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Some Big Announcements from a Small System Competitor

Here's another blog from Allan Sulkin:

Panasonic is a well known name in the consumer electronics and a strong player in the enterprise communications market for small system solutions. The lower end of the telephony system market may not be as glamorous as the higher end, where advanced Unified Communications options are all the current rage, but the small-systems market is substantial in overall size and significance. More than 2 million key/hybrid systems are currently installed throughout North America, and a sizable number are labeled Panasonic. Though rarely mentioned in discussions of IP telephony, Panasonic does have such product offerings targeted to small/medium businesses.The company recently announced two new systems under the newly named Panasonic Enhanced Communications Solutions (ECS) banner. The KX-NCP500 and KX-NCP1000 are IP telephony systems capable of supporting 68 stations and 108 stations, respectively. Designed using an industry-standard 19-inch rack mounted carrier, the two models are targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses and high-end residential applications. Both systems come standard with a suite of built-in applications and technical support from Panasonic's team of Integration Specialists. Automatic updates for applications are included with the systems, reducing customer concerns of keeping current.

The NCP500 and NCP1000 have a level of compatibility with a number of Panasonic's other small- and medium-sized business-ready ECS products, including the NT321 IP desk phone, the HGT100 SIP phone, the TD7696 Multi-Cell DECT 6.0 cordless telephone, a variety of network cameras (including the soon-to-be released BL-C101 and BL-C121) and the desktop-ready Communication Assistant (CA) Applications. Among its capabilities, Communication Assistant allows NCP users to easily handle calls and to check and access their own voice mail box simply and quickly instead of following voice prompts.

In addition to the two new IP telephony system models, Panasonic also announced several strategic relationships, including those with DuVoice, Poltys, and Quadrox. DuVoice is a third party product provider that offers a comprehensive hospitality call platform for small and mid-sized hotels and motels using Panasonic PBX products including TDE/TDA systems and the NCP500 and NCP1000 Enhanced Communications Solutions systems. DuVoice provides comprehensive voice mail, automated attendant, wakeup call, PMS interface and call accounting capabilities that address the specific needs of the hospitality industry. Users accessing the DuVoice system also get unified messaging through VeMail, which provides hotel staff with a central point of contact for all of their fax, email and voice messages. Through DuVoice VeMail, a user's fax and voice messages are delivered as attachments to email messages, with no need for any additional email server or network requirements.

Poltys, Inc. is a software application developer and provider for enhanced communication solutions. Leveraging Panasonic small and medium PBX and IP telephony systems offerings, Poltys can provide a variety of applications ranging from simple call centers to enhanced communication platforms with voice recognition that scale from small companies to enterprise offerings covering several sites with a single platform. Poltys CCPro software applications expand the market potential of Panasonic's telephony systems. CCPro has advanced features like instant messaging and a customer information repository, and delivers screen-pops linked to CRM applications so that agents can quickly serve customers. The system also provides comprehensive real-time and historical information tools for agent tracking, recording and coaching to provide Call Center supervisors with the right tools to monitor the service they provide.

Quadrox is a third party product provider offering network video recording solutions focused on monitoring point-of-sale transactions and other retail applications. Coupled with Panasonic Communications Solutions Group's network cameras and routers, Quadrox's WebCCTV network digital video recording technology can monitor retail point of sale activity providing users with tools to effectively manage video and transaction data. Each Quadrox WebCCTV supports up to 20 network cameras and allows for simultaneous playback of up to four cameras. It enables users to access live and previously recorded information from anywhere in the world without the need for any proprietary software.