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December 17, 2007

A Look at Parallel Technologies Partner ClearOne

By Brian Solomon, TMCnet Web Editor


ClearOne (News - Alert) is a developer of audio conferencing products, and one of the companies whose conference phones are distributed by Parallel Technologies. The company is recognized in the conferencing marketplace as having the most comprehensive portfolio of audio conferencing products, as well as a broad portfolio of customers, including Parallel. ClearOne is, in fact, the global market leader for installed audio conferencing products, with more than 50% global market share.
 
The differentiator in terms of conference phones is ClearOne’s sophisticated digital signal processing technology, as well as global deployment. Also, the company’s history of data optimizes its digital signal processing so that equipment can work in any environment once installed.
 
ClearOne’s 50% market share is made up of its professional line, as well as legacy products. In the last several years, the company has made a decision to try and dominate the audio conferencing space as the market is emerging.
 
The Chat 150 is a USB that connects to cell phones, allowing for a full duplex conferencing equivalent to what you would get out of a regular conferencing phone. It can convert any enterprise handset into a conference phone.
 
Another product is the MAXAttach Line, which comes in VoIP, analog, wired and wireless.
 
The RAV Line is a premium audio conferencing line. It's intended as a future-proof solution, with the capability to connect to video, so that if you add video to your system, it's ready. It comes with Bose speakers and mixer, and a wireless or wired remote.
 
ClearOne primarily sells its products through a huge network of distributors, which includes Parallel Technologies. The distributors have a huge network of dealers. When it's on the pro side, they have AV integrators and IT specialists. When it's on the telephony line, you have digital marketing resellers, DMR.
 
Most insiders believe that all the analog conference phones throughout the world are eventually going to be changed to VoIP. And cell phone peripherals operate as much on their cell phone as they do any other tethered handset, and so there is an opportunity there for conferencing.
 
VoIP’s adoption has been slower than is anticipated. Small enterprises are the quickest to adopt, often going with hosted services. Large enterprises take longer. Most Fortune 500 companies had not fully adopted VoIP. Security and quality of service are key issues in terms of audio conferencing.
 
ClearOne’s growth strategy has been to expand to the non-traditional emerging audio conferencing market, capitalizing on the VoIP market transition. The other thing the company plans to focus on investing in is brand awareness.
 
The company has undergone a lot of changes, outsourcing the manufacturing and moving its facilities. At the same time, there’s been a double digit growth of revenue, and the new products may just put it on a path to exceed that..
 
Brian Solomon is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Brian Solomon’s columnist page
 
Don't forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.



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