It’s a Must!

It’s a Must!

Let’s face it, convergence is here and happening right now at a desktop near you. There’s no point ignoring the facts; for some time

now IP enabled PBX systems have been outshipping traditional systems, SIP trunks are a viable alternative to ISDN and hosted telephony solutions are real – witness the Comms Channel Awards 2006 last month where the Midas Group Vanilla IP implementation won an award for reseller Microcomms.

The Convergence Summit has to be the ‘Must Do’ event of the year for resellers with many of the vendor and distributor exhibitors planning new product, application and services launches to coincide with the event and an educational program (more next month) designed to bring delegates up to speed with key convergence issue.

VoIP, whether CPE based or a hosted/managed service – and who knows who will win that battle, is an accepted mainstream application and, as Sue Davidson, VP at Viatel says, “Convergence is all to play for with the reseller holding all the high cards.”

Davidson adds, “2006 is the year convergence is happening and the channel is the place to be. Why? Because converged channel partners own all the key customer relationships surrounding the IT infrastructure – the LAN, the WAN and the desktop. Customers are saying ‘Voice, OK, its an application then and we are going to get much more economic use out of the network we have just invested in – this makes a lot of sense.’

The market is up for grabs and I think it is all there for the channel guys to go for. Viatel will be focussing at the Summit this year on VoIP, managed services, MPLS IP VPNs and QoS”

 

Crucial For Voice Resellers

John Dawson, Managing Director of Griffin Internet says that its own business-only national IP network guarantees the highest levels of service – crucial for voice resellers. Griffin Internet offers sophisticated and affordable solutions through its national MPLS network.

John Dawson, MD, Griffin Internet: “We are the perfect company to partner with for those resellers selling both voice and data solutions.We strive to be the trusted supplier of managed IP services and continually invest in our network, product development and people to support this aim.”

Visitors to the summit will also be able to view Griffin Internet’s White Label SANServe range of IP storage solutions. The new range of dedicated server hosting solutions can be easily sold and managed. The Griffin SANServe range of services provides a level of reliability, scalability and performance that are just not available from legacy storage solutions.

Paul Taylor of Frontier Systems says there are two main reasons his company exhibits at the Convergence Summit; firstly to meet resellers interested in new and emerging products and secondly to show what their products offer.

“The Summit saves so much time as we can see many resellers all in the same place at the same time. Of course the same is true for resellers who can see all the vendors under one roof in two days.We have an easy SIP trunking offer for the channel – easy as in we take all the hard work out.

 

Killer Applications

The killer applications for SIP trunks as I see them apart from cost reduction compared to ISDN, are number porting, number divert and the ability to have multiple numbers connected, however resellers should be aware that 2006 appears to be the year that PBX vendors seem to be getting their SIP trunk interfaces to market. Frontiers Systems has been testing their SIP trunks with all manufacturers as they announce their interfaces and they are approved with Swyx, Aastra, Zultys and the open source Asterisk and currently testing with Avaya, Siemens, Toshiba and Panasonic.

“By the time the Convergence Summit comes around we will be in a position to announce all the PBX systems that we are approved for use with.” Says Taylor.

At this year’s Convergence Summit, Panasonic Business Telephone Systems will be taking the opportunity to update the dealer network on all the recent developments concerning their telecommunications products. These include updates on the KX-TDA range plus news and information on their new CTI applications, Phone Assistant Express, Phone Assistant Pro, the IP Softphone plus other new products for 2007.

Mark Ivens, Marketing Manager for Panasonic Business Telephone Systems comments, “Speaking to the dealer network face-to-face at this show is always the most effective and successful way of communicating our product news and developments.”

Richard Bligh, Marketing Director for Gamma Telecom commented, “Although VoIP and IP telephony seem to have been hype for a long time, there is no longer any denying that they are here and changing the market we work in. Any company wanting to remain a successful part of the telecoms industry must get to grips with these new technologies and start to build them into their own product offerings. Resellers need to look at their target market and start to find ways that VoIP and IP can add value to the end-users business, and convergence will be a big part of that. There is no reason why many resellers can’t take full advantage of the new opportunities presented by convergence as long as they understand the technology and how to sell it. Carriers and telecoms companies are taking varying approaches to IP telephony. It is therefore vital for resellers to educate themselves as to the different services and products on the market.”

