Monthly Archives: May 2012

Deutsche Telekom launches first M2M Marketplace

Bonn, May 30, 2012

 Business customer solutions for machine-to-machine communication can be ordered worldwide simply via the Internet
 Products ranging from hardware and apps to full-package solutions available for nine industry segments
 Greater security, convenience and efficiency thanks to international
e-commerce platform
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Deutsche Telekom today launched its M2M Marketplace https://marketplace.m2m.telekom.com/. It is a platform for manufacturers and dealers from around the world to offer their hardware, software, apps and full-package solutions relating to M2M communication. In future, Deutsche Telekom will also offer the requisite SIM cards and SIM chips via the M2M Marketplace. The Marketplace provides vendors with another attractive, global distribution channel for their M2M products in addition to their own sales channels. Interested customers can simply and conveniently compare offers on an international scale and cover their individual M2M needs from the broad range on offer or alternatively purchase a full-package solution.

“Our M2M Marketplace makes it easy for our partners to market their offers around the world. Anyone looking for an M2M solution to optimize their business will find what they need on our Marketplace,” says Thomas Kiessling, Chief Product and Innovation Officer Deutsche Telekom. “The Marketplace brings together global supply and demand for M2M solutions in a straightforward way, thereby lending greater dynamism to M2M business.”

The various potential applications of M2M in a broad range of industries means many different partners have to work together to create individual solutions. The portal supports both solution providers and customers who want to optimize their business with the support of M2M.

Vendors put details of their hardware, software and industry apps on the portal, including a precise description and pictures of the product, or screenshots of the web interface. There is also the option of including technical documentation for download. Vendors can allocate their offers to the nine segments Energy, Healthcare, Transport & Logistics, Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Retail, Industrial Automation, Public Sector and Security.

During the launch phase vendors can offer their solutions free of charge with immediate effect until July 2, 2012. After that, the usual fees for online sales platforms will be chargeable, varying in accordance with the type of solution being sold. To begin with, the M2M Marketplace will be launched in English. Other languages are planned, as is expansion into the consumer market.

Deutsche Telekom AG
Corporate Communications

Tel.: +49 (0) 228 181 – 4949
E-mail: media@telekom.de

Media representatives can find further information at www.telekom.com/media and www.telekom.com/photos

http://twitter.com/deutschetelekom

About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with more than 129 million mobile customers, almost 34 million fixed-network lines and 17 million broadband lines (as of March 31, 2012). The Group provides fixed-network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers, and ICT solutions for business and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in around 50 countries and has over 235,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenue of EUR 58.7 billion in the 2011 financial year – over half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2011).

Drive Your Call Traffic With The TeleForwarding Dashboard

Can you imagine driving your car without a dashboard? Would you feel safe stepping into a vehicle without a dashboard monitoring & control mechanism? The most likely answer to these questions is: no, you would not. In this day and age we are so used to having mechanical devices that guide us daily over the roads and highways of our life, that we feel, and often are, less safe without the support of an automatic control panel. But, if this is the case, then why do we not also use such a dashboard for another important form of daily traffic: call traffic. TeleForwarding explains why a telephone dashboard is as essential as the control panel of your car.

TeleForwarding, a multinational telecom company offering inbound voice services such as toll free contact numbers, has over ten years of experience implementing a virtual telephone dashboard, the so-called IVR Manager. The online dashboard can be delivered with the toll free numbers implemented by TeleForwarding, but can also be installed for clients who already own a toll free number with another provider. This virtual control panel has many different functions that can be divided into four main categories: management, monitoring, control and special, tailored features. With these four functions the online dashboard transports your call traffic safely, quickly and easily, to its final destination. Thus, this mechanic device will support the flow of your call traffic while you yourself are holding the wheel.

But what does this mean concretely?

The first two functions of the TeleForwarding online dashboard are also the most obvious ones: management and monitoring. Let’s say that you are the owner of a universal international freephone number, a 00800 or UIFN number, that is activated in 10 different countries.

With the virtual dashboard you will be able to manage the various destination numbers behind this universal 00800 number. You might want to disconnect a destination number in Rio the Janeiro, for instance, and activate a destination number in São Paolo instead. With a virtual dashboard you will be able to do so in real-time and without the interference of a technical support agent, provided you have previously added the numbers to the dashboard system.

The monitoring function of this control panel allows for a more pro-active form of traffic management. With this tool you are able to monitor, for example, the call queue that is installed behind an international, 0800 (ITFN) or 00800 (UIFN) number. By monitoring this call queue you can easily spot an increase in the number of calls waiting to be answered. Obviously, you would want to prevent your call queues from turning into a traffic jam, for this would only frustrate and irritate your clients. As a good traffic supervisor using the online dashboard, you will be able to anticipate a possible traffic jam and take measures according to the capacities of your company; perhaps you could open more telephone lines, provided you have the number of employees necessary for this, or otherwise an expansion of the IVR menu might provide a solution. Thus, by monitoring your call traffic with the online dashboard, you will be able to deal with any changes in your call traffic in a flexible manner and prevent traffic chaos.

While monitoring the volume of your call traffic and managing the routes of your incoming calls, it will also be useful to be able to recognize regular changes or fluctuations in your call flow. For this reason, the TeleForwarding online dashboard includes a function that helps its user to create call reports. Such a report allows you to summon data about your call traffic, such as the number of calls that took place within a specific time frame and the duration of these calls. These data can then be exported as a CSV-file to Excel where it can be edited and adapted and where you can compare it with data from previous periods. If you own a call centre, for instance, and find it important that all calls are handled within 3 minutes, you can create call reports that highlight the duration of each incoming call. This way, the online dashboard provides you with the necessary information with which you can easily and quickly monitor the targets you have set for the handling your call traffic.

Of course it is always possible that you need information more specific to your particular business. If you have a toll free number in several countries, for instance, it could be useful to know the number of calls and their duration for each separate country. By creating a special reporting option in your personal dashboard, TeleForwarding ensures that you will get hold of this information.

Such tailored options, moreover, can entail much more than the creation of special call traffic reports. It is possible, for example, to indicate your company’s office ours and ‘instruct’ the online dashboard on when your employees are available to answer calls. With the help of a time/date routing extension, the online dashboard will then ensure that all calls coming in after business hours will be rerouted to other offices or will be answered by a recorded voice message. These messages, moreover, can easily be changed and adjusted by the dashboard operator without the interference of a technical support agent. This will give you full control over the content of the recorded voice message while also allowing you some flexibility with the time scheduling of this message within the time/date routing extension. Thereby, the dashboard will enable its administrator to be flexible and in control and will help your call centre to perform at its best.

This all sounds very well, doesn’t it? But what does it really mean for your business? Tarek Othman, manager technical operations at TeleForwarding International B.V., is happy to give a more concrete

example: “We have a customer who is active in the entertainment industry and owns a small company with a staff of three. These people provide their clients with information regarding special events in their industry and for this reason needed a premium rate number where their clients could reach them. However, they then received an extremely high number of calls and were unable to answer them all.”

“This client”, Mr. Othman explains, “ asked us if we could reduce the number of actual calls to the company but still give them the option to provide their clients with the information they wanted.” In order to realize this, TeleForwarding then created a special call script that incorporated a call menu. Each caller was given the choice to talk to an employee or to listen to a recorded message that contained the answers to many of the frequently asked questions relating a certain event. “And it worked”, Othman underlines, “for they were able to reduce the amount of calls they had to answer in person by 75%.” This freed up the time of the three employees and gave them the opportunity to further develop their business. Thereby, this solution presented and realized by TeleForwarding reduced the cost of this client and helped them to take their business to the next level.

Thus, using the TeleForwarding Dashboard with IVR management functions enables the owner of an international free phone, 00800, or toll free,

0800 number to observe and manage the routes of all incoming calls, monitor their speed and the amount of call traffic on each line while spotting trends and changes in the call flow. Thereby, you can manage and create the transportation network best suited to the call traffic of your company. With the special features of the virtual dashboard you can, moreover, create the necessary signposts (such as a call

menu) and place them next to the routes of your call highways, directing your callers to the right employee while you yourself function as traffic controller who is able to anticipate and prevent possible problems. Consequently, the online dashboard is a vital instrument that will drive your call traffic to its proper destination and helps the system to perform well.

Would you like to find out how our dashboard can optimize your call traffic and reduce your costs? Click right through to our website http://www.teleforwarding.co.uk/or call us (toll free and from any country) at 00800 00123456.

Mobile Fun extends international recruitment strategy

Italy joins retailer and Spanish office opens early

Birmingham, Mon 21 May 2012 – Mobile Fun, the UK’s leading online retailer of mobile accessories, has today announced the further roll-out of its strategy to base international managers at the company’s headquarters in Birmingham, prior to opening additional websites across Europe.

Following the successful pilot of the new strategy with its recently-recruited Spanish and Dutch managers, Vanesa Nunez and Robin Verschuren, Mobile Fun has hired Italian manager Teresa Gualtieri.  For an initial six months, Teresa will be based in the UK, to focus on localising the Italian website while undergoing a thorough training and induction process, before returning to Italy to manage the set-up of Mobile Fun’s Italian office.

Mobile Fun Italy (www.mobilefun.it) is the company’s sixth international website in the past four years and joins Mobile Fun’s already established presence within the UK, Germany, France, Spain and The Netherlands.

Richard Moore, Mobile Fun’s Head of International, said: “This is an exciting phase for Mobile Fun’s continued international expansion. Our strategy of sharing the experience and resources of our UK team with the local knowledge and skills of native-speaking managers has certainly paid off. Our first UK-based international manager, Vanesa Nunez, flew back to her native country to establish our Spanish office well ahead of the 12 month period we had initially anticipated. This has dramatically reduced our initial funding, to produce an early and lucrative return on investment.”

Mobile Fun’s Dutch website was launched only weeks after its Spanish one and is yet another website managed by a native-speaker, Robin Verschuren, who will relocate back to The Netherlands over the next few months to set up an on-the-ground team. Mobile Fun Netherlands has shown the same rapid growth as Mobile Fun Spain, under the guidance and support of the experienced UK Team, and is just one of many international websites planned over the next year.

Richard Moore explains: “We are currently the top etailer of mobile accessories in the UK and over the next 12 months we have similar plans for a number of International sites across Europe and the rest of the World. The international market is a major growth driver for Mobile Fun, with international sales accounting for over 25% of our total orders. Although our continuing expansion is a bold move in the current economic climate, having our international managers come over to the UK to work with our UK team has certainly benefited the launch of our Spanish, Dutch and Italian websites. The last 12 months have been extremely productive and profitable for Mobile Fun and we have learned a lot from our new international managers being based here in the UK.”

All six of Mobile Fun’s international websites showcase the company’s recently refreshed brand and offer a range of over 8,000 must-have mobile accessories.

– ENDS –

About Mobile Fun

Mobile Fun is the UK’s leading Internet retailer offering a market leading range of accessories for mobile phones, tablets and other mobile devices from its growing portfolio of websites in the UK and in Europe.

With a product range of over 8,000 globally-sourced mobile accessories and tens of thousands of mobile downloads available on its websites, Mobile Fun has successfully established a market-leading position within the competitive mobile, smartphone and tablet sectors.

Mobile Fun has offices in the UK, Germany and France and delivers products to over 50 countries worldwide.

Mobile Fun was ranked as the UK’s 7th ‘Fastest Growing Technology Based Company’ in the Sunday Times 2006 Microsoft Tech Track 100, was awarded the ‘Online Retailer of the Year’ title at the Mobile News Awards 2011 then again in 2012 and won the Online Retail Awards 2011 ‘Computers and Telecommunications’ category.

 

 

iTwin Easy and Secure USB VPN Solution

Like a Limitless Capacity Secure USB Drive.

