Once Santa and his reindeer return to the North Pole, the last of the Hanukkah gelt has been eaten and the ball has dropped commemorating the start of 2012, Panasonic (News - Alert) will be there, continuing to spread the holiday cheer.
According to the SIP Phones leader, in January, Panasonic will be unveiling its KX-UT670, the company’s first SIP open source operating desk phone.
“The goal for us in launching this phone is twofold: it’s about creating a new device that is going to enable a business user to be more productive and have better use of their time, but it’s also vertical focused in trying to enable specific verticals, whether it’s security or education, to have a full integrated Panasonic solution,” Kim Murtagh, product manager of SIP End Points at Panasonic, told TMCnet. “We are really trying to move forward as a company and show the benefits of using multiple Panasonic products as an overall solution.”
Panasonic first entered the SIP end points market in June of 2010 with its TGP series, a product set that is built on cordless as well as SIP end points for the very small business customer. Over the past year and a half, Panasonic has been completing research to determine where the communications market is heading and how Panasonic can continue to drive the market share; its quest led Panasonic to the hosted, or open source environment.
“That’s where we looked and we said let’s launch into this new category and let’s do it pretty aggressively,” Murtagh said.
“What is unique about us is we have a BTS (business telephony systems) and we do maintain and continue to bring out new products in that business, but these products were designed solely for open source and hosted; they are not supported on our existing platform,” she added. “We really wanted to show that Panasonic was taking two separate paths and really driving and striving to make sure that we could gain market and continue to give our customers and our end users products that were reliable and affordable in both markets.”
The UT670, what is being referred to as the “smart desktop phone,” boasts a full operating, open source, system as well as a Web browser, seven-inch color LCD Touch screen and HD wideband voice and high quality HD video. It is certified for Broadsoft, Asterisk (News - Alert) and Metaswitch; can be expandable to six SIP terminals; and has the ability to support Bluetooth.
Panasonic anticipates that this SIP phone will have the potential of finding a home in everything from an SMB to a major Fortune 500 company.
One of the most unique capabilities of the phone is its ability to support 16 cameras. Consumers can use the phone to obtain a variety of camera views which can be particularly useful in the security and education verticals. For example, a small business owner can use the phone to confirm that it is really the UPS guy at his back door and a school administrator can use the phone to observe a situation that has gotten out of hand in a classroom.
Similarly, those that live in assisted living homes can use their phone to scroll through dinner menus and check out the cameras to see what is going on in the dining hall and common rooms.
“The main difference with this phone is that it allows us to have the ability to work with third-party application developers and help enhance the end user experience with applications,” Murtagh said.
“This one is really key for us,” she added of the phone. “There is no other phone out there that takes all of these pieces and brings them together so seamlessly and when you add the ability for us to add in those other products that are Panasonic, it really now gives that dealer, that customer, the ability to bring forward a full solution to their customer base.”
Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf