MSP Today Expert Feature
April 02, 2013

Whaleback Expands Phone Options for Managed UC Service

Remember when Voice over IP (VoIP) was a compromise, with lousy call quality and hardly any phones to choose from? Then unified communications (UC) kicked in, and while there were plenty of features, these features didn’t always match enterprise needs, the systems weren’t as reliable as POTS, and they could be difficult to manage.

Today, VoIP sounds great and works great. And UC has all the needed bells and whistles, along with ease of use and reliability. And for Whaleback Managed Services UC customers, the selection of phones is now broader with the availability of Polycom (News - Alert) VVX 300, 400 and 600 phones.

These phones all now work with Whaleback’s CrystalBlue managed UC cloud service. These phones are all aimed at enterprises users, largely in offices or home offices. They feature programmable lines keys so users can manage contacts and calls, as well as large screens.

For users of the CrystalBlue service, the phones will be automatically configured over the cloud, and then managed and maintained through the cloud as well.

The new phone line includes:

  • VVX 600, which comes with a gesture-based display like modern tablets have, and Bluetooth integration for headsets.
  • VVX 500 has 12 programmable line keys and a gesture interface.
  • VVX 400 also has 12 programmable line keys and a gesture interface.
  • VVX 300 has six programmable line keys.

Whaleback believes it is meeting enterprise demands for choice and more feature-rich phones.

"As we continue to expand our business, it is critical that we offer customers a range of high quality, best-of-breed phones that both fit their individual needs and enhance and complement the unified communications services we provide," said Chris Daly, Whaleback Managed Services CEO. "Polycom VVX phones not only provide the advanced next gen features we require such as HD voice, HD video, web access, instant messaging and presence, but also do so in a way that is affordable and easy-to-use and set up, making it pain-free for our customers."

Remote Access

As a cloud service, CrystalBlue is available wherever a user has an Internet connection. While the Polycom phones are full-featured and aimed at office use, customers can also access the UC services remotely from smartphones. These services include “high-definition voice, network services, IP desk phones, messaging, collaboration, mobility, service guarantees, and redundancy,” the company explained.

Partner Play

Late last month, Whaleback announced that it added third partners to its partner program, companies that will offer CrystalBlue to SMBs in North America. “Small businesses are continuing to adopt unified communications services to lower their internal communications costs and provide their employees with greater flexibility and more mobility opportunities,” said Whaleback’s Daly. “Our partners can now provide what SMBs need at the core of their business – a common set of communications capabilities that securely integrates voice, conferencing, messaging and social tools that can be immediately leveraged for increased productivity and eventually enable new business innovation.”

We See UC Growth

The UC market is poised for strong growth, according to research from Transparency Market Research "Unified Communications (News - Alert) Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Trends and Forecast, 2012 – 2018." According to the report, the UC market will grow an average of 15.7 percent per year from now until 2018, when it hits a market size of $61.9 billion.

Edited by Braden Becker