Australian telecommunications provider, people telecom, has announced a new IP-based desktop management tool, peoplenet.
“Peoplenet is really a portal for businesses to self-manage telecommunications,” people telecom’s CEO, Ryan O’Hare, said. “It enables them to take ownership.”
Looking to launch around August, the new management tool represented the company’s assessment of the market and its realisation of the need to focus on service, said O’Hare.
“It’s very hard to get people to change from normal, fixed line services to IP-based services unless you’ve got a really compelling reason,” O’Hare said, “and price isn’t always the one.”
“It’s all very well making the call work, but everything we have designed is around delivering a higher platform or level of service that hasn’t been seen before.”
In light of this, O’Hare said peoplenet’s functionality and use, particularly its VoIP application, would be the major draw card.
“That section will allow you to change the structure of your PABX requirements, the way you deal with your own telephone requirements, address books and voicemail services as if you were the PABX maintainer,” he said.
“You end up with a virtual PABX service.”
In terms of business models, the interface is currently free, but maybe not for ever.
“We might charge [for] it”, said O’Hare. “We’re charging for calls, and the data network around it, but as far as the online activity we’d like to see that long-term as a value add.”
People telecom’s merger with WA-based Swiftel has been news for a while, but O’Hare doesn’t play down peoplenet’s success with the significance of the pending merger.
“Half of it [peoplenet] has been designed around Swiftel, so a lot of the functionality we are going to have within the peoplenet service is connected into the back end of Swiftel,” he said. Should the merger fall through, O’Hare said he would probably find himself out working on volume ADSL and customer acquisition.
But he played down that prosect: “We already have a strategic partnership agreement on our use of their services so we’ll probably just continue on.”