The VoIP story is more comprehensive at the corporate end of town. IP-based communications have already made significant inroads into the business and enterprise sector, forcing integrators and telcos to rethink their position in the marketplace.
According to IDC, telecoms service providers needed to adapt in order to gain a stronghold in the changing playing arena. The analyst firm has claimed IP PBX will become a more attractive proposal for SMBs for 2006, as shipments of IP telephony lines surpass time division multiplexing (TDM) lines in the business market for the first time. Cisco regional manager for A/NZ channels, Suzanne Hansen, said the vendor had experienced a great year due to the penetration of its advanced technologies, ranging from IP communications, security and mobility to data centre products.
These would continue to be the focal points going into the New Year, she said.
The networking vendor planned to complement these areas with a push into more vertical applications, as well as greater efforts in the SMB space.
"As the network becomes more applications aware, it becomes much more relevant to business decision makers who also manage overall business process," Hansen said.
"We want to work with our partners, especially those with strong services practices, to develop full lifecycle services around maximising the technology we provide, and to help those who are able to move into more applications awareness."
While some resellers were tuned in to the applications capabilities offered through products such as the Cisco Integrated Services Router, Hansen said the key channel strategy for 2006 would be to get more partners selling converged network services.
"The technology is there - it's about having the business processes and applications understood by the channel," she said.
Marketing director for national integrator Dimension Data, Gerard Florian, identified two areas of focus in 2005 which would carry through to the New Year: consolidation and collaboration.