Will Waters, business development director at Mitel has told Comms Business Magazine that a year on from the Convergence Summit 2006 he have seen a significant growth in the development of Hosted IP telephony, with all of his service partners seeing an increased deployment of these seats.
“Hosted IP telephony is very much a key strategy for Mitel and we are working in partnerships both in-house and with strategic partners such as Sun Microsystems to realise this. Moving to an IP hosted phone model gives the user the opportunity to subscribe to new services, as has been seen in the consumer market with the packages from Virgin and Sky. The same principle applies in business, where all business services could be remotely managed by a hosted channel partner making it affordable for organisations of all sizes to access and benefit from the latest IP applications.
The initial uptake as predicted has been with large retail outlets and pubs, which are taking advantage of online and hosted gaming. There has been less cross over into the large corporate market, however those first to market will gain significant business benefits.
One of the key reasons for the uptake and success of the hosted space to date is due to better access to Broadband including Wi-Fi and fixed services. Many carriers are deploying robust systems to penetrate this market enabling resellers to take advantage of this opportunity with the price points making it a viable option for many of their clients. This provides not only a great market opportunity for the channel but customers will also benefit from significant cost savings.
The next stage for Hosted IP telephony is to continue to inform resellers and customers about the added value it affords. Here lies a key opportunity for the channel to pre-manage customer expectations and offer care maintenance during the migration process.
At Mitel we have in place a key product map which enables us to assist any size of company to migrate to Hosted IP telephony with minimal disruption. This can also help resellers present the business case for upgrading their existing systems to IP telephony and offer other services.
Once the switch to Hosted IP telephony has been made the possibilities are endless and we have only scratched the surface of what business benefits this could bring for both the channel and its customers. Moving forward organisations need to develop and implement dual strategies to operate both by CPE and Hosted systems if they want to stay ahead of the game.”