SME’s Want Stable Products

Tim Webb, General Manager at Toshiba Business Communications Division has told Comms Business Magazine that the sub 25 extension market is of key importance for Toshiba, having consistently grown their market share and system sales over the past 12 months.

“The success of our Strata CIX40 product is testament to delivering the flexibility and features that are required by these customers.

Firstly, whilst many customers are now fully aware of IP telephony, they don’t want to be forced down an IP route. In many cases they want a secure, stable and reliable product with the ability to save money by keeping existing analogue trunks. However, they may also wish to include solutions for remote or home workers, and require an element of IP telephony to address these needs. The hybrid capability of the Strata CIX40 is therefore a major strength, allowing resellers to meet the needs of the customer today and in the future.

Smaller companies also want to ensure that they are projecting a professional image to their customers and, in many cases, even project the image of a much larger organisation. For example, some customers will use SIP trunking to provide geographical presence across the country, use CTI applications to provide a high level of customer service, or voicemail elements such as Auto Attendant to allow customers to route their own calls.

Applications are becoming more important to customers in this sector, but only when they deliver realistic cost savings or efficiency gains. Whilst many vendors are pushing the newer, more ‘showy’ sides of telecommunication technology, the majority of customers want a robust, reliable phone system to be able to make and receive calls. This is where the importance of the reseller community becomes much more important, helping customers cut through the fog of buzz words and ‘the next big thing’ to ensure that the customer is getting the technology that’s right for them.

As the year develops, and the effects of the economic downturn continue to become apparent, we expect there to be little that changes in the sub-25 extension market. IP will continue to be deployed where it is required, and solutions will range from a few extensions with analogue trunks, to full IP installations with SIP trunking, mobility solutions and CTI. What will matter most to customers in this sector is having a reliable, cost-effective solution that meets their needs today and allows room for growth in the future to protect their investment. In today’s financial climate, and with the recent news of Nortel, it will also be important to customers that their chosen solution comes from a stable, well known brand.

Toshiba are perfectly placed to address this market with Strata CIX40; a great value product that delivers maximum reliability of hardware, software and terminals, in both IP and digital configurations. The CIX40 also delivers the flexibility and functionality the market demands, having all the features and functions of our larger CIX products and being supported by the same applications as our larger systems, including Net Phone which provides CTI with presence viewing, chat and whiteboarding.”