The iTwin is a revolutionary USB device that allows users to access files remotely. iTwin allows you to securely access your entire hard drive. It’s as if you are carrying an access-key to all your files in a device that fits in the palm of your hand. And unlike portable storage, iTwin lets your data stay put safely at home. iTwin is plug and play. Plug one half into an online computer and the other half into any other online computer and you are connected! View, copy, edit, and upload files to your computer. Data in transit is protected by robust AES 256 encryption. If you lose one half of iTwin, you can remotely disable that half. Your data resides on your computer not on someone else’s cloud server. iTwin works with Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows 7 ( both 32-bit and 64-bit versions), and Mac OS X 10.6 and above. It uses the familiar Windows Explorer, with drag’n’drop functionality. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to configure.

  • Plug and play remote file access device that securely allows you to transfer files between computers
  • Share the contents of your entire hard drive and access them remotely via a military grade secure connection
  • Remotely edit your files and folders. Stream all your music, videos and photos between the two computers
  • Remotely disable your iTwin if either half is lost
  • Supports Windows XP, Vista and 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 and above
  • Dimensions: 0.82″W x 0.314″D x 3.54″L
  • 2 year limited warranty

 

iTwin

iTwin

Simple and Safe Remote Access

iTwin is the world’s first “limitless” secure USB device for remote file access and sharing. iTwin combines the security of military-grade AES-256 bit encryption with the simplicity of a plug ‘n’ play flash drive. Instantly access any or all of your files between any two online computers around the world.

Just plug one half into one computer and the other half into another – and you’ve created a private tunnel to share your files, folders, videos, and more!

How it Works

Step 1

Plug iTwin into a USB port and drag and drop your files and folders

Step 2

Detach one half

 

Step 3

Plug that half into another computer and remotely access your files via the internet – securely

 

Features

“Limitless” Capacity

Don’t know what files you might need access to later? No problem. iTwin allows you to share all the folders on your computer’s hard drive and securely access them later. It’s as if you are carrying an access-key to all your files in a device that fits in the palm of your hand.

Unlike portable storage, iTwin does not store any anything on itself. It lets your data stay safely at home (or in the office).

 

Remote Editing

Remotely edit any shared file from any location. Those reports you were working on at the office can be finished on the road. Just take one half with you and instantly access and edit the files from your laptop. Or work directly on one shared version of a report with a colleague. Say goodbye to multiple versions of files flying around by email. Say goodbye to the headaches of needless re-work. Say hello to iTwin.

 

Data Backup

Backing up your data is effortless. When you’re on the road, you can use iTwin to move copies of files from your laptop to your home or office computer. If you are travelling and taking lots of pictures, you can free up your SD card by moving files onto your laptop or internet cafe computer and transferring them back home. iTwin will give you peace of mind and keep your important data safe and secure.

 

Simple and Secure Sharing

Plug one half into your online computer. Give the other half to your colleague, friend or client. Your two computers will be connected and you can securely and safely share files with each other, in either direction.

Share the latest version of a report or proposal, confident that your data is safe from man-in-the-middle attacks. Send your child’s recital tape to your parents across the country – our device is grandparent-friendly! iTwin makes hardware-enabled, peer-to-peer security so simple.

 

 

Share your Media

Drag ‘n’ drop all of your music, videos, and pictures into the iTwin window and they are shared.

Give one half to your family while living abroad and share endless videos and pictures – using a file-sharing service or attaching them to multiple emails would be time-consuming for you and a hassle for them. Or carry one half with you and plug it in at friend’s house or at a cafe. You will have instant access to all your shared media.

 

Network your Home Computers

You’re lying in bed with your laptop, and want access to the files on the family desktop downstairs. As you may have found out, networking computers together can be frustrating and time-consuming. Plug one half of iTwin into the computer downstairs, the other into your laptop, and they will be instantly connected. What’s even better – being on the same local network, speed of transfer will be very fast. iTwin makes networking a breeze.

 

One-time Cost. No Fees – Ever!

Don’t pay for cloud storage. Don’t pay for subscription fees for file access. Don’t get locked in. You have all the storage you need on your own computer and home hard drive. With iTwin, share it and access it from anywhere. Create your own personal cloud. All you pay for is the device itself. (Bonus: free software updates!)

 

Cross Platform

iTwin is both Windows and Mac OS X compatible. iTwin works on Microsoft® Windows® XP (Service Pack 2 and above), Windows® Vista, Windows® 7 (32-bit and 64-bit). iTwin also works on Apple® Mac OSX® 10.6 and above, i.e. Snow Leopard and Lion (32-bit and 64-bit).

 

TwinTrust™ Data Security

iTwin doesn’t store any data on itself. It just enables a secure connection between two computers. It is a secure USB device providing Two-Factor Authentication – Your remote data can only be accessed if you have the physical iTwin with you. Additionally, you can set up an optional password.

 

Remote Disable

iTwin includes a feature that allows you to remotely disable the connection should you lose either half. So you can rest assured that your data is safe, even if the device is lost or stolen. If you have ever lost a portable memory device, you know that terrible feeling. We want to make sure this never happens to you again.

 

 

Software Specs

Software Requirements

  • Supports Win XP, Vista and 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 and above
  • Requires min. 512 MB, 1 GB RAM recommended
  • Requires 15 MB hard-disk space
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Requires broad-band Internet access, 1Mbps upload speed recommended

 

Install/Uninstall

  • iTwin software self-installs on first plug-in
  • Requires admin access for installation
  • Uninstallation uses simple standard uninstall mechanisms

 

Multi-Language Support

  • English
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • German (coming soon)

 

Software Updates

  • New features, fixes and enhancements are rolled out regularly
  • All automatic updates to the file-access product are free
  • When a new software update is available, iTwin software will automatically inform you – it’ll be just a click away

 

No Storage Limitations

  • iTwin works like a USB storage device. However, iTwin does not store any of your data on itself. iTwin is a data access device between two computers
  • The only limit is the size of your computer’s hard drive
  • Any network files/folders that you can access from your computer can be shared using iTwin

 

No “Temp Files”

  • Unplug iTwin and all temp files are purged automatically

 

Bi-Directional File Access

  • When using iTwin, the connection between the two computers is symmetrical
  • Access, copy, backup and remotely edit files on computer A from computer B, and on B from A

 

 

Security Specs

State-of-the-Art Crypto

  • iTwin uses industry best practices and thoroughly analyzed crypto protocols and algorithms
  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 bit encryption is used to protect all data communications
  • AES encryption standard has not been broken so far and many consider it to be military grade
  • All data amenable to compression is first compressed before encryption

 

Remote Disable

  • When your iTwin is paired and plugged in for the first time, the owner is sent a Remote Disable Code (through email) which can be used to break the connection between the two halves
  • Using this disable code, if an iTwin is missing or stolen, it can be disabled remotely

 

Smart Key Generation

  • Two iTwin halves together generate a random 256-bit AES key, every time they are physically paired and plugged into a computer
  • Smart Key generation is assisted by the computer to add randomness
  • Smart Crypto Key resides only on the two halves of the iTwin
  • Smart Crypto Key is used for encrypting all data traffic between two iTwins
  • Patent-pending technology

 

Password Support

  • Passwords of any length can be set
  • Unlike other web services, iTwin’s password is stored on itself, not on any server
  • If you forget your password, simply pair both halves of your iTwin, plug them into a computer and set a new password. No need for tech support!

 

TwinTrust Authentication

  • Before allowing any data transfer, every iTwin is authenticated by iTwin’s TwinTrust servers
  • All communication between iTwin and TwinTrust is secured using industry strength HTTPS (RSA 1024 bit, 128 bit RC4) protocol
  • After successful authentication by TwinTrust, TwinTrust assists iTwin to discover its other half

 

Two-Factor Authentication

  • After authenticating with TwinTrust, two halves of iTwin mutually authenticate each other using their pre-shared AES 256 bit crypto key
  • If password is set, then password verification is performed on both iTwins before data transfer is initiated between the two halves

