Toshiba Channel Partners to Sell Paetec SIP Trunking Services to Business Customers
The agreement enables Toshiba's telecom partners to pursue communications business with legacy customers, while retaining existing medium and large-scale clients. Paetecs SIP trunking service permits companies with installed PBX systems to utilize VoIP technology.
A new master reseller agreement between the Telecommunications Systems Division of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. and Paetec Holding Corp., a supplier of voice and broadband data services, will enable Toshibas channel partners to sell Paetecs SIP trunking services to SMB and enterprise customers.
The Paetec agreement is important for Toshibas channel partners in that it helps them to pursue communications business with legacy customers and retain existing business with medium and large-scale clients. Paetecs SIP trunking service permits businesses with installed PBX systems to use Voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology. For legacy customers, connecting an enterprise IP-PBX to an Internet telephony service provider's SIP trunk can mean cost savings and increased efficiency.
Toshibas Telecommunication Systems Division (TSD) has about 350 channel partners. Those resellers, which sell Toshibas Strata CIX line of IP communications systems, now interoperable with Paetecs SIP trunking services, will benefit from the agreement, said Jon Nelson, product marketing manager, Toshiba TSD.
SIP trunking is not as widespread among our channel partners as it could be, but it is growing in popularity, and the demand is increasing from customers, Nelson said. Most partners now have come up to speed with it, are familiar with IP technology and anxious to have SIP trunking."
Nelson said that most of Toshibas telecom resellers, which consists largely of interconnect companies and VARs, want to be a one-stop shop to their customers with the ability to offer SIP trunking services and operate as a solution provider.
He acknowledged that SIP trunking services have not flown off the shelves but predicted that the Paetec agreement will enable our resellers to get new customers that they wouldnt ordinarily be able to get and hang on to customers that they already have. He said that the target customer ranges from mid-level SMBs to larger companies. Small companies with less than 10 users will not see the value of SIP trunkingthe larger the company the higher the interest, he said.
Paetec officials also pointed to the benefits of the agreement to Toshibas resellers. The nationwide interoperability of Toshibas equipment and Paetecs SIP trunking mitigates the need for large enterprises to create patchwork network solutions to address different parts of the country, said Sanjay Hiranandani, Paetec senior vice president, engineering. Paetec said that its services extend to 82 of the top 100 metropolitan markets in the U.S.
Toshibas entire network of telecom resellers is eligible to sell Paetecs SIP trunking services. Toshiba will provide its channel partners with equipment, programming and services training, while Paetec will offer SIP trunking education. Partners will be able to tap into regional personnel in the field for post-sales support. Pre-sales support will be made available through a toll-free number.
The agreement also allows Toshibas channel partners to act as sales agents for Paetecs SIP trunking services. Quite often the reseller ends up being a sales agent for the local telephone provider anyway, Nelson said.
One market analyst suggested that the collaboration between Toshiba and Paetec will pave the way for similar arrangements in the future. As Enterprise SIP Solutions evolve, agreements between service providers and equipment manufacturers will increasingly become prevalent, said Rebecca Swensen, a VoIP services research analyst at International Data Corp. This will simplify the process of migrating enterprise customers to SIP solutions."
Nelson said that Toshibas wants to gain certification and compatibility with all major SIP trunking service and solution providers. Accordingly, Toshibas deal with Paetec is not the first of its kind for the systems manufacturer. Last month, Toshiba inked an agreement with AT&T that gives Toshibas authorized resellers access to AT&Ts IP Flexible Reach, a VoIP communications solution that works with PBX and IP telephony systems.