Many companies wanting to improve communication among their employees or with their customers turn to video calling to add a face or share content within traditional audio calls.
For companies with Cisco call solutions, such as Cisco Business Edition 6000 (BE6K), users have the option to implement video at many different levels.
While this capability is optional, the demand for video is increasing, and here at The KR Group, we see more and more companies wanting to implement video.
The most common question these customers have before implementing video is how much it will cost them.
While the capability for video is included with your Cisco BE6K package, you might need some additional technology to enable your video calls.
And just how much that will cost varies depending on how you want to use video in your organization.
There are four ways you can implement video into your call system. In order of increasing cost, they are:
- Configuring licenses for existing devices.
- Purchasing video-enabled desk options
- Incorporating video with room kits
- Adding smartboards to your meeting spaces
Each of these enables video on a different level. We’ll explain just what you can do with each option, and how much it’ll cost to implement them.
Configuring Cisco licenses for video
The simplest option requires you to have the right Cisco Unified Communications Manager license and the Cisco Jabber application, and you can use the camera on your smartphone or laptop to make video calls.
Since most employees have one or both of these at their fingertips, it’s an easy way to make an entry into video without purchasing additional equipment.
When it comes to licensing, you have a few choices:
- If you have an Enhanced License, you can assign the license for a single device to one with video capabilities.
- If you have an Enhanced Plus License, you can extend the licensing for a secondary device to one with video capabilities.
- If you have a Workspace License, you can extend licensing to up to 10 video-enabled devices.
Users who choose to use their own device for video calls will need to use Cisco Jabber, which is included with all of the above license options.
If you go this route, you should keep in mind, though, that the video will only be as good as the device’s camera.
How much it costs:
Since you’re already using Cisco BE6K for audio, if your users have the licensing you need and video-enabled devices, this option might not cost you any additional money.
However, you might need to consider which licensing options your users are using and upgrade them to the next tier. The price of the different Unified Communications licenses break down as follows:
- Enhanced Licenses (one device) cost $125 per user (plus $75 per voicemail license).
- Enhanced Plus Licenses cost (two devices) cost $210 (plus $75 per voicemail license).
- Workspace Licenses (up to 10 devices and Unity Connection voicemail) start at $325 per user. (This includes voicemail licenses.)
This cost, as well as the subsequent prices we discuss in this article, are based on Cisco’s list price. Oftentimes, you will pay less than these list prices if you receive promotional pricing for working with a Cisco partner.
Purchasing Cisco video-enabled desk options
If you are looking to add hardware for yourself or your users’ desks to enable video, you have three options:
- A video-enabled desk phone
- Touchscreen video phone
- External monitor video phone
These phones allow you to turn on a camera to add video to phone calls. And, unlike using an integrated camera on a smartphone or laptop, your users don’t necessarily need a workspace license for these phones.
1. Video-enabled desk phone (Cisco 8845 videophone)
These phones look similar to a traditional Cisco desk phone, except with an integrated camera you can direct to capture the caller’s image.
Enabling video is optional, so you can still make audio calls with users who don’t have video phones or if you aren’t feeling camera ready.
How much it costs:
The desk phone we use and most often sell at The KR Group – the Cisco 8845 video phone – costs $575 at list price.
This phone has a 5-inch, high-resolution screen to access call features and view incoming video. The camera displays 720-pixel HD video.
2. Touchscreen video phone (Cisco Webex DX80)
This option for video calling from your desk looks more like a tablet. Instead of the handheld receiver and buttons, you make and answer calls using the touchscreen.
The 23-inch screen of the Cisco Webex DX80 allows you to view a larger screen when using video to communicate, and it makes it possible to share content.
Using the Cisco Webex Board or Cisco Webex Teams apps, you can also share and collaborate on whiteboard content, which is not an option on the 8845 desk phone. Meeting participants are also able to share and edit content on-screen.
Along with more capabilities, the camera on Cisco’s touchscreen video phones can be pointed down at your desktop to share the image of any paper documents you have.
How much it costs:
The DX80 costs $4,800 at list price. It comes with a 23-inch, LCD, 1920×1080 display, it also includes HDMI input to connect a PC or Mac as an external monitor. As far as the camera, the DX80 is capable of capturing 1080×30 pixels HD video.
3. External monitor video phone (Cisco Webex Desk Pro)
The Cisco Webex Desk Pro is the next step up from the Cisco DX80.
This is an external monitor that enables video calling. You can use it as a personal or shared device.
Like the DX80, you can use this to share content in addition to video and audio. However, the Desk Pro has built-in software for content sharing. If you want to share a PowerPoint or Word document, you don’t need to be in a Webex meeting.
It also includes Webex Assistance, virtual backgrounds, facial recognition, and noise detection and suppression.
How much it costs:
The Cisco Webex Desk Pro lists at $13,000 for its 27-inch LCD 4K display. It also has a USB-C input to empower content sharing or laptop charging.
Incorporating video with Cisco Webex room kits
If you want to use video on a larger scale in your business, Cisco offers room kits to empower video for small to large meetings.
Each room kit comes with a camera, codec, speakers, and microphone integrated into a single device. You’ll also receive a Cisco Touch 10 control unit and a wall mount to accompany the camera.
Cisco does offer multiple options for room kits, though:
- Standard Cisco Webex Room Kit for smaller rooms (up to seven people).
- Cisco Webex Room Kit Plus for medium- or large-sized rooms (up to 14 people).
Since the Cisco Webex Room Kit Plus is designed to be used on a larger scale than the standard Room Kit, there is a slight difference in hardware.
Compared to the standard Room Kit, the Room Kit Plus package includes a quad camera with two HDMI inputs (as opposed to a single camera with one HDMI input), and additional external microphone, and a more powerful codec.
However, when it comes to video quality, both options support up to 4K (3840×2160 pixels) input and output.
Other features you can expect from both the standard Room Kit and the Room Kit Plus include:
- Automatic voice and audio detection of meeting participants
- Noise suppression
- One button to push for scheduled devices in a Cisco Webex meeting
- Smart room capabilities (This feature counts the number of people in the room and enables analytics for better resource planning.)
- Dual screens for video and content
- Dual content sources for local meetings
- Display of whiteboard content and annotations shared from other Cisco Webex devices
How much it costs:
When it comes to purchasing a room kit, you can expect to see a list price of $12,000 for the standard Cisco Webex Room Kit and $18,000 for the Cisco Webex Room Kit Plus.
Adding video with Cisco Webex Smartboards
The final option Cisco provides you for implementing video communications into your business is with a smartboard.
Cisco has a few options for Cisco Webex boards with cameras, and each option comes with a Cisco Webex Room Kit or Room Kit Plus and a smartboard.
The smartboards included with both of these options are what set this option apart from the other video solutions. The large screen empowers 4K content sharing both wired and wirelessly.
This means you can view video, the screen of a meeting attendee or a whiteboard where all attendees can make notes.
Like the room kits, the main difference between these two options is what size room they’re designed for. The Cisco Webex Room 55 is designed for meetings with up to 7 people while the Cisco Webex Room 70 with dual screens is intended for meetings with up to 14 people.
How much it costs:
For $28,000, you can purchase the Cisco Webex Room 55, which comes with a single 55-inch smartboard and a Cisco Webex Room Kit.
The Cisco Webex Room 70 dual screen costs $80,000 and comes with two 70-inch smart boards and a Cisco Webex Room Kit Plus.
Implementing video into your Cisco call system
Implementing video into your existing Cisco call system comes in a variety of forms, and what option works best for you depends on how you want to use video and how much you’re willing to spend.
If you simply want to allow your users to make videos using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you can start by ensuring you have the right license.
The next level allows you to put a video phone or touchscreen on a user’s desk, even this has options depending on how large you want the screen to be, if you want to add content sharing, and of course, what your budget is.
For conference rooms or meeting spaces, Cisco offers options, too. If you’re only looking for video, depending on your size, you can opt for a Cisco Webex Room Kit or Room Kit Plus. If you’re looking to add content sharing and smartboard capabilities, a Cisco Webex Room 55 or Room 70 might be a better option, though.
If you’re still looking for more information to help you decide what level of video you should implement, check out our Cisco’s comparison chart.