Voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology adoption is accelerating rapidly, fueled in part by lower operating costs and robust feature sets. Nowhere is this more evident than in the enterprise, as large corporations embrace the value proposition offered by VoIP technology. Surprisingly, even the SOHO market is embracing VoIP.
Left out of this picture is the SMB market, where VoIP adoption has been slow due to a variety of obstacles, especially cost and functionality. Enterpriseclass, VoIP-enabled PBXs are far too expensive for SMBs, as they retail for around $10,000, and home-orientated services from AT&T, VoicePulse, and Vonage, are just not robust enough to meet the multiline needs of a typical small business.
Centrepoint Technologies's TalkSwitch 48-CVA PBX promises VoIP to SMBs, combining four lines with four VoIP trunks and as many as 32 extensions in a unit that is smaller than a breadbox. The 48-CVA is extremely scalable to a business' future growth, thanks to its many lines, trunks and ports. The unit retails for $1,795, a fraction of the cost of an enterprise unit. What's more, authorized partners can expect margins as high as 35 percent, in addition to service revenue from installation, training and support.
Partners fall into one of three levels, depending on their communications and VoIP experience: Authorized Centrepoint Resellers must have a background in communications equipment and services. Registered Centrepoint Installers must demonstrate TalkSwitch installation and support capabilities and be certified in cabling and communications equipment installation. These partners must also engage in proactive sales and marketing of TalkSwitch systems. Finally, Preferred Centrepoint VoIP Resellers must demonstrate IP networking knowledge and have the ability to install a multisite VoIP system, as well as offer proactive sales and marketing of TalkSwitch VoIP systems.
All Centrepoint partners have access to a dedicated Centrepoint Reseller Program Web site that provides marketing content and tools, as well as technical assistance. Volume pricing, special promotions, sales and technical training and an NFR/Demo program are available to all resellers. Registered Centrepoint Resellers also receive sales lead referrals and networking/partnership opportunities with other resellers. Preferred Centrepoint VoIP Resellers get sales leads and the opportunity to participate in joint multisite VoIP installations.
On the technology side, the Talkswitch unit is easy to set up and manage using a browser-based console. Initial installation consists of little more than plugging the appropriate cables into the unit. Once installed, users are greeted with a dial tone on their handsets.
The fun begins with the setup of the various features of the unit, including call and hunt groups, VoIP trunks and voice mail. Setting up these features is not complicated for a qualified solution provider, but end users shouldn't attempt a set the unit up without an integrator. Solution providers will find everything laid out in a logical fashion and should have no problems deploying the product.
The TalkSwitch delivers when it comes to enterprise-level VoIP and PBX for SMBs. Solution providers shouldn't pass up the opportunity to offer this affordable, scalable solution to customers.
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> TALKSWITCH 48-CVA PBX
COMPANY: Centrepoint Technologies
888 (332) 9322
DISTRIBUTORS: Direct from vendor
Note: Vendors can earn up to five stars for technical merit and five for their channel program. If the average of these two scores is four stars or greater, the product earns CRN Test Center Recommended status.