5 Channel Ops: Big Show Highlights

Channel Partners Magazine

We just wrapped up our Big Show, which lived up to its name. In case you couldn’t be on site in Vegas, here are some highlights.

IP Phones Need To Get Hip.

B2FF15CB468148C3B2B52D542028D162.ashxA hot topic of discussion at the show was whether desk phones are on a slippery slope to oblivion. Some on our Channel Partner Zone panel, which included Michael Bremmer, CEO of Telecomquoates.com; Tim Cleves, director of sales at OnSIP; Dave Gilbert, CEO of Simple Signal; Rebecca Rosen, president of Sales Enabled; Larry Walsh, CEO and chief analyst at the 2112 Group and Channelnomics; and Art Wittmann, content director of Channel Partners, say they’e already gotten rid of their desk phones. Even holdouts on the panel think the device’s days are numbered.

I’m not so sure. Show me someone willing to dial into a high-stakes live audio conference on an iPhone and I’ll show you a gambler. Moreover, call center workers and other select job roles will always need full-featured phones. The trick to keeping usage rates stable will be convincing “digital native” employees entering the workforce that a wired phone is worth the desktop real estate. Judging from some slick gear gracing the expo floor, manufacturers get that. For example, select devices in Grandstream’s GXV line of multimedia phones combine a standard IP video phone with an Android tablet. Users get access to apps in the Google Play Store (think Microsoft Skype and Lync, Salesforce, GoToMeeting) plus a built-in Web browser, integrated Wi-Fi, HD audio and PoE. Other phone manufaturers are also in the Android camp.

By Lorna Garey

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