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Wednesday, 24 November 2010 09:26

NEC Australia gets into videoconferencing


NEC Australia is going after the videoconferencing market with the launch of Viva,  billed as an eay-to-use, complete service package and offered either as an on-premises installation or hosted service.

NEC says the key differentiators of Viva are its customisability, scalability and ease of use. Steve Woff, UC business manager at NEC Australia said: "Videoconferencing is not a new technology, but its deployment has often meant very poor quality, frustrating set-up procedures or costly video room implementations. We've made it simple."

According to NEC, "The launch of Viva means NEC now boasts a collaboration and videoconferencing platform that scales from two users to hundreds of thousands of users making it suitable for organisations of all sizes; addresses the unique needs and set-up of different businesses by providing desk-based, mobile and in-room conferencing options; integrates with existing communications infrastructure, eliminating the need for costly upgrades and brings simplicity, quality, flexibility and functionality to videoconferencing and collaboration."

Woff told iTWire that Viva was an offering unique to NEC Australia, "We have combined some new products from NEC globally and NEC Australia has packaged these up in a service that we have labelled Viva. Videoconferencing equipment has been around for a while but we have found people really struggling to implement it and make it work. So we decide to wrap this up and make it a service that people can rely on."

He added: "This is our methodology it has some new products coming out of Japan and some part products were are wrapping together to create something that we think is really simple, improves video quality and is easy to use and we are backing it up with NEC support'¦Our real differentiator is the way it has been bundled to make it easy to use, and the support we offer."

NEC backs up Woff claims about videoconferencing implementation problems with the result of a survey of 1,200 office workers in Australia that, it said, "reveals that one in five would substitute half their face-to-face meetings with videoconferencing if the right technology was available."

According to NEC, "A third of survey respondents travel more than two hours a week for meetings, with 22 percent travelling more than five hours. Only a third of respondents had ever used videoconferencing, and only nine percent regularly, with 50 percent citing set up difficulties and poor quality [as reasons] for not using videoconferencing to date. 20 percent said it was reserved for top executives only."

Woff said Viva would encompass "everything from softphones to deskphones with video capability, and the ability to bring in mobile phones - we have a client for the iPhone and we are looking at other devices - and bringing in videoconferencing meeting rooms.

"End users can choose to deploy on their own premises or hosted and they can choose to purchase it either under a capex or opex model."

NEC Australia sells direct to the largest organisations and has over 100 channel partners to tackle smaller customers. Woff said Viva would be sold through both these channels, and an additional, IT channel.

"All the direct staff are trained up to sell Viva and we will be rolling out to the channel over coming months. And NEC has a very large service arm, NECare, that will help us support customers wherever they are."

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