Panasonic Scales KX-NS700G for Small Businessby Sandra Gustavsen in Telecom
Panasonic introduces the new KX-NS700G, a lower-end communications server within its latest generation of KX-NS business communications systems. The new model, available to Panasonic’s authorized resellers in the U.S., is designed to serve very small businesses (to 26 extensions) and joins the KX-NS700 digital/IP communications server (to 288 extensions) for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) and the higher-capacity KX-NS1000 IP/SIP-based communications server that handles up to 1,000 networked users across as many as 16 locations.
The KX-NS family offers scale and built-in functionality over and above the company’s earlier KX-TDA, TDE and NCP systems. The new KX-NS700G provides authorized resellers with a good alternative to Panasonic’s TDA50G for smaller installations, not only because of its enhanced feature options, but also the added benefit of a simple software migration to the larger NS700. A software activation key (the “Capacity Unlock Activation Key”) allows a growing business to easily unlock the capacities of the full NS700 without replacing any system hardware (the hardware of the NS700G and NS700 is the same).
Essentially, the NS700G is packaged with pre-installed cards and software activation keys that lock down the allowable extension maximums. The features and options of the NS700G and NS700 are generally the same even without unlocking the system, as long as the option doesn’t affect the extension capacity limits. See below for more on the specific system capabilities.
- A standalone KX-NS700G supports 26 extensions, including up 18 digital, four IP proprietary and four single-line telephones and a maximum of 102 trunks. As noted, a software activation key opens up the capacity to that of the full KX-NS700 communications server, without replacing any system hardware. A standalone KX-NS700 supports 168 extensions; up to three expansion cabinets (NS720) are added to reach the maximum station capacity of 288 extensions and 210 trunks.
Standard Messaging and UC
- A two-channel voicemail capability (with email notification), licenses for four IP telephones and Panasonic’s Communication Assistant (CA) Basic-Express for basic unified communications are pre-installed on the KX-NS700G (and KX-NS700) and standard for every user.
- At the basic level, CA supports visual control of calls and messages from a user’s Windows desktop PC. Both the messaging and desktop call management capabilities are easily expandable via licensing.
Additional Productivity Built-in and License-activated
Additional productivity capabilities are built-in and easily license-activated. A 60-day free trial license is available for most of the functionality, specifically Unified Messaging, Call Center, Communications Assistant and Mobile Extension.
- Unified Messaging: The Unified Messaging license adds up to 24 messaging channels, voice guidance to outside callers, message backup and two-way call recording.
- Call Center: A call center capability allows every user on the system to function as an ACD agent. The KX-NS software supports call routing by trunk, group or longest idle agent, as well as priority routing, status monitoring by supervisors, listen-in, group/delayed ringing and busy override, ACD reporting and calls-in-queue announcements.
- Unified Communications: Additional Communications Assistant (CA) productivity features (Pro, Supervisor and Operator levels) are easily license activated to enable screen-based presence, instant messaging, integration with Microsoft Outlook, group conferencing and IP camera integration. CA can also tie in CRM applications such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as well as third party applications for hospitality, call center, security and home/business automation.
- Mobility: Mobile Extension is license-activated to allow two extensions to be assigned the same extension number so that calls to an office extension, for example, can be received simultaneously on a smartphone. Optionally, KX-NS systems support Panasonic’s new UC Mobility solution for access to unified communications, including video calling and chat functionality, on an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. In-building DECT wireless handsets are also an option for mobile users, including Panasonic’s KS-NS0154 Cell Station with LAN synchronization, Bluetooth support and noise reduction technology.
- One-Look Networking: Panasonic does not recommend One-Look Networking on an unlocked NS700G, so if multi-site networking is required, the customer should opt for the full KX-NS700. One-Look Networking software is license-activated and connects multiple KX-NS700 servers and the higher-capacity KX-NS1000 server (up to 16 systems and 1,000 users) as a single system with centralized administration and reporting. A Web Maintenance Console for the administrator allows the management of all phones and system units from one central point, including devices, features and system updates and changes.
Panasonic is known for protecting its existing customer base by ensuring that current equipment investments remain compatible and reusable when migrating to a newer Panasonic system. The KX-NS700G and KX-NS700 support many of the same digital and IP phones as the earlier KX-TDA, TDE and NCP systems, but also Panasonic’s latest line of IP, digital and DECT phones, namely the KX-NT500 Series of IP phones, the KX-DT500 digital phones and the KX-TCA85 Series DECT handsets. Panasonic continues to support earlier KX-TDA, KX-NCP and KX-TDE systems with minor updates and software patches, though future development will focus on the KX-NS series.
The KX-NS700G is generally available in the U.S. as of May 9, 2016 from Panasonic’s authorized resellers (MSRP $2,089). Panasonic offers other KX-NS models, such as the KX-NS300 and NS500, in other world markets.