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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

Level 4
Level 4

I haven't actually put in my first one of these systems yet, but I am in the process of building it on the bench.

So far my gripes are:

  • No DHCP server on board.
  • Night function is not a function, more an option that does not suit a lot of circumstances.
  • DSS keys. Don't seem to exist?
  • Users don't seem to be able to customise their buttons individually, it must be via the user profile that they are assigned.
  • Booting the system. It says it is ready and can be logged in to., but you have to leave it for another 5 minutes before you can log in to it?
  • The spreadsheet import is good, but is missing some fields, and there isn't much clarity on it. On a system with a small number of users it's not so bad to have to go in and set the pin, but if you have 200 users this would take quite a while.
  • Install/upgrade time. Whilst this hasn't cropped up yet, we have another box here that has had to be rebuilt and took a hell of a lot longer than it should do to re-install the OS.

Those are my issues from what I have discovered so far. There is some really basic things that the 20 year old system that we are replacing this with can do, but this doesn't even come close to doing.

I know you said that this is a rough diamond, but it's not like releases are regular and a problem is solved in a short amount of time.

A system that goes in now has to live with the issues for a decent amount of time and hope that some of this basic functionality is implemented in the next release, otherwise you then have to start looking at the same amount of time again and hope again that it makes it in to the one after that...

Wow, it is great to hear all about this and the experience from others seems similar, from:

I too am interested in where Cisco are trying to place this product. Questions in my mind are:

* With an interface far removed from CUCM and CME, is this a whole new call control platform?

* No BRI support and FXO only available via SPA gateway (Why not ISR gateways, again asks questions about this being a new call control platform)

* Why the complicated licensing mechanism and levels for the handset features and models? Very confusing

* The Hardware does not support HA (When you hit over 200+ handsets surley you would want this)

* The hardware does not use Cisco DSP (Texas Instruments instead)

* The hardware uses SATA, given requirements to be reliable I would have thought SAS would be more suitable with redundant power options?

* SIP only handsets, SCCP for me offers more overall endpoint functions (each to their own I guess)

* Why no native SIP trunk capability? Must use Border Elements (Which I generally don't mind doing on larger builds, but for simple tasks seems excessive)

* I too raise the overly simplistic AA and there seems to be no mention of IVR and DB support.

* Why does it not configure the same as CUCME or CUCM (Or simplified versions)

* Why no CLI for gurus

All these to me ask the question, why is it so expensive? and what markets are they chasing here?

I cannot see a VM to e-mail via SMTP (IMAP seems supported) but documentation is not clear (and that is overall too)

VM to e-mail via SMTP can be done straight out of the box. I haven't checked the doco for it, but it is there in the GUI and intuitive to configure, so didn't have a need to reference the doco in that case.

That is good to know, thanks.

I am reading through so many posts from engineers everywhere, WOW there is a lot of work needed on this.

Some nice reading though that SRST is coming.

I did not realise that people cannot retain theire existing investment in handsets if they move to BE3K for older handsets such as 7940 etc. This has been a big seller for Cisco in my deals, longer life spans out of investments, customers do eventually upgrade the handsets over time, but when they have an existing investment in Cisco they seem to like to leverage this as much as possible.

The 7942G handset is supported, but that appears to be the bottom end of the 7900 series that is supported.

From what i have heard the SRST functionality will be a while off yet, so I wouldn't get to excited too soon!

Level 1
Level 1

I've just gone live with our first (and only BE3000) and a few more key limitations & issues that i can add tothe mix:

Debugging: As with Michaels comments about no CLI; without CLI we are completely blind when things aren't working as expected.

I'm currently having an issue with outbound caller ID(on an Optus PRI - Australia)  The calling number presented to the remote party is the first number in the range, but i need it to be each indivuiduals DID.  Now i have checked all the settings, aksed optus to confirm they have their end setup correctly, but no luck.  Now normally i would debug an outbound call, check teh caller ID being passed to the ISDN is what i expect, then push it back to optus. As it stands i'm havng to blindly change "advanced" settings for outbound calls on the ISDN config to see if any of them affect the outgoing calling party number.  It's infuriating as a qualified voice engineer not being able to troubleshoot such a simple issue properly.

On that note: if any of you guys have deployed a BE3000 with an Optus PRI(Australia) and can confirm outbound calling number presentation works and the settings you have i'd really appreciate it.

Removing speed-dials: you can't!   if you setup a speed dial, then want to remove it, you can't.  If you try and blank out the fields it won't let you save them as they have to be populated.

Hi Adam,

Have you got the protocol type set to "PRI EURO"?

Also you should have the Called Party IE type Unkown set to Unkown. All the others can be left at default from what I have experienced.

Hi Martyn,

Yes & yes.  I've tried varing the other settings (Calling Party IE Type Unknown, etc) just to see.  But no luck.

It may well be an issue with Optus, but i prefer to be sure of my config before getting onto them.

Have you setup a BE3000 with an Optus PRI and been able to present the calling number you define under the users "external" number field. If you have then I'll feel confident about pushing it back to Optus to resolve.