Connectivity

Just Connects

  • As long as iTwin is plugged into two internet connected computers, iTwin allows computer to computer file transfer anywhere on Earth
  • iTwin detects almost all types of proxies, firewalls and NATs – and self-configures
  • In case one or both iTwin halves are not directly accessible (behind firewalls), iTwin encrypted data traffic is relayed through globally distributed servers (amazon EC2 based)

 

Powered by AWS Web Services

  • iTwin uses Amazon Web Services infrastructure with 99.5% availability to ensure fast, safe and secure data relays

 

 

Privacy

  • All data is encrypted before it leaves your computer. Your data remains encrypted until it reaches the computer where the second half of iTwin is attached
  • Your data is never stored on any iTwin server. Your data is stored only on your computer

 

Seamless Handling of Network Interruptions

  • In case of internet disruption, iTwin file transfers pause
  • When the internet connection is resumed, iTwin software continues file transfer from where it left off
  • iTwin’s progress bar indicates the amount left to be transferred

 

Transfer Limits

  • Unlike many cloud based storage services, iTwin allows you to transfer as much data as you want. The only constraint is the limit of your ISP’s bandwidth allowances
  • With iTwin, you don’t need to worry about monthly allowances or bandwidth limits when you transfer large files online

 

 

Hardware Specifications

Size and Weight

  • Length: 3.54 inches (90 mm)
  • Width: 0.82 inch (21 mm)
  • Depth: 0.314 inch (8.0 mm)
  • Weight: 0.11 pound (50 g)

 

Operating Requirements

  • Operating temperatures: 32˚ to 158˚ F (0˚ to 70˚ C)
  • Relative humidity: 5% to 95% non-condensing
  • Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m)

 

Smart Connector

  • Completely symmetrical, first of its kind in the market
  • During physical pairing, connector is used to securely transfer crypto key between iTwin’s two halves
  • Patent-pending technology

 

LED Indicator

  • Constant Blue Light: iTwin is fully functional
  • Blinking Blue Light: On-going data transfer

 

Opt In To Opt Out

TalkTalk announces further extension to its HomeSafe product to control adult content.

TalkTalk,  one of the top 4 UK broadband providers announced this week that it was going to extend the reach of its HomeSafe product to all its customers to block pornographic content to all devices entering the home. It will do this at source i.e. on a filter applied to all HTTP requests and the rules will be set by a categorisation database applied in the network for adult sites. The way TalkTalk has implemented this has been up for discussion these last 18 months and has lead to the tag ‘StalkTalk’ as sites are categorised post visit and not externally via an independent source such as Symantec or McAfee which is the case in other networks  privately and outside the UK. A similar approach is also implemented in the UK mobile networks via the likes of Symantec at a higher level with proof of age and identity required although this is far from fool proof.

The industry can criticise TalkTalk all they want but TT are doing something to protect the children on their network and even giving adults a choice of what they want to see accidentally or on purpose. If you want to view Porn then you leave the setting open; if you don’t you can just request an adult block and it will be done once. This differs from the approach that the other Service Providers are taking i.e. Virgin Media, BT and Sky. They are all moving forward with a device blocking approach but this is easy to circumvent particularly for smart kids and we know just how smart some of those kids are. It does not take long for the TweetMachine to spread received wisdom of how to jailbreak the latest barrier.

The best way to do this is in the network. Do it once and do it for all devices. Parents are in the main complacent and at worst uneducated in the ways of the technology in their homes and devices in their children’s hands. So make the service a) easy  to use and b)freely available . TalkTalk say they are enjoying better customer retention since they launched HomeSafe. The rest of the industry seems to be running scared of implementing global controls for their customer’s benefit. Why?? Some might argue they did not see any benefit or an active business case. Now the government are taking a more proactive approach to content on the internet and the most high profile case of late has been Pirate Bay. Funny how the financial muscle of the media industry can get attention at high levels and yet the sexualisation of our children is second on the agenda… Money talks!

Rest assured there are some changes coming to the way we consume content from the internet, it has been too long coming and maybe is too late for the kids growing up last 10 years – however, let’s hope that the ability to control our own environment in a spirit of freedom and common sense prevails.