 

Showcase

Distributor Crane Telecommunications is keen to put both their new convergence channel organisation and their expanded product portfolio in front of resellers and has chosen the Convergence Summit as a showcase.

Crane CEO David Grant: “The convergence market is maturing fast in terms of applications that truly address business needs and enhance competitive advantage but at the same time the channel faces ongoing challenges when it

EXHIBITOR LIST

AB&C

ALWAYSON

APPLECOM

ATC STERRY

AURORA KENDRICK JAMES

AVAYA

CISCO

COGNISANT

COMMSOFT

CRANE TELECOMMUNICATIONS

CTI DATA

EQUIP

GAMMA TELECOM

GLOBAL CROSSING

GRIFFIN INTERNET

HIPCOM

HOSTTALK

INTEROUTE

IP TELECOM

IRIDIACOM

ISLAND TELECOM CONSULTING

JPL COMMS

MITEL

MTV TELECOM

NEC INFRONTIER

NEW MEDIA SOFTWARE

OAK TELECOM

PANASONIC

PREMISES NETWORK

QUESCOM

SAMSUNG BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS

TELEWARE

THE TELECOMS SALES ACADEMY

THUS

TISCALI

VANILLA IP

VEGASTREAM

VIATEL

VIRTUAL ACCESS

VOICEFLEX

VOICENET

ZULTYS

 

comes to implementing those applications. Knowledge and skills are the keys to success but these demands often find resellers with twin distractions – how to acquire those skills whilst at the same time safeguarding their existing revenues.

The new Crane division, Convergence Emerging Technologies (CET) is a vendor independent organisation and will include products from vendors such as Trapeze, Spectrum and Spectralink.

“Crane’s reputation has been built upon our solid technical understanding of our vendors products and services, through award winning training programmes and making sure we continually recruit and train the right people. In this way Crane will be best placed amongst distributors to allay reseller concerns and help them to maximise the new opportunities presented by the voice and data integration market.”

David Grant concludes, “Convergence Summit 2006 is an even bigger show this year – a new and bigger venue at Sandown Park provides a fitting stage for Crane to demonstrate the support we can provide the channel. Resellers visiting the Summit will recognise that Crane has invested in the resources required to help resellers looking to capitalise on convergence market growth opportunities such as VoIP.”

 

Motivated Entrepreneurs

Kian Kormi of Cognisant Associates says the IT and Telecoms reseller channel is characterised by highly motivated hard working hands-on entrepreneurial founders.

“These business founders and shareholders recognise the critical importance of convergence and yet daily struggle to balance tactical needs against strategic planning. Cognisant Associates specialises in supporting such individuals organisationally, operationally and with products, markets and strategy. Uniquely, Cognisant Associates targets an eventual view of realising the value of the shareholder’s investment, whether it be through IPO, trade sale or consolidation acquisition / merger. The Convergence Summit offers an unparalleled opportunity to convey our service offering to this community.”

 

Arrange Meetings

As part of Comms Business Magazine’s continued investment in the Convergence Summit we have made making appointments with exhibitors really easy via our dedicated Summit Web Site, www.convergencesummit.co.uk. All you need to do is click on the exhibitor list and select the company you wish to have a meeting with then click ‘Arrange Meeting With Exhibitor’ and complete your details. Once submitted the exhibitor will contact you to arrange a convenient time.

 
Key Convergence Summit Facts:  
DATES 10-11 OCTOBER 2006 How Do I Get In?
Venue
The Surrey Hall,
Sandown Park ,
Esher , Surrey
Register online at – www.convergencesummit.co.uk

Any Questions? Call 01892 538348

How Do I Book A Stand?
There’s only a few left but you should call Miles Bossom or Paul Johnson immediately on 01892 538348 or email them on miles@commsbusiness.co.uk or paul@commsbusiness.co.uk or visit our Web Site www.convergencesummit.co.uk
 
www.convergencesummit.co.uk