Want to Make VOIP Portable? Plantronics Says Stick It in Your Ear!

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

Plantronics' CS70N wireless headset system brings features and functionality to those looking to cut the handset out of the picture.

It is no surprise that voice over IP is all the rage for business both big and small, and it is no surprise that VOIP can bring strong profits and ongoing revenue to VARs. But what is surprising is that an advanced technology such as VOIP is saddled with phones and handsets that came out of the 1990s.

Luckily, those corded handsets offer some opportunity for VOIP integrators in the form of accessories, and if you are interested in selling accessories, Plantronics is a name you need to know.

Plantronics’ products have been known to the business world for decades. The company has been making speakerphone accessories, headsets and Bluetooth products for years and has become a favorite among many PBX/business phone system installers.

For VARs delving into the VOIP market, Plantronics offers some interesting products that are real margin builders. Take for example the CS70N Professionals Wireless Headset System, a noise-cancelling headset that lists for $409 (street price of about $190). The CS70N integrates many technologies that make it a natural choice for those looking to cut the cords on their wired VOIP phones. 

The product combines a noise-canceling microphone, lightweight headset, long-range wireless and long battery life to create a comfortable, reliable headset that most any user would be happy with.

Users will find installation a snap; the unit offers several options for installation that will make it compatible with most corded desktop phones on the market. Most users will simply plug the base station into the headset jack on their phone and be up and running in a matter of minutes. If the phone doesn’t support a headset, not to worry: The unit can be plugged in between the phone’s handset and base. An optional handset lifter can be used to automatically lift the phone off the hook for incoming and outgoing calls. Users will appreciate the excellent sound quality offered by the unit. The noise-canceling microphone makes speech crisp and clear, even in a noisy environment, such as a factory or warehouse. The earpiece is plenty loud enough and offers an integrated volume control.

The unit offers a four-position switch to adjust the call quality, and Plantronics has an automated toll free number to call that is used to test the device and find the optimal configuration. Other notable features include a low battery warning, an out-of-range warning and a mute control.

VARs will find that the CS70N offers a quick and easy way to cut the cord on a VOIP system, offer new features for customers and bring in some additional profit on a VOIP installation. Plantronics offers a simple partner program that includes training, support, rebates and high margins.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com