I haven't done a Optus install unfortunately, more so as the company I am with is a Telstra partner, but that doens't limit us to just Telstra installs. I'm sure I'll come across one at some stage.

I have installed a BE3K with OPTUS Multiline and CLI does work. Set the PRI config as the tech notes and also define the users external number field and it will work. If no result with these settings I would think OPTUS problem?


Thanks Paul,Thats exaclty what I have configured, so i can now go back to Optus to get a resolution.

Level 1
Level 1

I found this thread after searching for info on how to setup a few items (documentation is poor in some areas).

We just finished getting one of these up and going for a customer and it was a total nightmare like several others have mentioned. The first unit we brought in died after a week with a chirping hard drive. I had open a TAC case and get logs for the unit before they'd overnight me a replacement. That was a little difficult time wise when it'd only lockup every 24-48 hours.

However, I ran a backup from the system thinking I could just load it onto the replacement box. That completely did not work. I spent two weeks with the TAC trying to figure out why it couldn't restore. Eventually I found out that if the hostname isn't configured the same on the old and new, it won't work. So I updated the hostname in the xml file with the restore and it then did the restore......but CUE broke. So, I had to do a complete factory restore which is done by the CD included with the product. Note, that CD is your ONLY place to get the restore files for 8.6.4. If you toss discs that come with products like most, you'll be out of luck down the road. Also note, it takes 6 HOURS TO RESTORE FROM CD. Now that the whole restore process is over I'm very concerned that no backup we make will really work on a different box. My understanding is we'll have to completely start over again if the unit fails. I'd really like this addressed ASAP.

After the restore I had the continuation of the licensing pains. All of the licenses had to be reissued as they're locked to the MAC address of the unit. I originally opened a case with the TAC but emailed my AM who was kind enough to show me they could be easily reissued through a website. the TAC got back to me the next day asking for all the box and license information so they could assist. It would be nice if they would just pass along the website link. Furthermore, this should really be in the documentation.

Lastly, I'm surprised that vmail to email doesn't support any authentication whatsoever. What are most doing to get around this? Under System Notifications it has full secure email support. Why couldn't that simply be under Voicemail as well? Clearly the capability is in there.

Sorry for the rant and tone but this was more frustrating than any PBX setup, even the free Asterisk solutions.


Sorry to hear about the problems you faced. Regarding restore, it is required the IP address, hostname and software version shuold be same between the servers from which backup and taken and to which restore is done. It is mentioned in the admin guide:

The restore of data failed
Problem One of the following issues may have occurred:

    • The software version that was running during the backup was not the exact same software version that was running during the restore.

    • After the backup, you changed the hostname of the server before you ran the restore.

    • A problem occurred with the SFTP server.

      Solution Perform any of the following tasks:

    • Verify that the software version that is running during the restore exactly matches the software version

      that was running when you ran the backup.

    • Verify that the hostname of the server was not changed before you ran the restore. The restore fails if the hostname that is included in the backup tar file does not match the hostname that is configured on the server.

    • If you used a SFTP server, verify that the network connection is good. Verify that you entered the user credentials correctly on the Restore page. Verify that you have space on the SFTP server. Verify that you have access to the folder on the SFTP server where the backup tar file is stored.

Regarding security for voicemail to email, the server is shipped with software on which we can encrypt any user payload. This is because of export control restriction in certain countries. Since voicemail to email is user data, there is no security on it.

System notification carries system data and hence with existing certification, that data can be secured.



Thanks for the quick reponse. Regarding the following:

Sanjay Sinha wrote:

Regarding security for voicemail to email, the server is shipped with software on which we can encrypt any user payload. This is because of export control restriction in certain countries. Since voicemail to email is user data, there is no security on it.

System notification carries system data and hence with existing certification, that data can be secured.


That might make sense from a Cisco perspective but it doesn't work in the real world. Even using plain text authentication would be fine for the emails. The reality is that no companies setup open relay email servers that require no authentication whatsoever as that's how spam relays get created. The UC500 products allow authentication, why not the BE3K?

Level 1
Level 1

Just cut over a BE3000 this week and came across a few more issues to add to Thanh's list:

1. Hunt group timer can't be modified;

There is no way to modify hunt group timer on BE3K GUI. By default it's 10s definitely too short for real business environment.

2. Soft key layout on handsets can't be modified;

While the call is connected, 7962 handset’s "transfer" softkey is on 2nd page of soft key. I can't find anywhere to move soft key layout in BE3K GUI.

3. Potential Toll fraud threat in voicemail system;

Anyone can dial into voicemail system from external number as long as he can type in correct user id & password. We all know how easy to login to personal voicemail box if one of voicemail users forgot to change the default password. Once logged on, you can modify transfer rule to an international number.

Bad news is there is no way to disable this on BE3000. The suggestion from Cisco ATM is to force user to change the voicemail password. But the truth is when user first time initials his voicemail mail , BE3k voicemail system doesn't give a prompt for user to change the password as other SMB PBX such as UC500; First time voicemail wizard only requires recorded name and greetings, that’s all.

By the way, if you go to setup option to change default password after voicemail initialized , you will hear the prompt saying the minimum digits for voicemail password requirement of BE3000 is 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!   

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