Panasonic KX-NSX2000 Review – Simplifying Multisite PBX Solutions
Panasonic KX-NSX2000 Phone System Review
As one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of consumer electronic goods, Panasonic may be better known for its televisions than its telephones. However, the Japanese multinational giant is nothing if not diverse in its product range, and business communication hardware is just one of the many strings to its considerable bow.
The KX-NSX2000 is one of a range of on-premises IP-PBX servers produced by the company. Launched in 2016 alongside its sister KX-NSX1000 model, the NSX2000 is the enterprise offering in the Panasonic range, with more extensions available and more trunking options than any other product in the Panasonic stable.
Panasonic bills the NSX2000 as part of the ‘next generation’ of IP-PBX servers. Fully SIP enabled, it is positioned as offering a full spectrum of UC solutions with maximum flexibility to meet the demands of the modern workplace. Panasonic talks about the NSX2000 as being designed to meet the needs of the modern ‘fragmented workforce’, with mobile and remote office extensions featuring high on the feature list.
Other key claims centre around scalability and reliability. The KX-NSX2000 is meant to make it as straightforward to add a new branch extension to the network as it is a new user, as simple to configure a home office as it is a call centre. Even when set up as part of an extended network across multiple sites, the KX-NSX2000 is should allow simple administration from a single central GUI, and includes a number of failover protocols which can distribute function support and keep a network running even when a main server is down.
Finally, the NSX2000 is billed as a business communications solution which puts the user first, wherever they operate from and however they work. Multiple devices can be set up on single extensions for maximum flexibility and mobility, or otherwise single endpoints can be run on separate extensions.
In this review, we’ll assess just how far the KX-NSX2000 goes to meet the needs of the modern enterprise with a distributed workforce across various sites, with flexible working patterns and evolving communications needs. Please bear in mind before we start, this review is the opinion of the author only. UC Today does not play any role in selling any particular brand, we are here to bring a completely independent service to our readers.
What Can It Do?
The Panasonic KX-NSX2000 is an IP and SIP enabled standalone PBX server which comes in a 17” chassis. The connection points are very simple – three LAN ports, a MTN port and a USB hub. It supports a maximum of 2000 users, with 960 available IP or SIP trunks and a maximum of 32 sites.
The NSX2000 is not intended to be stacked with other units, and a single server delivers the maximum number of extensions and trunks available. It is, however, readily connected with other servers in the KX-NS series via LAN, acting as a master unit for controlling and running multisite networks.
This centralised management of communications offers several benefits. It saves money by treating calls between branches as internal calls, and means all messaging systems, office directories and other UC functions are shared. It also means there is no need to have an administrator at every site – everything can be controlled centrally from a single hub.
All of the usual business PBX functions are built into the KX-NSX2000 as standard. It supports Panasonic IP and SIP desktop phones such as those in the KX-NT500 and KX-HDV ranges, plus the KX-TCA DECT range. It also supports the KX-NTV150 IP camera and KX-NTV-160 IP video door phone. These can be linked to KX-HDV video phones to provide live streams to the desktop.
Users have plenty of flexibility with the NSX2000. They can add multiple devices to their own personal extension; for example a mobile phone and a laptop as well as their own office desktop phone, allowing them to make and receive calls remotely using their office number.
Multiple users can also log on and use the same extension with full access to their own personal settings, contacts and voicemail – ideal for hot-desking. This is all made possible by the My Portal web-based interface, which gives access to the telephone network from anywhere via an internet connection.
Access to features is provided by a licensing system, broken down into three broad categories – normal user, mobile user and advanced user. A normal user license provides the option to run a desktop and DECT phone on the same extension, taking advantage of the multi-zone wireless system built into the server for extra mobility in the workplace. A mobile user license allows for an additional mobile device to be added, while advanced users also get an extra ‘sub device’.
All user licenses come with Panasonic’s Unified Messaging platform, a mailbox which integrates voicemail, fax and email. Voice messages and faxes can be received by email, and there is an automatic call recording feature. Advanced users can access other saved calls or listen live for monitoring and compliance purposes.
The KX-NSX2000 also comes with the UC Pro application suite installed, which is again accessed on a licensed basis. UC Pro offers a full suite of unified communication tools via a software platform available on desktop, tablet and mobile. It includes audio, video and IM chat options and presence management, plus integration with Microsoft Outlook, allowing users to synchronise availability with Outlook Calendar. UC Pro also offers another option for accessing the network remotely and on different devices – if one mobile device is registered as an extension IP endpoint, another can run the UC Pro suite, doubling your access options.
The final set of feature options relate to contact and call centre capabilities. The KX-NSX2000 has built in Automatic Voice Guidance, ensuring external callers are kept notified of their position in the queue. Call monitoring and call history reports allow supervisors to keep track of call handling and call status in real time, and produce reports as required analysing customer service data.
Finally, the KX-NSX2000 offers a number of advanced backup and support options. It supports a 1 + 1 redundancy system with a primary and secondary networked server, so if the primary server goes down, the secondary server can temporarily keep the communications system going. In a multisite network, individual units can also switch to operate as standalone systems in the event of a failover, keeping local communications online. The network can also be linked into the Panasonic cloud, allowing for remote maintenance and quick recovery at anytime.
What do we like?
The multiple site networking and centralised management systems are as easy to deploy and run as you can find, taking full advantage of the plug and play capabilities offered by IP and SIP networks. This is complemented by the failover protocols, crucial when businesses need to keep communications running no matter what. The remote maintenance and system reset options offered via the Panasonic cloud are also innovative, introducing elements of service-based IP telephony into an on-premises solution.
Who is it for?
The KX-NSX2000 is best suited to businesses at the top end of the mid-market, and smaller enterprises. With up to 2000 users and a strong focus on multiple site networking, it perfectly suits the business which is just reaching enterprise level, looking for a cost effective, easy to manage communications system as it expands into having multi-regional and multinational branches. It also suits existing large businesses looking to integrate communication between branches better and save money. With the range of features available, it is probably more suited to businesses requiring an internal communications solution rather than those with extensive outbound and inbound call operations.
What is it compatible with?
The UC Pro application suite integrates with Microsoft Outlook, allowing it to share the contacts directory and synchronise presence with meetings scheduled in Calendar. It also supports Lotus and Datasource.
Where to buy and for how much?
The UK RRP for the main server unit is in the region of £5,400 (searches throws up different figures close to that mark), with many resellers offering sizeable discounts. The KX-NSX2000 is a modular system with access to features governed by a system of user licenses, so purchasing those has to be factored into overall costs.
UC Today Opinion
Flexibility seems to be the watchword in modern communications systems, and the NSX2000 delivers on that front. It provides plenty of options for the growing mid-market business or smaller enterprises to embrace the contemporary trend towards distributed workforces.
Its strongest points are the multisite branching options, which make full use of IP and SIP to enable easy network convergence and centralised management. This makes long distance internal communication cheap, reliable and readily scalable. Failover and maintenance protocols are also robust, with Panasonic cloud support adding a service element which will speed up and reduce costs for system configuration and recovery.
With mobile integration plus the flexibility offered by the UC Pro platform, this distributed networking extends beyond multiple sites – if you had to sum up one main purpose for the NSX2000, it would probably be to create an on-premises server solution which followed the user, allowing always on availability from anywhere.
Have you had experiences using the KX-NSX2000 yet? What are your thoughts? Or if you are a reseller stocking the system, what are your views? As always, please share them in the comments section below, and feel free to share this article on social media with friends and colleagues.