Outside of cost reduction, perhaps the most widely heard comment regarding what businesses need from a new communications system is ease of deployment and ease of use. One company that says it its solutions help customers meet both objectives is Fonality (News - Alert). So, I took the opportunity to ask Fonality’s vice president of product and marketing Corey Brundage how its phone system does what many others fail to achieve. This is what Brundage told me.
EL: What is the biggest challenge facing the communications industry today?
CB: Complexity. It's very difficult to be a customer these days. Buyers today bear the weight of the complexity that industry places on them. Driven by volatile markets, major changes in core technologies, and the consolidation and convergence of vendors, customers are hard pressed to understand enough of what's going on to make good purchase decisions. Adding to this current dilemma is the baggage of legacy systems, legacy vendors, and outdated business and go-to-market models. The final result is customers buy products too complex for their needs, spend too much money, and burn far too much time buying, using and supporting their communication tools.
EL: How are you approaching that challenge?
CB: Fonality makes it easier to be a customer. We are innovating in substantial and meaningful ways in the most broken areas, such as selling process, deployment model, product design and feature selection, and pricing. Customers know right away that we do business better, from their first contact with us, it's just obvious.
EL: How will the Broadband Stimulus plan impact the communications market in the U.S.?
CB: Bandwidth is a bottleneck. It throttles the innovation that drives progress in business. Software needs more bandwidth... period. Anything that accelerates the breadth and reach of bandwidth, wired or wireless, will directly affect the industry. One demonstration of that in our business is the hybrid hosted deployment model we offer our customers. We balance the value of on-premises and hosted offers in one solution. The quality, reach and breadth of the bandwidth is a key enabler for all businesses, especially in the rural areas that the Stimulus plan targets. As bandwidth becomes cheaper and more readily accessible, rural businesses will be able to adopt meaningful communications tools cheaper and faster, ultimately improving their competitive advantage in the markets they do business. The small business markets will have a lot to gain from this plan.
EL: What will be the most significant development or trend in the communications space in the next 12 months?
CB: New developments or trends of “significance” don’t happen that fast in this space. Longer term? The displacement of legacy paradigms. Traditional telecom is being displaced. Expect change drivers to come from areas such as cloud computing, search, mobility, and social networking. Over time those outside influences will surely overtake the communications space as we know it today.
EL: What will we see from your company in the next 12 months?
CB: We are raising the bar in many key areas as noted in the first two questions. You'll just have to stayed tuned!
EL: If approved, how will Avaya’s bid for Nortel’s enterprise assets impact market dynamics?
CB: Hmmm, take the two slowest moving providers in the traditional industry and force them to reconcile a completely overlapping business model, product offer and distribution model and what will you get? Massive opportunities for competitors, I guess. Their channel will suffer major disruption as it struggles to find out how to deal with over-saturation and competitive poaching. Their development teams will be focused on portfolio reconciliation, so innovation will suffer. Their installed base will drag down the company even more than today.
I feel bad for the customers who are locked in, but the rest of industry will surely benefit.
EL: What’s the most exciting thing ITEXPO (News - Alert) attendees will find at your booth?
CB: Free beer. Just kidding. Or am I...? Well, I don't want to say too much, but Fonality will definitely be showcasing some very exciting and innovative solutions. I'd highly recommend you stop by and see the latest developments with our Unified Communications (News - Alert) solutions, HUD!
EL: Who will win the World Series?
CB: Sounds like an industry analogy.... it’s whoever demonstrates the most focus and strongest will to be the best at what they do.
For more on Fonality’s unified communications system, stop by booth #513 at ITEXPO West in Los Angeles this week. While you’re there take advantage of the many conference sessions and collocated events like 4GWE, M2M Evolution, Smart Grid Summit, Sipera’s (News - Alert) UC Security Workshop, and Ingate’s SIP Trunking seminars.
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Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Erik Linask