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Is the BE3000 Really ready for the real world ?

Level 1
Level 1

I have been seriously contemplating this question, because of the lack of features that the BE3000 offers.  It offers simplicity in terms of end user management - yes, but its taken away all the functionality of a traditional PABX system which *most* organisations still require, and after all it is just an IP PABX system no ? 

My main gripes with the BE3000 are  :

  • Lack of night service functionality
  • Lack of being able to re-label keys shared across multiple phones
  • Lack of creating custom dial-plans - Whats the point of adding multiple sites ?
  • Lack of pickup functionality with extenstions which are in Hunt-Groups
  • Not able send hunt groups/blast groups to any other number then a system DN ( cannot send to off network number )
  • Lacking DHCP built into the system, Cisco like to tell us to use the customers existing DHCP.  Consider a customer who uses a ericsson BP250 transitioning to an IP telephone system, and doesnt care about nework integration.
  • 6 Hours for a system Upgrade? are you serious?
  • No ability to create silent ringing keys

I'd like to think that these functions mentioned above would be part of any traditional IP PABX, I dont understand why Cisco has not even considered them?

So far this is my ONE day experience with the BE3000,  I work on other systems like Mitel 3300 and Cisco's CME/UCCM and I believe that the BE3000 is still in some Beta testing phase, and not ready for prime time.


35 Replies 35

Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Thanks for your feedback. We understand the limitations of the product and are working hard to fix them. Your feedback is exteremely important.



We are doing a controlled program called the Early Adopter Program (EAP) in the US and Canada, where we are choosing customers to deploy the 3K. 3K is currently not suitable for all customers. The right customers are very happy with what the product has to offer. For more details on this on this please contact us by email at Which countries do you sell into?

Navin X Albert

I'm sorry but I strongly agree with Thanh, EAP program= Beta Testing. Why release the product for general availability then state that you are hand picking customers. Why would a customer downgrade from a 10 year old TDM to a BE3K knowing that most features they take for granted will be lost.

Any systems that is targeted for 50+ users should have some form of complexity, voice can be complicated and there is no way around that. Call flow needs to be bespoke to meet customers unique requirements. I have already been through this with the UC500 which started out similarly and over a long period of time became customizable with a stable platform.

The fact that it's potential is up to 10 sites is even more frightening. We have already sold this to a customer with an office in Australia and the US only realizing after the fact that you can only use a single dial plan, that really doesn't make sense.

We have 100% confidence in Cisco's portfolio of products which we confidently sell to our valuable customers however in this case I think we have made the decision to stick with the BE6K and CUCM until the BE3K at minimum is on par with 10 year old TDM systems.

I'm hoping the BU can prove me wrong because I think the concept is spot on however the product is not even close to where it needs to be at this stage.


I agree with you that BE3K's feature complexity is not where it needs to be. We have 100s of engineers working round the clock to close that gap. However it is far from being called a Beta. The BE3K has been found to be very stable in performance and uses a proven and stable platform (CCM). Currently it is a great fit for customer that need basic dial tone and voicemail.

Also, I dont believe 10 year old TDM PBXs can operate phones in Australia, all the way from US :-). You could still use the BE3K for that. Just have 2 3Ks. 1 in Australia and 1 in the US and connect them to each other using a SIP trunk. The 3K currently offers advanced funcationlity like Video, Jabber etc.

Navin X Albert,

I appreciate your expertise and know that your contributions to multiple forums are very much appreciated.

However, I have been in the voice game for 20 years so I think I understand what customers are expecting from a voice platform.

Whether it is 5 users or 10000 users, dial tone and voicemail is a consequence of call flow. If you can not achieve the basic stated in Thanh's post then your 10 years behind. No night switch, are your serious!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please keep in mind that the BE3k has a capacity of 300 users not 5. An office of 5 users would expect dail tone, voicemail and night switching at a minimum.

First of all let me correct you in saying that we have deployed 10 year old TDM system across the WAN (native IPU cards from Ericsson, and also voice gateways)  ;-)

Secondly, SIP trunking between 2 BE3K's is not offically supported.

Jabber and Video is the icing on the cake and unfortunately at this stage the cake is missing. (Functionality and call flow)

No malice intended, just constructive critisism. We want the system to be successful because if fits perfectly in the demographic we sell in.

Hi Navin

When we rasied multiple dial plans issue to Cisco developer team ,  they came back with following response :

“This would be easier to do this with 2 BE3Ks rather than one - One BE3K in the US and one in Australia. If they use the same BE3K there are likely to be many problems as you suggest. If they have two BE3ks, they could connect to each other using  a SIP trunk (If they have a good WAN connection between the 2 sites). Connecting 2 BE3Ks with a SIP trunk is not technically supported yet. However, we are working on a App note which will introduce support.

Additionally. App note for interconnecting multiple BE3k will be available on Smart Designs website in mid-September”

Now you are saying it's supported ?

Level 1
Level 1

Hi Navin,

We sell into the AU market, I strongly disagree that these days any customer would only expect to have dail tone and voicemail out of their IP PABX system.

I'm not bashing CIsco here, but things such as hunt groups and pickup groups an translation tables are core to any pabx, the flexibility of these functions will mean the difference between sale or no sale, after realizing the pitfalls I'm confident it will be the later.

