Toshiba General Manager Tim Webb, “MTV brings real distributor value-add to the channel and their profile fits our products, where the products are positioned and where they are going. We have great technology but are punching below our weight in the UK market and needed a partner who could make the investment in training and position our products at all levels. If you take applications for example our call and contact centre solutions are extremely powerful and flexible.”
Jim Robertson, Commercial Director at MTV Telecom believes that the Toshiba product set has moved on at a fast pace over the last 12 months and that its inclusion in their product portfolio will further enhance his push to develop new income streams from the more traditionally data-centric reseller community.
In terms of product positioning the Strata CIX is a flexible set of products that can be deployed in both hybrid and pure IP plays. Webb, “I see the flexibility in Strata CIX coming from having all our PBX features being mapped on as standard. This means that resellers can ask their customers ‘how do you want to take a call and route it through your organisation?’ Adaptation of the Strata to customer requirements, where the user is not forced to take a vanilla version, is a key benefit.
“When you move into the solutions sale then cost becomes less of an issue as the user realises the business benefits. Features such as cradle to grave call reporting and integrated call recording are powerful as is our QSig over IP which provides integration to third party PBX systems. With regards to IP networking of systems Strata CIX work in peer to peer applications using for example VPN connectivity. SIP trunks are on the road map and will be available later this year.”
In terms of a product launch MTV Telecom is replicating a model that has worked for them and the channel before. Robertson, “Key to the successful introduction of any new product is getting in place the support services and resources. Resellers need to know that a distributor can support their sales team effectively and that technically they will be on solid ground. Training has been under way here for some time and we will have in place a dedicated account management team to champion the Strata CIX.
“The Toshiba products are priced very competitively but we do not see that as the main driver. At the product seminars we will be holding throughout the UK resellers will see many more reasons to sell the Strata CIX.
“Toshiba has huge brand recognition in the market which will be an advantage to resellers as will the company’s reputation for solid build quality and product reliability. Customers are hard enough to win and the last thing any reseller wants is niggling doubts about a product they are selling.
“We hear all the time that vendors are channel friendly and that is clearly a relative term. With Toshiba however we have seen real desire to commit their own resources to make their appointment of MTV Telecom a success. Most recently they have announced an expansion of their own account management team.
“Toshiba Strata CIX offers resellers a great opportunity to migrate their own business to IP at a pace that suits them and their customers. The product range is complete in that CIX 100 handles up to 112 extensions and the CIX 200 and 670 models address 200 and 670 extensions respectively. For smaller users Toshiba is set to announce a CIX 40 product with all products having the same feature software.”
MTV Telecom Chairman Martin Hatcher concluded “MTV Telecom has established itself as a major distributor of converged communications by delivering world-class products combined with market-leading support services. The addition of Toshiba’s Strata CIX 200 to our portfolio will further strengthen our proposition for resellers and end-users alike. The CIX 200 brings Toshiba’s excellent reputation for delivering consistently robust and reliable products into the pure-IP market. And combined with our partner relationships and understanding of customer needs I’m certain the product will be a great success.”
The last word went to Webb, “Our aim at Toshiba is to enhance our highly successful and sustainable channel community by delivering excellent benefits to partners and customers. MTV Telecom has both the market expertise and trusted reseller relationships to help us execute this strategy for the growing converged communications market. We’re looking forward to a long and successful relationship.”
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