Cisco Meraki has quietly expanded their product line-up from access points, switches, and security devices to venture into communications. The MC74 is a premium VoIP phone that shares the same cloud-management backbone as other Meraki products.
The MC74, pictured below and listed at https://meraki.cisco.com/products/communications, provides a 7-inch IPS-backlit touchscreen display with a desktop mount or optional wall mount. It offers front and side USB headset ports and a 3.5mm audio headset jack. There are physical buttons for volume control and mute. According to the datasheet (PDF), the phone also includes a gigabit passthrough port and is powered over Ethernet. Other features include:
- Contact directory integration
- Call history and visual voicemail
- Hold, transfer, mute, and speakerphone capabilities
- Interactive Voice Response and extension calling
- Ad-hoc conferencing
- Lock screen protection
- Visual voicemail
The real beauty of Meraki products is the cloud management and that premium makes a lot of sense when you’re talking about distributed locations. From the Meraki dashboard, you can manage wireless APs, switches, firewalls, and MDM and adding Cisco Meraki VoIP phones with the MC74 further expands the Dashboard’s usefulness.
The announcement for a new product was teased by the presenter in a Meraki webinar that I attended last week but no official announcement has come yet. Next Tuesday (May 24th) has a new webinar series for a May product launch and it looks like the VoIP phones might be that announcement.
The wizards on the Meraki product teams have once again conjured up some fantastic additions to our cloud managed portfolio. We’ll unveil powerful additions to our wireless and switching product lines that we think you’ll really like. We also have a special product announcement for the grand finale.
The MC74 phone will cost $599 comes with a 2 year warranty. There is also a $150 annual license to manage it through the cloud though there are 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 year licensing options, similar to other Meraki licenses. The SIP service is then provided by a separate SIP provider in the US for a separate monthly fee.
Look for the full announcement to come next week on the Cisco Meraki blog. There should also be phones in the future with fewer features for a lower price to look forward to.