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More VoIP Phone Systems Community Stories


January 19, 2010

ITEXPO Speaker Ian Gomm: The Power of VoIP in 2010
By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Smartphones are an interesting industry to monitor as companies continue to strive for the dominating position in the market.
iPhone (News - Alert) and BlackBerry continue to fight for the top space, but Google is still presenting considerable competition. When Ian Gomm, VP of sales and marketing forCitel Technologies ( News - Alert) Inc., was asked his opinion, his response was a simple: It is too early to say. As for as HD VoIP, Gomm believes take up will lag as bandwidth issues will be a key challenge. Gomm recently spoke with TMCnet’sRich Tehrani ( News - Alert) in an interview provided in full below.

In reflecting on 2009, Gomm noted that Citel was affected by the recession, but the company took advantage of the slowdown to focus on market development. As for what he sees as innovation in 2010 from other companies, Gomm is excited about the e-Book industry and how smartphones are trying to tap into this market. On the topic of Obama, Gomm politely asked to be excused from this question, simply because he is an Englishman living in Canada and believes any answer would be perceived as wrong from someone who is not a citizen.
The full exchange follows:
Rich Tehrani: Smartphones continue to rise, find their ways into offices and homes alike. Who will dominate that market and why?
Ian Gomm: I think it is still too early to say. Twelve months ago and then again six months ago the answer would have been different and with recent announcements things are going to change again. I believe that as with most everything else in consumer electronics it will be the company that continues to innovate and meets customers’ needs in a timely and cost-effective matter that will come out ahead.
RT: We hear more and more about high-definition voice features in IP communications products and services. What is going to drive wideband audio and HD VoIP into the mainstream market? How long will it take?
IG: As VoIP enters the mainstream, HD voice quality will become more and more of an issue, especially as people begin to realize they are making VoIP to VoIP calls. Due to bandwidth issues, I believe that take up of those features will lag customer demand for quite some time.
RT: What’s the most innovative product that’s going to hit the market in 2010, from a company other than your own?
IG: As someone who has followed e-Book developments for a number of years in the hope of reducing the weight of books I like to travel with, I believe that market will see major developments. When I first bought a Kindle they were expensive yet innovative. In the past 12 months the number of competitors and the number of innovations have increased exponentially and I expect that trend to continue. How the smartphone industry responds will be interesting as reading a book on a smartphone screen just doesn’t cut it. However expandable screens for Smartphones or Electronic Paper, could very easily move that technology ahead of e-Books and increase the general acceptance of Electronic Paper bringing it into the mainstream.
RT: We entered 2009 in a recession and now we’re seeing signs of the economy picking up. How did the slow economy affect demand for your products and services and what are you anticipating in 2010?
IG: I would be lying if I said we were not affected by the slow down in 2009. However for us it was also an opportunity and what we accomplished in 2009 from a market development point of view is a great jumping off point for sales in 2010.
Our Portico TVA enables companies to migrate to VoIP without having to “rip and replace.” In 2009 a number of companies were able to test out VoIP without having to invest in IP phones, PoE switches and new cabling as they could plug their existing phones into our Portico TVA, then use a router to plug into a test IPPBX ( News - Alert) or hosted PBX service. This knowledge has given many companies the confidence that the experience can be relatively risk free and the response has set us up well for 2010. In addition, the need to change the cabling infrastructure in a “rip and replace” migration has in these tough economic times held companies back from a quick VoIP transition and the Portico TVA has reduced the migration time and cost enhancing the market for Citel. With the work done in 2009 we see 2010 being a good year for Citel.
RT: President Barack Obama has been in office for nearly a year. What has surprised you, whether a pleasant surprise or disappointment, about his presidency, policies and administration?
IG: As an Englishman, living in Canada, I would prefer not to comment on your president as I think I would be in a no win situation. I have seen a strong polarization of people’s beliefs in the USA over the past few years and whereas “talking” politics always used to be harmless, I no longer feel that way as many people seem much quicker to take offense at foreigners being critical of their politics.
RT: If you were president of the United States, what tech-friendly policies would you enact?
IG: Some form of policy to prioritize international collaboration for the prosecution of cyber terrorists, including spammers.
RT: What are some of the areas of market growth in the next few years?
IG: Mobile web browsing will continue to expand. This trend will continue to strain bandwidth, causing more deployments of equipment to handle demand. In addition, Web site development will have to improve to enhance the web browsing experience on a multitude of different products.
In the phone/audio communications arena I think there is room for growth in better conference servers and speaker phones. Audibility can vary dramatically between speakers and improvements are required to enhance the VoIP experience.
RT: I understand you are exhibiting Jan. 20 to 22 at ITEXPO East 2010 in Miami. What will you show there? Describe the companies or people who should come to your exhibit.
IG: Our Portico  TVA enables companies to migrate to VoIP without having to employ the “rip and replace” strategy. Companies can move to VoIP immediately simply by installing a Portico TVA into which they plug their existing legacy handsets and then plug our device into their IP PBX or hosted IP PBX service provider. They do away with their legacy PBX, reducing the associated maintenance costs but keep their legacy handsets that can still have a great deal of value. Companies do not need to install Category 5 or 6 cabling until circumstances permit and do not have to install PoE to power no longer necessary IP phones. With our system companies who have infrastructure issues slowing down their VoIP migration or those who want to maintain their investment in digital and Centrex phones should definitely stop by.
Citel has always referred to themselves at The VoIP Migration Company and along with our customers we are migrating our business to stay ahead of the changing VoIP marketplace. In this vein, we will be demonstrating our Citel 4110 IPPhone ( News - Alert). This phone is both SIP and IAX2 compatible and is a must for companies using VoIP who have issues with remote employees dealing with firewalls and bandwidth issues. The first phone in the series is being well received in the marketplace and as was proven at AstriCon 2009 a locally available IAX2 compatible phone is a must.
We will also formally introduce our own IP PBX. Geared to work seamlessly with the Portico TVA so that companies can bring in a small scale IP PBX and use on a plug and play basis assists us to providing customers with a multitude of options as it comes to VoIP migration. For companies with remote users, we can offer them a IP PBX / TVA so that they can use their legacy handsets over VoIP and their remote users can plug into that system using our IP phone reducing the firewall and bandwidth issues.
RT: Why should customers choose your company’s solutions? How do they justify the expense to management?
IG: Our products and systems are a very cost effective solution for VoIP migration. Should companies not have the infrastructure in place for a pure VoIP solution, we offer a solution that is up to 70 percent less than a pure plug and play solution. Also companies can try VoIP migration without all of the associated costs and if it is not for them they can simply revert to their traditional system and wait until the time is right. We offer a very good evaluation unit price to keep the cost of that experience to a minimum.
RT: Please give me one outrageous prediction pertaining to our markets for 2010.
IG: VoIP will grab 50 percent of the telecom business by the end of the year.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri



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