There is nothing in the BE3000 that grabs me, like that wow moment where you think gee Cisco have really thought about what customers want in a pabx. And seriously guys 1hr provisioning time is a crock. If our sales team position themselves to say to our customers it would take 1hr to provision; we would be setting ourselves up for disappointment and customer dissatisfaction in our organization.

All things aside, I really want to see this product take off, but first thing is to stop telling marketing lies, sure 1hr to provision a dialtone and voicemail but you haven't considered the 6hr upgrade or trying to workaround the inflexibilities of the system. I would rather position Mitel, takes me 10 minutes to stand it up with dialtone and voicemail and only 1hr to upgrade. And I know it's flexible enough to do whatever I want.

Unfortunately as it stands, IMHO I only see a future for the BE3000 selling off-the shelf stores such as Harvey Norman, because a 3 year old could set this up. Dealers such as Advanced IP integrators who deal with complex call flows not need apply. Waste of a qualified engineers time.

my two cents.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

Hi All,

I am also in Australia and would love for us to all hook up and have a discussion off line about what we do and dont know about this system.

I was VERY surprised about all the BASIC features this system doesnt have - these SHORTCOMMINGS are not listed anywhere so you dont know untill you actually try to set it up. (Yes we did try to obatin a NFR before we sold it kept running into brick walls)

my email is please feel free to contact me and lets work to combine our thoughts/gripes into one constructive document that will get the ESSENTIAL features that we need working first.

Hi Tim,

Please go over to my Wish List Post. 


Night   SwitchManual Night SwitchMust be manualy   overridden/configurable from at least one phone1

Night Switch MUST route via AAThis shouldn't be the only   option, often in night mode a ring group will ring then be directed to either   VM or AA

Hunt   GroupHunt Group name displayed when   ringingCurrently the ring group DN is   displayed this should be the ring group name1

Called Number displayed* Not yet tested *

Hunt Group to Hunt Group routingThis needs to be configurable to   allow for flexibility1

Hunt group to VM optionEssential - eg divert to *xxx1

Auto   AttendantError/No answer routingAA should have the option to   direct a no response or error tone.

Watch   Function v's MonitorHow is this implimentedHow can you visualise BLF for   lines other than 1? (ie how do tell if the receptionist is on a call?)1

Voice   MailNeed to have option to divert to   2nd numberCallers should have the option   of pressing another button to divert to another number instead of leaving a   message (currently 0 for operator is supported)2

Paging   via HandsetsPagingI don’t know where to start with   this! Forget all the crazy mouse clicking, button holding stuff - completely   unusable.. All we need is a Paging group mapped to a group number, simply   dial the group and talk. Line function for paging and then the extension   number for manual single paging1

Ring   timersProfiles need individual ring   timersAt least1

Hunt Groups need adjustable   timersAt least1

Lines other than 1 need to be   forwardableFlex button configration on   siezed?2

ButtonsCall parkingCall Park / Call Park BLF / Call   Park pickup. Line buttons should be used for directed Call parking and   provide BLF when parked1

Meet me conferencePhones such as 96xx should use   Conference button if allowed in profile - burning a button for this is   unnecessary3

ConferenceMeet me conferenceShould be established by anyone   calling the conference number - see above for fix

Spreadsheet   importNeed instructions

Need to allow for Caller-ID Line   number importWithout this you need to edit   EVERY imported user line Displayed number.1

User passwordShould default to NOT having to   change on next login and import standard password

Boot   Time - Progress indication neededPerhaps show the LEDs   progressing5

Upgrade/re-image time very slowRe-install/upgrade takes over 8   hours!5

Call   Queuing

PhysicalBRI PortsConsidering the market in   Australia this device needs BRI port option(This restricts us to 5% of our usual market)

Cisco   On-Plus
When used with the BE3000 is   unusably slow - simple port forward is perfectly fine from same situation -   DSL service5

HI All,

I'd also like to jump in on this.    I fully agree that the BE3K  is severly lacking.   Along with the sentiments above, I can think of a few other key functions missing:

Scheduled backup - A pretty fundamental requirement for a business critical service.

A true Auto-attendant -It should have the same/better capabilites as the AA on Unity Express

UPDATE:  also add SNMP.  Being able to monitor the system is pretty important.


Level 1
Level 1

Hello everyone,

We sold one of these earlier this year and will most likely not sell one again until someone from Cisco comes to my office and apologizes for it.  The engineer that installed it found six major bugs in the system.  It is much better now but we're going to avoid them like the plague. 


Level 1
Level 1

This product has horrible to install, and worse to get operating normally.  I opened over 30 TAC cases and we discovered 6 bugs in the system. It's very limited, and not very well suppored. Luckily after a great deal of effort I was able to find one TAC engineer what was able to help me through all of my issues. I strongly suggest you look toward the 5000 ot 6000 and steer clear of this product.


We quite literally have a 100 people working on your requests and wish list. Please keep them coming and let us keep this positive and pushing this product forward one step at a time. We are paying close attention to your comments and taking action.

It is going to be a little painful at the begining.The 3K is a diamond in the rough. In 6-12 months, it will start shining.

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