Demand For Unified Communications Increases

There is growing evidence to show greater traction in the market for UC solutions, according to Chris Barrow, Advanced Technologies Marketing Manager, Avaya, who says more users are buying into the technology.

There are a number of market drivers for UC at work, notes Barrow. Firstly, the economy is still in a fragile state and businesses are focusing on driving efficiency within the organisation, meaning they are only willing to invest in tools that maximise workforce productivity. Secondly, the fact that employees have access to more types of communication, applications and devices, is also part of the reason why demand for UC is growing. “We’re hearing from our partners that customers often feel overwhelmed with all the new platforms employees are using, such as social media and IM,” stated Barrow. “While social media can act as a useful business tool, it needs to be harnessed in the right way.”

Also coming into play is an increase in the usage of multiple personal devices at work. “Employees want to be able to use the devices they love but in a professional capacity,” added Barrow. “They also want to have access to everything on one platform and for all communications tools to link together seamlessly. This is where UC really comes into play. Obviously, the communications landscape is constantly changing, but I would say that these trends are encouraging our partners to take on more of a consulting role. We are all familiar with multiple devices and social media platforms but it is the partners’ job is to guarantee UC brings them together in a corporate capacity, ensuring all communications are professionally managed and secure.”

Something that is ‘top of mind’ for Avaya and its users is choice, observed Barrow. Modern enterprise workers are used to devices such as laptops and tablets and do not want to be shackled to single use communications devices such as the telephone for phone calls and a video conference suite for video calls. “Customers want a device that is not only multi-purpose but one that works for them,” added Barrow. “This is the reason why Avaya allows enterprises to communications enable multiple devices such as smart phones, tablets, PCs, Macs and more. We do this with a combination of the Avaya Aura architecture that delivers communications as a cloud-like service and the Avaya one-X and Flare user experience that ties these features together. It is therefore important that we go to market with partners who understand this consumer-centric world and can help us build a value proposition of ‘always on’, ‘always available’ communications that allow people to work together wherever and however they choose.”

Avaya’s experience is that businesses are still being cautious about spending money, so the first thing it had to do was help its channels change their messages to a RoI-based sale. “Nobody buys technology for the sake of it any more,” commented Barrow. “It is true that a full-on implementation of UC can cost a considerable amount of money, but a well-engineered solution will pay for itself. That is why we have seen growth in any area that reduces costs and has a fast return on investment. Video, web and audio conferencing have seen a lot of interest as they allow companies to collaborate while reducing the need for travel. For the future, any tool that allows a company to be more nimble and flexible and to outpace their competitors will also be attractive. Solutions such as VENA (the Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture) that allow businesses to add applications and reconfigure their communications network in a simple and error free way will see good attention in the coming 12-18 months.”

Videoconferencing is definitely one of the solutions that is driving growth in the UC market. It has taken some time but companies have become more inclined to use this technology as a business tool, whether it’s for engaging in face-to-face with colleagues or customers. “We’ve seen a lot of market activity over the past year, and part of what is fuelling this trend is customer expectations,” noted Barrow. “Consumer videoconferencing solutions are being used at home more regularly now than ever before and people expect the same level of access at work. The important part is to ensure that videoconferencing comes as an integrated part of the UC mix. It’s about ease of use, streamlined communications and collaboration. People want to be able to flip between methods of communication, depending on the situation they’re in at that moment but this process has to be easy and quick, so they can initiate a video call there and then.”

Barrow also notes that with the rise of social media and multiple platforms for communication, businesses need extra support in understanding how everything fits together. “This is a great opportunity for our partners to embrace more of a consultative role which takes advantage of their solution knowledge and technical expertise,” said Barrow. “This will enable them to communicate the benefits of new applications and then up-sell as needed to ensure the customers have the best option. With so many tools and options available now it is important that the customer is well advised. This type of consultative role will become a more integrated part of the reseller’s daily activity, and we encourage them to embrace this. As communications evolve, this type of personal touch will serve as a real competitive advantage and will support them in generating more revenue and satisfying more customers overall.”

To find our more about using an Avaya Phone System in your business and how Unified Communications can help you then visit Avaya.com