The April showers have finally abated, the flowers are in full bloom, and spring fever is officially in the air and one company that has certainly caught the strain is Panasonic (News - Alert), a SIP phones provider. That’s because at the start of this month Panasonic ushered in spring at full force by unveiling its latest addition the SIP phones lineup – the KX-UT248-B Executive Desk Phone (News - Alert).
With its countless user-friendly features such as an easy-to-read screen, soft keys and an XML interface for implementation of Internet applications, and its built-in Bluetooth headset support, the SIP phone has unabashedly already become a smash hit.
“People are really excited by it,” Kim Murtagh, product manager, SIP Endpoints, Panasonic System Networks Company of North America, told TMCnet. “The phone is a really nice ergonomic display and design. It incorporates the similar design of our other phones where it’s more of a boxy type of feel, but it has such a large display and all of the soft keys. It really allows for that executive type feel. We have amped it up a bit, bringing in more functionality that we feel is necessary for an executive level phone.”
The latest SIP phone joins the Panasonic comprehensive SIP phones lineup including the KX-UT670 Smart Desk Phone, KX-UT136-B, KX-UT133-B, KX-UT123-B and KX-UT113-B models, all of which are touted for being able to offer reliable and clear multimedia communications.
The key differentiators of the KX-UT284-B Executive Desk Phone include: 4.4-inch greyscale LCD display screen; certified on BroadSoft (News - Alert) Broadworks, Digium Asterisk and Metaswitch platforms; high-definition, wide-band voice (handset, headset and full duplex speaker phone) for crisp, precise sound quality; plug and play configuration; 2 x 10/100/1000 BaseTX Ethernet port, PoE (Power over Ethernet) for simplified wiring and connecting a second device; three-way conferencing; 500 Entry Phonebook; and built-in Bluetooth headset support, among other features.
But for Panasonic, the chief benefit of the phone is that it rounds out the Panasonic lineup of corded models.
“This phone, being our more executive model, is a nice complement to the UT670 which was the large touch screen, color display, Web-interfaced phone that we launched in December,” Murtagh said. “This phone builds off of that where you have a 4.4-inch display so have the ability to really utilize all your soft keys.”
“The hosted service provider market really likes it because it’s much easier to configure,” she added. “It has an XML interface so it can be dual branded so service providers or even end users can have their brand on the phone. The built-in Bluetooth is a real added benefit that we are seeing a lot of people excited around.”
The main questions that admirers are asking of the latest SIP phone surround availability, scope and certifications, specifically which platforms it is certified on. For Panasonic, by launching with BroadSoft and both Asterisk (News - Alert) certifications, the company feels as though it is hitting the majority of the market that is out there right now.
Moving forward, Panasonic is honing a strategic partnership with Plantronics (News - Alert) and providing a list of certified Bluetooth headsets for all of its phones, and specifically for this model.
As Panasonic looks to continue to spread the word about its latest SIP phone, it feels confident that the small- to medium-sized business, for which this phone is catered, will continue warmly adopting it as the market has quickly become a proponent of SIP technologies.
“I think we are finding that SMB customers are the ones who are the fastest to adopt an open source or hosted platform versus a premises based platform,” Murtagh said. “They are seeing the value of the total cost of ownership of having that flexibility that both of those options provide them and not having to outlay that huge upfront cost that would normally take place for a premises-based solution.”
“We are seeing a definite higher trend in small business to move to those platforms and coupling that with the Panasonic brand which is a brand that they know and trust gives them an added benefit,” she added.
And if you thought that the latest SIP phone innovation was all that Panasonic had in store for 2012 think again. In fact, the SIP end points enabler is setting its eyes on another major release this summer, a Multi Cell DECTsolution. The solution will serve as the next generation to Panasonic’s original TGP that was single cell DECT solution.
“It’s going to be more elaborate with multiple DECT cell stations,” Murtagh said. “That allows for mobility which is something that we really see a need for in not only small businesses but for all businesses to have more flexibility in being mobile and having the ability to take a reliable decked cordless handset with them when they are traveling. Panasonic does DECT better than anyone so we really wanted to utilize that experience and expertise that we have and build off of that.”
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli