SpliceCom has been updating its channel partners on opportunities in Unified Communications in conjunction with Microsoft.
“When it comes to Unified Communications the high level marketing messages emanating from switch manufacturers and desktop application providers have caused confusion amongst the channel and prospective customers alike, says SpliceCom’s Director of Marketing & Product Management, Robin Hayman. “The result? Allied to the current economic conditions it means that introducing the topic of Unified Communications into a pitch is quite likely to prolong the sales cycle rather than close the deal. As vendors it’s our responsibility to educate our channel partners and prospective customers, as opposed to issuing propaganda, which merely serves to confuse matters further, spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt. It’s a responsibility that we at SpliceCom take very seriously.”
In early March SpliceCom invited their channel partners to see for themselves how Unified Communications vendors can work together to deliver so much more than the sum of the individual parts. Hosted at SpliceCom’s Chorleywood Head Offices, UK Sales Manager Graham Harris was first up to present the UK company’s Unified Communications proposition for their maximiser platform. Concentrating on how the open nature of maximiser’s architecture make it the ideal choice for IT integration with databases and desktop applications, Graham explored the relevance of voice applications on the business desktop in the 21st Century. This touched upon Busy Lamp Fields, Direct Station Select, Directories, Voicemail and Mobility amongst others.
The stage was then handed over to Julian Datta, Partner Technology Specialist for Unified Communications at Microsoft, who gave an overview and demonstration of Office Communication Server 2007 R2. Julian concentrated on Presence, integration with Microsoft Exchange and Video Conferencing, where he linked up with Mark Deakin, Microsoft’s UC Business Manager, at the company’s Reading HQ.
Finally, James Cook, CEO of SpiderGroup demonstrated how both worlds can be seamlessly integrated to provide the power of true Unified Communications at the desktop. The SpiderMax OCSGateway.4maximiser allows true two-way desktop interoperability between Office Communication Server and maximiser providing convergence with Outlook, Dynamics CRM 4.0, SharePoint and mobile devices including WM, iPhone and Blackberry.
“The SpiderGroup’s delivery of a Gateway which converges maximiser telephony and Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 at the desktop allows employees to call, conference, instant message or email at the click of a mouse, whilst using intelligent presence awareness to manage their communications and make them fit around the way they want to work,” commented SpliceCom’s Robin Hayman.
A full house went away with all the information they needed to identify a true Unified Communications prospect – and just as importantly how to recognise those that aren’t – who (in terms of switch manufacturers and application providers) really owns which part of the picture and finally the ability to enter into knowledgeable discussions with prospective customers over the options available to them.
Paul Gandar, Director at Epsom based Intralan went away and used what he’d learned almost immediately. “SpliceCom & Microsoft provided a really worthwhile day. With a company background steeped in telephony and IT, Intralan are ideally positioned to make the most of the Unified Communications opportunity. Within 24 hours of leaving SpliceCom’s offices I’d booked meetings with five prospects, all of them requiring telephony for more than 100 employees, all of them utilising Microsoft applications and all of them wanting to know a lot more about how desktop applications and voice could be used together more effectively.”