Convergence reseller ML Integration (MLI) has implemented a £250,000 Voice over IP system for the Erewash borough council. The council was looking to save money on its communications systems, which host a wide range of voice and data activities.
Stuart Lloyd, IT manager at Erewash council, said: "The reason we wanted to join voice and data together was to consolidate our communications. It saves us money to have one line instead of two."
Lloyd described how council tax enquiries and record keeping works as an example of an application that benefits from the convergence of data and voice.
MLI, based in Reading, is a voice and data convergence reseller with a dedicated support services division. The company has 350 staff, made up of technicians, salesmen, and engineers.
Dave Glasgow, business development director at MLI, told CRN: "We are very well positioned to provide voice and data convergence technology and support because we have five focused divisions, including voice and data. The two disciplines have crossed over because we recognised that convergence was the way forward."
According to Lloyd, MLI was selected primarily because it offered a one-hour support promise. "It is very important to be supplied with quick support so we can be continuously connected," he said.
Lloyd believed that the combination of a good heritage and partnerships with leading vendors is what has ensured that MLI has the infrastructure to converge clients.
"We are essentially partnered with all of the leading vendors, and hold high accreditation with them," he said. Manufacturers, he continued, are now addressing convergence, and resellers will gain advantage through partnership or acquisition.
But Glasgow warned that the adoption of converged technology is not straightforward, especially for small resellers. "It would be very difficult for a small voice business to adopt data because it would be very difficult to know where to start," he said.
Voice and data research carried out by Excellence in Computing Solutions showed that only nine per cent of 138 IT and internet professionals polled believed the convergence of voice and data networks would be essential to their ebusiness success.
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