), thereby offering a greater deal of flexibility during setup, more resillience, and a greater range of potential customers.
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