SMP and the Rochester Triathlon

Saturday, August 23 marked the 5th annual Rochester Triathlon and the 4th year that SMP has served as the title sponsor of this unifying event. We truly enjoy working with the race committee and the Rochester Area Triathletes (RATS) to see the event come together. Triathlon is a unique endurance sport as it is well suited for spectator enjoyment as athletes flow into and out of the transition area for the swim, bike and run legs of the race. Due to the nature of the sport, the triathlon gathers larger crowds than one might expect. This year, many spectators sported their SMP temporary tattoo to receive an SMP t-shirt commemorating the event! In addition, we had a strong SMP turnout this year from both athletes and volunteers; showing the community a unique aspect of our culture. Together we were able to enjoy this exciting event, beautiful weather, great location and fun company!

SMP Volunteers SMP's triathlon team

Introducing the Cisco 8845 and 8865: Affordable HD Video for Every Desk

For those who missed it, Cisco recently released two next generation video phones called the 8845 and 8865.  The phones are richer in features than their 8900 and 9900 predecessors, and while nothing has been officially announced, the writing is on the wall that these new endpoints will phase out both the 8900 and 9900 in the very near future. Combine that with last weeks End of Sale announcement for the legacy 7900 series phones, and Cisco’s personal endpoint portfolio will soon consolidate to only the 7800 and 8800 series phones, along with Cisco’s desktop experience endpoints known as the DX series.

The 8845 and 8865 are orderable now and can be added to any Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) cluster running v8.6.2 and later.  Their value is superior to anything else in Cisco’s endpoint portfolio, with a street price of approximately $300 and $400 respectively.  Both have 720p cameras and 5 inch screens, support Intelligent Proximity and have Bluetooth.  The 8865 adds the ability to use USB headsets and attach up to three expansion modules (sidecars) as well.  Both will support Mobile and Remote access through Cisco Expressway (VPN’less connectivity no matter where you are), providing a secure, seamless experience whether you are in the office or working out of your home.

The 8845 and 8865 communicate natively with Cisco Jabber, 8900/9900 video phones, DX series endpoints, existing TelePresence and Conferencing infrastructure, and support both Business to Business and Consumer to Business video as well.  With the Video Call Back feature being added to WebEx in the very near future, even deeper integration is right around the corner.

If you already have a Cisco Unified Communications platform and are looking to refresh your phones, choosing the Cisco 8845 / 8865 is an economical way to add HD Video Telephony to workspaces where it doesn’t exist today.  If you are looking to replace your telephony platform with something new, this is just one more reason why you should consider selecting Cisco as your vendor of choice.

List pricing and datasheets for both endpoints are below.

CP-8845-K9= / $575 List price

CP-8865-K9= / $795 List price

8845 Charcoal8845 White

NOTE:  The white model won’t be available for a couple of months, but the grey version is orderable now.

If you would like a demonstration of the 8845 or 8865 IP phone (or any Cisco Collaboration endpoint for that matter) please do not hesitate to reach out to the SMP Collaboration Team.

SMP is a Cisco Master Collaboration and Cisco Gold Partner, and we have a state of the art Solutions Center where we can demonstrate the latest and greatest in Cisco technologies in person or remotely.  Please reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you with your IT challenges.  We pride ourselves on enabling our customers so they can keep up with both the speed of business and IT.

Sean Wilson – swilson {at}

Collaboration by Design

“Without a solid foundation, you’ll have trouble creating anything of value.” – Erika Oppeheimer.


  • When it comes to the technology, Unified Communications is built on a computer network infrastructure and like a house, a solid foundation that has been well planned is critical to the success.


  • When planning your UC system, one for one replication of the legacy system may not be the best approach. Legacy system functionality is as it is due to the limitations of the technology and people at the time it was implemented.  Today’s workforce and technology are much more capable and at this inflection point, you have an opportunity to address those pain points experienced in the past.

Build It

  • The migration roadmap to the new system has a great impact on the quality and cost of the project. A phased approach is often necessary due to the size of a project but the transition cost can be reduced and user satisfaction increased if the migration is not drawn out too long. During the migration from one system to the other, two systems are running. This creates two cost points for the business to bear. There will be a point where the cost of the legacy system is so high per user that accelerating to finish the migration will be more cost-effective than continuing to have both in use.


  • Many users are very content in how they do things now and if you only replicate functions without providing some advantage to the end users, their satisfaction and adoption rate may diminish. User communications on what is coming, why and what is in it for them are effective tools to gain user support. Involve the users, make them part of the process.
  • Training is very important, don’t just drop the technology and run. Provide training in different ways to reach people with different learning styles.

Do It

  • Unified Communications is not just a phone system. It is also the basis of video communications, real-time text messaging, user presence and current availability and all this integrates to create a communications package that is not a set of towered, isolated applications but a homogenous blend that enables group collaboration.