Those who are first to crack the CTI nut will find a healthy and lucrative kernel inside. The true convergence of computers and telephony may be a little way off just yet, but the market is steadily becoming peppered with products, any one of which may become the key to the CTI log jam. Some might argue that Mitel is an unlikely contender in this growing band of pioneers, being best known as a serious dinosaur of the PBX world. It is trying to bounce back from the brink of the telephony graveyard with a product called MediaPath, an open PC-based switching platform that is designed to attack the lower end of the PBX market, and be resold by Vars.
MediaPath comprises two CTI boards plus TAPI-compliant software for call control. The system works under Windows NT Server on Intel or Digital Alpha hardware, and can be plugged into a LAN. Peter Bohacek of Mitel's Canadian head office told Var World: "The CTI market is predicted to be worth $8 billion by 2000. The best way for Vars to get a slice of that is to tackle the SME market with a solution like MediaPath. All existing CTI solutions, such as they are, are targeted at the high end, and we regard the middle market as untapped."
Mitel is targeting Microsoft SPs who may want to start developing CTI solutions. Bohacek said: "We are a very Microsoft-centric company, and work with them extensively."
The product is initially being distributed through Northamber's CTI Distribution arm. Volume shipments start in December, and around 30 Vars are initially sought.
3Com has realigned its sales structure, creating a Systems Sales Business Unit for customers buying complex, integrated networking solutions.
There is now also a Remote Access Busines Unit, so that this market can be addressed separately. The systems side will be headed by Nigel Oakley, and will contain a team specially to support Vars, north and south accounts teams, and a special team for the telco sector. The remote access unit is headed by Julian Hubble, and will include the Sonix range.
Fujitsu ICL is launching a range of Windows terminals, largely in line with the NC model, to provide Windows applications and Internet access to the desktop. The Fujitsu ErgoWin Thin Client has a cost of ownership 50 per cent less than a PC, claims the vendor. The ErgoWin package plugs straight into an Ethernet network.
A third of UK companies think that having a Web site is important to their future success, according to a report carried out by Banner on Behalf of AST. Service-related companies think most highly of having a Web site, with the most negative feeling harboured by the manufacturing industry.
Attitudes vary greatly according to whether respondents already have a connection to the online world. About a tenth of respondents believe that it is too early to assess any benefits from the Web.
New acquisition will bring UK cloud service provider's global headcount to over 700
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Vendor claims to have demonstrated 'growing commitment to the telecoms space
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