Unveiling products that analysts predict will generate between $4 billion and $8 billion in annual revenue worldwide by 2013, a Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based company today unveiled a series of unified communications products.
Officials at Avaya Inc. are introducing additions to their one-X series of desk phones, with the so-called “9670G” (pictured below), a media phone for enterprises.
According to Michael Frendo, vice president and general manager of Unified Communications at Avaya (News - Alert), employees’ productivity can largely depend on their experience with the communications device at hand.
“An enterprise-class, software-driven device provides the flexibility to meet current and changing roles, tasks, locations, and so on, and take on a broader function within the communications spectrum,” Frendo said said. “Avaya’s strength is in understanding the range of communication needs within the enterprise, and providing a seamless, integrated experience across different business users, locations and technologies.”
Generally speaking, a media phone is a cross between a telephone and PC, allowing direct access to applications and Internet-based information through a large color touch screen with a high-quality phone.
According to Avaya, the 9670G is similar in concept and use to popular mobile devices, with a large, color home screen that provides one-touch access to people, information and tools.
The device is entering a fertile market, according to a new report from a Scottsdale, Arizona-based hi-tech market research firm.
As TMCnet has reported, officials at In-Stat say that business media phones will generate about $3.3 billion in annual revenue by that time, and that the U.S. market will open up this year, with Europe coming online in 2010.
“The media phone represents a new category of broadband multimedia device that has the potential to become the fourth screen in the home, complementing the PC, TV and mobile handset,” the firm says in its 51-page report, “The Media Phone Has Arrived.”
“The media phone delivers direct access to Internet-based entertainment and applications using a large (6- to 10-inch) color touchscreen display with a high-quality speakerphone,” In-Stat (News - Alert) says. “The media phone combines the power of a PC with the always-on functionality of the home telephone. Most units are configured with one or more cordless DECT (News - Alert) voice handsets, suitable for any room in the house.”
Features of the phones include VoIP calling, digital picture frames, WiFi (News - Alert)-enabled BB basestations and visual voice mail, e-mail and call logs.
“Service providers and IP phone manufacturers, alike, are introducing media phones to add value to traditional voice telephones and enable IP-based services,” In-Stat officials say. “Devices, such as the Verizon (News - Alert) Hub and AT&T HomeManager, support both IP communications, as well as delivery of Internet information and multimedia content.”
In-Stat says the evolution of the media phone product has just begun, and that – over time – media phones will be integrated with next-generation network services that employ user profiles, presence-enabled applications, unified messaging and potentially integrated fixed-mobile services.
Here’s a look at how In-Stat envisions fully subsidized versus partially subsidized unit shipments, in the millions, from 2008 to 2013:
And here’s how the firm sees subsidized versus non-subsidized annual revenues for meida phones for the same time frame:
Finally, this is how In-Stat diagrams business media phone unit and revenue forecasts (both units and dollars in the millions) for 2008 to 2013:
Avaya officials say that applications embedded in their 9670G will give users useful options when the phone is idle, such as access to a full QWERTY keyboard, weather conditions, calculator, and more. New applications can also be downloaded. The high performance screen enables users to simply scroll through contacts and directories, and eliminates unnecessary buttons for a cleaner appearance.
Test cases for the device are positive.
In South Portland, Maine, municipal department heads have already been using the new Avaya 9670G media phones.
Shawn Pennington, the city’s IT director, said he sees a lot of possibilities with the device.
“The downloadable applications make these phones more functional, and they will become an integral part of our offices as well as useful in public places for informational purposes,” Pennington said. “The color touch screen is great – the matrix is extremely accurate and easy to use. This is the wave of the future.”
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan