Panasonic is already making waves in the unified communication (UC) market, achieving double digit growth just six months after it launched a new division dedicated to pushing its products in this space.
Since April, the Panasonic Systems Networks Europe (PSNE) has been targeting businesses that are looking to take advantage of the growing drive towards converged applications on networks through the use of IP technology.
Speaking at an event at which Panasonic announced it was partnering with distributor Wick Hill in the UK and Germany, head of system networks Paul Meehan explained how the division had more than surpassed its targets from head office.
"A lot of SMEs are starting to realise the benefits of using a single supplier for a range of services including voice, video, surveillance, security, document printing and scanning, and so our UC products are ideal for this," he said.
"By converging all systems into one operator and one set spend, with other services simply bolted on as they become available if required, SMEs are a lot better placed to improve on the old model of using anywhere between 10 and 15 different suppliers."
Peter Hall, an analyst from Ovum present at the event, agreed that many firms were keen to take advantage of systems that allowed them to deal with a single supplier with whom they could add or remove services as required.
"Smaller companies have no need to buy a lot of kit they may not use or could be out of date in a few years time, they just want to buy the service they need as and when necessary," he said.
Meehan said, though, that although Panasonic was seeing growth, a lot of potential customers still remain unaware of the fact it provides UC services.
"Wick Hill will enable us to further promote our products to firms that previously may not have considered taking a converged system," he added. "As the effects of the downturn continue to hurt firms are keen to reduce spend and increase efficiency."
Moving on to the subject of cloud computing Meehan said he felt it was impossible to tell in the current climate whether it would remove the need for premise based applications.
"For the time being it looks very much as if cloud and premise applications will run in parallel as per what a customer feels is best for its organisation and as such we will look to offer both services for the foreseeable future," he added.
Keen to keep the momentum going, Panasonic also let slip some details on new products it would be unveiling in the UC space around video and voice as well as a, "solution for tighter integration of applications", which will be announced officially at the IPExpo in mid-October.
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