As one of the world’s top ten providers of telephony and business communications solutions, Toshiba offers a comprehensive portfolio of communication systems and applications – each designed to enable its partners to enhance customer relationships, drive productivity and maximise profitability.
With a 130-year pedigree in telecoms, Toshiba’s Unified Communications product range centres around the award-winning IPedge and Strata platforms. Its offering spans every aspect of business communications – from handsets and basic telephony systems through to remote working solutions, advanced IP-based unified communications servers (UC) and contact centre solutions.
What UC can do for business IPedge offers a single server approach, providing a reliable, powerful and easy to administer solution at an affordable price. The single-box solution offers centralised management in a compact piece of equipment, and allows a range of integrated applications to be added to the system at a later point, depending on business needs. As a business grows and expands into new offices for example, it may decide to add applications such as instant messaging, for faster communications between buildings.
Toshiba understands that even the smallest failures of comms equipment can cause major problems for businesses, and has therefore armed IPedge with a host of survivability options, guaranteeing that business operations will not be held back by technical issues, should they arise. These features include hot standby, which makes sure that a secondary system runs simultaneously in the background, and is prepared to assume the responsibilities of the primary system should it fail.
The range of solutions available to build onto IPedge and improve business operations is extensive. Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) and Unified Messaging (UM) are among the integrated applications which can be added to the system. This allows the integration of different electronic messaging and communications media technologies (email, voicemail, video and so on) within a single platform, accessible from various devices.
This means, for example, that audio such as voicemail can be listened to from a user’s inbox, both on their laptop and mobile phone on the go. The user experience is therefore simplified by having everything stored in a single location, yet accessible through different entry points.
IPedge offers workers the flexibility to communicate with colleagues in the most appropriate way, enabled by a more intelligent and holistic system. Later this year, businesses will start to benefit from the ability to interconnect systems over the internet, enabling better presence detection so that status updates can be shared automatically.
This is known as federation, and will be based on XMPP, an open protocol which gives companies the freedom to choose the solutions which live on it.
Whilst initially this will be focused on businesses using IPedge, it is a step towards opening up opportunities for companies to interconnect people across multiple and different platforms. For example, a business could build a virtual group including suppliers and customers who regularly work together, so that everyone can see who else is online, chat, and video conference to increase productivity.
Mobile workers have traditionally been external to the system, contactable only by ringing their mobile number. The product update will therefore allow mobile devices to federate too, as well as use integrated clients on their smartphones which connect back to the system supporting chat, presence and voice. For example, if someone answers a call on their mobile or desk phone, the platform will recognise this and automatically change the person’s status to ‘on a call’, ensuring that he or she is not interrupted and that colleagues don’t waste time trying to find them. This is especially useful in providing staff with visibility of mobile workers, particularly given the rate at which this has increased recently.
As employees adapt to flexible working, the need to retain the ability to hold face-to-face meetings drives the need for the built-in conferencing bridge with video and web
collaboration. People can simply book a virtual conference room, reserve the resources and provide a simple link to colleagues to join. By adding video and web collaboration it removes the need to spend hours driving to meetings and the costs that this entails.
IPedge is a compact, simple and secure server, allowing companies to take a building-block approach to their technology investments, and expand functionality when it makes most sense for their business.
Working with Toshiba
Toshiba operates through a channel of trusted partners, who are able to provide vertical-specific specialist support. This ensures businesses receive a service tailored to their individual, but also industry requirements. These specialists sit across a range of sectors, from SMB, to education, corporate and public sector.