Ray Pitchforth, marketing manager at distributor ICON says if you avoid going head to head with the majors and the unified communications market offers opportunities for the independent reseller.
“The solutions offered by the likes of Cisco and Microsoft do not always address the needs or functionality required by end users. This is particularly true in FAX and SMS messaging applications where the specialist unified messaging products offer greater functionality and flexibility than the applications integrated with the solutions provided by the majors.
These products are extremely powerful in their application. For example MESSAGEmanager distributed by ICON in the UK integrates the separate communications applications into existing business software to provide a cost effective, unified, and managed messaging capability. It adds in-bound and out-bound Email, Fax, and SMS services to business applications and scales from meeting the communication needs of a small business or department to providing the diverse requirements of an enterprise-wide solution.
Whilst FAX has declined in general and been replaced by email there is still a large use of FAX by those sectors of the economy which rely on the one characteristic of FAX which email does not provide – that is confirmation of delivery. Sectors such as the banking industry rely on fax as a cornerstone of their business processes. In such industries, as elsewhere, the use of standalone fax machines is declining as companies replace them with a solution which will integrate with the desktop and provide an enterprise wide message management solution.
In these applications there is a latent demand for a management solution, often at an enterprise level, which integrates with the desktop applications. This means that the reseller is most often dealing with a customer who is fully committed to buying a unified messaging system and, because payback periods can be 6 months or less, there are few who object on the grounds of poor or insufficient ROI.”