Toshiba, PAETEC Partner for One-Stop VoIP Solution

Voice over IP customer premise equipment (CPE) maker Toshiba America Information Systems (TAIS) and voice/data communications service provider PAETEC Holding Corp. today announced a two-pronged agreement.

First, PAETEC’s SIP Trunking services are officially certified for interoperability with Toshiba’s Strata CIX family of ‘IP business communications systems’ (i.e., iPBXs).

Second, Toshiba has become a Master National Sales Agent (i.e., channel partner) for PAETEC, selling its SIP Trunking and related telecommunications services through its nationwide dealer network.

The upshot for customers is a one-stop shopping opportunity that will let them source VoIP equipment and compatibility-proven services in a single transaction. Moreover, as PAETEC’s service footprint is virtually nationwide (it extends to 82 of the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas), even large customers can most likely fill their communications needs with one service provider relationship, rather than having to forge multiple relationships.

“This collaboration is a significant milestone in the evolution of IP-based communications,” said Sanjay Hiranandani, PAETEC’s senior vice president for engineering. “The nationwide interoperability of Toshiba’s equipment and PAETEC’s SIP Trunking mitigates the need for large enterprises to create patchwork network solutions to address different parts of the country.”

Another plus with PAETEC’s SIP Trunking is that the provider’s private MPLS network (define) offers integrated voice and data capability. “The Toshiba-PAETEC SIP Trunking service gives Toshiba Strata CIX IP system users ISDN-like features over a data connection without the need to buy separate services for voice and data,” pointed out TAIS product manager, Eric Abing.

“This agreement marks PAETEC’s first national sales channel partnership with a VoIP CPE manufacturer, and it gives hundreds of authorized Toshiba dealers access to PAETEC’s national support structure,” said Jeff Howe, PAETEC’s vice president and general manager for national channel sales. “Our network services can help Toshiba dealers further solidify their relationships with end-user customers.”

The provisioning of SIP Trunking with the Toshiba Strata CIX system eliminates both the need for a VoIP gateway, bringing the benefits of a native IP connection—and the need for a separate data circuit. PAETEC’s Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities automatically give voice signals priority over data. When no voice signals are present, all available bandwidth can be used for data.

We’re guessing that we’ll be seeing many more such partnerships in the coming months. Analyst Rebecca Swensen, who covers VoIP services at IDC agrees: “As Enterprise SIP Solutions evolve, agreements between service providers and equipment manufacturers will increasingly become prevalent,” she said in a statement.

“The PAETEC and Toshiba strategic partnership is unique. This relationship facilitates simplicity, flexibility, and the ability to customize solutions to fit customer needs. This will simplify the process of migrating enterprise customers to SIP solutions,” Swensen said.

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