Samsung 7030 OfficeServ Review – IP PBX for the Microbusiness Market
Samsung OfficeServ 7030 Phone System Review
In developing the OfficeServ 7000 series of on-premises PBX solutions, global electronics giant Samsung set out to, in its own words, ‘level the playing field’ in business telecommunications.
The aim was to provide a series of products offering easy continuity from the smallest businesses up into the midmarket which all offered Enterprise-quality VoIP features in a readily scalable, easy to integrate system.
The result was five IP-PBX servers in the OfficeServ 7000 range, which offer advanced voice, data and wireless communication capabilities for four to 480 users from a single platform. All four units share interface modules, software applications and terminal support.
With multisite networking capabilities, the OfficeServ 7000 series can be deployed for up to 1000 users, extending the range from microbusinesses all the way up to those looking at breaking through to enterprise level operations.
The OfficeServ 7030 is the baby of the family. Samsung would no doubt resist the description ‘entry level’ because, it claims, the 7030 shares 99 per cent of the features and functionality of its more expansive cousins. The key difference is that the OfficeServ 7030 is intended for the smallest customers, and offers the smallest number of endpoints.
The concept is certainly appealing in its championing of communications equality. Here is a product aimed at the very smallest businesses, with a pricepoint and straightforward deployment options to match, intended to deliver the same level of sophistication as organisations many times their size would expect from an IP-PBX.
With a combination of legacy and advanced IP and SIP telephony support, Samsung claims that the 7030 offers an economically viable option for small businesses to embrace the latest technologies, while offering the cost and efficiency savings IP and SIP deliver. As well as protecting investment and reducing the total cost of ownership of a telephone system for a small business, the 7030 also provides a ready route to scale up to the other models in the series, from a single site to branching out to distributed operations.
In this review, we will ask whether the OfficeServ 7030 is able to deliver on these fine sentiments, whether it does indeed deliver enterprise level features and quality to microbusinesses, and, importantly, whether it delivers the communications solutions which matter most to the smallest businesses.
As always, the views contained in this review are the opinions of the author only. UC Today is a completely independent resource for the UC industry, and does not play any role in endorsing, marketing or promoting any particular products or brands.
What Can It Do?
The OfficeServ 7030 is a hybrid IP PBX server. It comes in a 12.5” enclosed chassis, with all ports and connection points neatly packed inside a closed black case with a removable front panel. It can be stacked with a maximum of two chassis in tandem.
In terms of endpoints, it can operate 16 IP phones or wireless handsets simultaneously, and also offers connections for up to eight digital phones and 10 analogue phones. In all, it can run 20 stations at once. It also supports up to eight SIP trunks or SPNet trunks, and four analogue trunks. With two voicemail ports available, the total number of stations, trunks and mail connections available at once is 30 – hence the name 7030.
A broad range of Samsung desk phones can be run from the server – it is compatible with the SMT-i5243, SMT-i5230, SMT-i5210 and SMT-i3105 IP phones, plus the DS-5021D, DS-5014D and DS-5007S digital phones and the SMT-W5120 wireless phone.
The modular architecture and shared software means the 7030 is fully interoperable with other units in the OfficeServ 7000 range, so there is no need for it to become redundant as a business grows. SPNet trunking allows the 7030 to be networked with other 7000 series servers at remote offices, meaning it can ultimately form part of a communication system of up to 1000 users.
Core features include auto attendant, Caller ID with name and number, Uniform Call Distribution (UCD), call sequencing and call recording, meaning even the smallest businesses can benefit from contact centre features delivering efficient and responsive call handling.
There is support for mobile and wireless integration which allows for greater flexibility in accessing the system both on- and off-premises. Wireless handsets and PDAs can link straight into the system through the 16 available wireless ports – if a business wanted to, it could run its whole VoIP network via wireless devices.
A mobile extension application, OfficeServ Connect, allows all users on the system to pair a mobile phone to the network, so they will receive calls to their office number on their mobile when they are out of the office.
Connect also allows ring groups to be set up on mobiles so someone is also available to pick up incoming calls.
With the OfficeServ Communicator softphone app, VoIP features can also be accessed from a computer. On a laptop, this also means the IP network can be accessed remotely via an internet connection. Similarly, home worker IP phones can be connected through the internet, further extending flexibility for remote working.
Finally, the optional voicemail platform comes with an email gateway, which can be configured with Microsoft Outlook so voice messages are sent to your inbox.
What do we like?
The flexibility of endpoint support makes the 7030, at its price point, a very attractive option for its target market. If you already run a number of digital or analogue phones, it isn’t a bad price for a small PBX anyway, with the option to then get on board with IP phones, and all the cost efficiencies VoIP brings.
The provision of contact centre features like UCD, call sequencing and call recording is a positive feature bringing the benefits of larger telephony systems to smaller business users. Equally, the ready integration with wireless and mobile is a great feature to help small businesses become more flexible in their communications.
Who is it for?
The number of available extensions says it all – this is an IP PBX for very small businesses, especially those wishing to experience the benefits of IP telephony at a price they can afford.
What is it compatible with?
Through SPNet trunking, the OfficeServ 7030 can be easily configured with other OfficeServ units to expand capabilities on a single site or become part of a multisite network.
How much does it cost?
The UK recommended RRP is £200.00, with expansion and extension modules ranging from £25.00 to £155.00.
UC Today Opinion
The idea of an IP PBX server suite that starts out with four users at a single site and can be scaled up to 1000 users in a multisite network has a certain romance to it, and with the unified interface and applications, plus the SPNet trunking, there is no reason to doubt the OfficeServ 7000 series can do that.
There is a certain amount of smoke and mirrors going on with Samsung’s marketing of the product, however. How many businesses starting out with a handful of employees then growing towards the midmarket would keep a server with a maximum of 16 endpoints as part of their communications network is questionable.
And Samsung’s claim that the 7030 shares ‘99 per cent’ of features found in the rest of the 7000 series doesn’t stack up with the fact that it doesn’t support the same OfficeServ software applications the other units do, and so doesn’t offer a large chunk of the features available to larger businesses.
That said, the OfficeServ 7030 is good at what it does, and at a very attractive price. It does make migration to VoIP from digital or analogue phones very easy, it does allow small businesses to run hybrid systems, it does offer wireless and mobile integration.
As a first dabble in IP and SIP telephony, the OfficeServ 7030 is a robust, affordable and quality solution. Just don’t expect it to arrive with a full range of enterprise UC features – it sticks to PBX and that is about it.
Have you used the OfficeServ 7030 in your business? What did you see as its main strengths? Were you happy with the flexibility it offered, or would you have liked to have seen more features? Or if you are a reseller, what do your customers have to say? Please leave your comments below, we always appreciate your contributions. And feel free to share this article on social media and invite friends and colleagues to get involved too.