Samsung’s new hosted IP telephony service meets the growing need for security, resilience and mobility, while providing resellers with new opportunities to generate income and protect their margins
In response to growing demand from resellers and end users, Samsung has launched a hosted version of its Samsung Communication Manager IP phone system.
Samsung Hosted combines the flexibility of a hosted model, with the functionality and security previously only available from an on-premise system, giving resellers a profitable and low maintenance product to take to market.
Wilfred Wood, senior product manager at Samsung Electronics UK, said: “Demand for a Samsung hosted solution has been growing for some time, but we resisted the pressure to launch just another ‘me-too’ product. Instead, we took our time creating a solution that stands out from everything else on the market and delivers true Samsung quality.”
He says that Samsung Hosted differs from other solutions in three important respects – security, resilience and mobile integration. At a time of changing working practices and growing concern about cyber-attacks and the fragility of many IT infrastructures (e.g. the recent BA IT failure), these are key selling points that will help resellers to stand out in the market.
Samsung Hosted offers certified security end-to-end, from the datacentre to the handset. SIP connections between the customer’s premises and data centre are secured and encrypted using TLS and SRTP protocols. Communications with the handsets are also secured, without the need for VPNs or other complex deployments. This includes Samsung smartphones, which are protected by the built-in KNOX security system.
Samsung Hosted resides in multiple UK datacentres certified to a very high level of security (ISO 27001/2) and geo-redundancy (CPNI – the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure). If one site or one system goes down, the other site automatically takes over without any break in communication. Data centres are governed under UK law and cannot be accessed by third parties.
Drawing on Samsung’s leadership in smartphone technology, Samsung Hosted offers true, no compromise mobile integration. Customers can use only smartphones or only desk phones as their handset of choice, or they can use both. They can start with desk phones and later add smartphones and vice versa. Samsung Hosted supports all deployment models. When deskphones and Samsung smartphones are used together, they can be fully integrated. Incoming calls can ring on both handsets and calls can be transferred from one to another in mid-conversation, with no break in the speech path.
Samsung Hosted is based on Samsung Communication Manager (SCM) and unlike most other hosted solutions provides all the telephony features you would expect from an on-premise IP PBX. This extends to features like busy lamp fields, which show when others on the system are on a call.
Having exactly the same feature set on both the on-premise and hosted variations of SCM gives customers the flexibility to move to (or from) a hosted solution at any time, with no loss of functionality. The phone system, the functionality, the handsets are all the same; only the system’s location changes.
Just like Samsung Communication Manager, Samsung Hosted provides a platform for additional functionality, all hosted in the cloud.
Samsung will soon be adding CTI functionality that links Samsung Hosted to a customer’s computer, so that customers can manage calls via their PC and see who is calling before picking up the phone.
Later, it will be launching Samsung Contact Centre as a hosted option, giving customers the opportunity to streamline call handling, with automatic call distribution, skills-based call routing, self-service options, call monitoring/recording and automatic diallers.
Compelling proposition These strengths make Samsung Hosted a compelling proposition for the wide range of businesses that stand to benefit from hosted IP telephony:
Small and micro businesses with fewer than 10 employees can acquire big system features without any capital expenditure;
Growing businesses can easily add or remove users;
Firms, such as solicitors, that have expanded locally can easily integrate new offices;
Loose confederations of organisations, such as a network of GP surgeries in a certain area or local schools, can use a hosted system to reduce the need for multiple phone systems and service contracts;
Enterprises with smaller sites nationwide, e.g. a builders merchant, bank or estate agent, can use hosted as an alternative to having a phone system in every location.
With the launch of Samsung Hosted, organisations that might have discounted hosted telephony in the past due to security fears, such as hospitals, Government organisations or education providers, can now enjoy its many benefits confident that their communications are protected and secure.
The strength of Samsung Hosted as a product has many appealing features. For resellers, it has many other benefits and revenue-generating opportunities:
An end-to-end Samsung solution, Samsung Hosted is available with a selection of Samsung handsets and Samsung smartphones. Customers will be able to add other devices, such as a conference phone, but it is recommended that only Samsung business-grade handsets are used. The use of Samsung devices optimises speech quality and the customer experience. For resellers, it provides an opportunity to incorporate handsets into bespoke bundles, with the option to upgrade, much like a mobile phone contract.
Samsung Hosted has a number of clear advantages over other hosted systems. This gives resellers the opportunity to differentiate themselves and protect margin. For example, other hosted telephony providers can provide security into and from the datacentre, but only Samsung, through the KNOX system, can guarantee security on mobile handsets.
Samsung Hosted gives resellers the opportunity to make additional sales, from network connectivity to support voice over IP to enhanced WiFi networks needed to support smartphone integration. There are also opportunities for 100% reseller-owned revenue from professional services, installation and maintenance.
With the launch of Samsung Hosted, resellers that in the past have used hosted solutions from other providers will be able to offers customers a solution from a brand that they know and trust.
Resellers have a choice of billing options to suit their own requirements. Samsung can bill the reseller for variable charges, the lines and minutes, which they then pass on to their customers. Or, if the reseller doesn’t want to get involved in billing, Samsung can bill the end customer directly and pay a commission to the reseller.
Samsung Hosted is the hosted IP solution that resellers and end users have been waiting for. To find out more about the product and becoming a reseller, please email email@example.com
FOR END USERS
Easy scalability from 1 to 3,000 extensions per site
No capital expenditure on equipment, just a monthly usage fee
No requirement for on-premises equipment – all you need is a handset and/or Samsung smartphone
Easy integration of remote workers and other offices
Automatic maintenance and upgrades, with no need for site visits – it all takes place in the cloud
Future-proof – users automatically enjoy the latest system features
Big system security included in the monthly fee
Resilience – instead of having to install two systems on your premises with two separate network connections to different BT exchanges, everything is dealt with in the hosted environment
Monthly recurring fee income
Easy provisioning via a web portal
Reduced reseller support costs – everything is done in the datacentre
Opportunity for handset and smartphone sales/upgrades
Opportunity for upgrading customers’ WiFi network to support smartphone deployment
Flexibility to create a bundled service including phones, SIP trunks and hosted telephony