NEC launches SMB UC strategy, pledges more openness

Small business comms on radar

NEC has launched new products with the aim of increasing its share of the small and medium business unified communications market and being more friendly with third-party products.

The launch includes the NEC SV8100 communications server, SV8000 desktop application suite and a new range of desktop IP phones.

NEC hopes to attract businesses with up to 150 users to its UC solution which it claims delivers "enterprise class" quality to the small business market

Frost & Sullivan research director Darryl Nelson said a lack of skills capable of addressing the integration of the previously stand alone communications and data networks and applications has continued to hamper enterprise deployment of unified communications.

Nelson said NEC's new focus on UC and its telephony heritage makes it well placed to help its customers make "this important transition to a converged ICT infrastructure".

For the enterprise market, NEC also announced this week the Australian launch of its UNIVERGE360 platform - a set of servers, desktop applications, middleware and services around UC.

NEC Australia UC business manager Steve Woff said the small and medium business market has been aggressively targeted by many communications vendors, but the products can lack the call quality companies expect.

"They often require outside expertise to setup and manage, adding cost and complexity," Woff said. "At NEC we've developed our SMB range to address these points and provide a simple, high-quality and flexible unified communications environment which is easy and cost effective to manage."

The SV8100 supports 200 IP lines and scales to 700 extensions, while the SV8300, due in August, will scale to 2000 extensions.

It can be deployed as a pure IP switch or a hybrid TDM system.

Woff said the IP-PABX systems support SIP and are designed to easily integrate with third-party software and hardware.

Examples are integration with Microsoft Outlook and CRM applications.

The desktop suite includes applications for call management, phone management and a softphone.

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