Oki steps back into IP telephony

Oki steps back into IP telephony

Vendor aims to take on Panasonic, NEC, Samsung, Hybrix and LG Aria brands

Oki is returning to its telephony roots and will start offering a new range of IP phone systems to the local market.

General manager, Graham Harman, said the vendor sold phones in the late 1990s but was precluded from selling them in certain regions, including Australia, after making an international deal with Ericsson.

"That particular relationship ended. Now the overall Oki global growth strategy is to grow the telecommunications business outside of Japan, where it is already a major player," he said.

To kick off its launch into the IP phone space, the vendor has released two main models - the IPstage SX and MX. The SX is suitable for up to 30 extensions, while MX goes up to 100 extensions and will include multiple handsets.

Harman said the IP products will be available through its parent company and distributor, IPL Datron.

"They have an existing communications business and distribute Avaya, Alcatel and Siemens products," he said. "Often resellers do carry a second brand and we would like to talk to them about being an alternate brand."

"I think there is going to be an automatic demand from customers because they are seeing or hearing about IP functionality that other people have and want that for themselves."

Harman said it will target Oki's existing printer reseller base and Panasonic, NEC, Samsung, Hybrix and LG Aria resellers.

"We want to look at replacing the brand they are potentially carrying now," he said. "Oki printer resellers can look at it as an additional income source, particularly in IP because it is sitting on the backbone of the network. It's a technology they should be able to pick up and make some money out of."

To look after its new IP product range, Oki has hired Anya Grichina as product manager and national channel manager. Harman said she will focus on working with resellers to get them to come on-board and organise training, ongoing support and marketing initiatives.

Before joining Oki, Grichina was previously the wholesale account manager at Soul Communications. Her resume also includes a business development manager role with Commander and positions with AAPT and AMP.

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