I recently met with NEC’s Jay Krauser and Bruce Grant to discuss their IP telephony strategy. NEC’s telecom division has always been a strong engineering company as opposed to other companies in the industry who focus more on marketing. Lately they have done a better job of promoting themselves than at any time in the last decade I can recall.
With this in mind I was curious to see if they are still focusing on engineering and developing leading edge products. It seems they are and more interesting they have some market-share numbers that are unexpectedly high. For example they have 7,000 call centers using their products and a huge number of agents per-center according to Jay and Bruce.
Soft clients are seeing tremendous growth and lots of customers are buying both phones and soft clients for their employees. They see the future as soft clients as the presence and directory apps are compelling reasons to switch to a softphone. We can expect to see some new USB handsets from the company in the near future.
The company also just released the UNIVERGE SV7000 Multi-Purpose Server (MPS) Linux-based IP voice communications platform. Developed for the SMB market, the product is a cost-effective solution with redundancy built-in as well as the ability to mix and match cards such as server and ISDN cards.
It supports up to 750 IP stations and is SIP enabled. In my discussion, NEC executives proudly proclaimed this system would save 40% on telecom costs and I asked 40% compared to what? They told me compared to traditional systems as system management such as moves/adds and changes will be less expensive. Here’s an NEC whitepaper on VoIP assessment which you may enjoy: