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Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Calling all business communications!

26-Jan-2018
Calling all business communications!
In a digital world that seems to be dominated by text, IM and email, nothing it seems replaces the personal approach of a phone conversation. According to a recent Wainhouse Research survey, the deskphone remains the most common communication device used today, with almost 85 percent of workforces using one for business communications.

ALE knows a thing or two about voice communication and phones. ALE’s David Zhou provides an insider view on that all-important business asset, the deskphone, and offers some insights into its continued relevance in the workplace.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m David Zhou, a Product Line Manager at ALE in the Terminals Business Unit based in Shanghai. I’ve held various positions in the ALE product team over the past 10 years including program manager and R&D expert. I was deeply involved in designing and launching ALE’s SIP phones, including the 80x2, the 8001/G and more recently the new 8008 DeskPhone.

So, is the deskphone still a strategic tool for business communications?
The market reports show that in the coming five years – from 2017 to 2021 – the business phone shipment market will grow slightly from 29.5M units to 31.6M units. More interesting is that within the same timeframe, deployment of IP phones will grow from 74% to make up 82% of all business phones.

So yes, business phones are still strategic for enterprises and we will see a solid growth of IP business phones in the coming years. Rather than being replaced by different technology, they are becoming part of a larger communications ecosystem. Upwards of 70 percent of end users leverage a combination of a deskphone, PC and mobile device, with the deskphone offering the simplicity, reliability and quality people want in a business environment.

What were the drivers for designing the new 8008 DeskPhone?
We started from what worked. We heard from our customers that they really appreciated the existing hardware quality, extended business communications features and the attractive price. It needed a larger screen for a better communication experience and additional security features such as Denial of Service (DoS) attack protection.

The new deskphones are cost-effective IP phones designed to meet the needs of the “entry-level” market. By that I mean it delivers a modern business-grade design, with advanced, user-friendly telephony features in a highly optimised format. They have the bigger 2.4-inch LCD screens with six contextual keys and 4-way navigator keys to easily operate the phone’s rich features, such as speed dial and dial by name.

The 8008 DeskPhone supports the advanced business communication features of the Alcatel-Lucent communication servers, Alcatel-Lucent OXO Connect and Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX® Enterprise, which give users access to enterprise features like conference hold, directory and voice mail. The 8008 DeskPhone supports both the feature-rich NOE (New Office Environment proprietary protocol) and SIP stack in survivability mode. From early next year it can also be used in standard SIP, which means the phone can work with a standard SIP server.

What additional benefits does a customer gain from the latest generation of phones?
In addition to traditional daily office usage, deskphones nowadays must offer remote worker functions with a strong security-related value proposition. With the latest generation of phones, communications can be encrypted with IPSEC so the phone can be used securely outside the company’s network and support a built-in VPN client. Deskphones such as the 8008 also support additional SIP standards for more features when deployed in SIP mode.

From a product specification point of view, we also improved the LCD screen to make better use of communication features by creating three lines on the screen. We worked hard to ensure we could optimise energy consumption, which has become an increasingly important consideration for many businesses. With similar pricing to existing ranges, you can have more features on the 8008, better power, better design and better software.

You mentioned you have more than 15 years of experience in designing business phones. What was the most remarkable challenge for you and your team during this project?
From a personal standpoint, working in a multicultural environment with teams located in China, France and India is a strong challenge, but the final result is very enriching and satisfying!

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