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October 2008 | Volume 11 / Number 10
Enterprise View

A Reseller Educational Series: Converged IP Expands into New Markets

The telecommunications industry has certainly embraced convergence in a big way and many resellers feel that there are unlimited new opportunities. One marketing segment is just now coming on strong — imaging. Yes, that copier and Multi-Function-Peripheral (MFP) you pass every day in your office can now be part of your converged IP solution.

A good example is the Sharp (News - Alert) OSA Platform from Sharp Corporation, which enables Sharp plus its channel and program members to quickly offer solutions that tightly integrate Sharp MFPs with software applications. Sharp OSA technology uses industry-standard protocols such as XML and SOAP. The platform offers the ability for customization to better address customer needs and promotes a better fit for communications, workflows and business processes.

Nebraska Title Company has been providing timely and comprehensive title and closing services since 1947 but is an example of a “mature dog” learning new tricks. Their reseller, Eakes Office Plus, began in 1945 when the founder, Howard Eakes, returned from WWII. Eakes is another illustration that companies succeed because they embrace new technologies more quickly than their less-than-successful counterparts. Today there are 10 Eakes locations, 120,000 square feet of store space, and 183 employees.

Ne Title wanted to replace their legacy fax machines and copiers but as Doug Gallaway, Eakes’ Product Manager, says, “The current vendor was recommending just replacing their existing equipment. We did our requisite full audit of their processes. Based on the audit we recommended that they take advantage of Sharp’s OSA-enabled product line to maximize the automation for all aspects of their operations.” Ne Title replaced all of their analog fax units and all of their copiers with Sharp OSA-enabled MFPs. They can now send and receive faxes from their desktops, scan in documents at the MFPs for faxing, track all their incoming as well as outbound faxes, and inbound route faxes electronically so they never have to hit paper, all from seven networked locations. Doug also mentioned that Ne Title is very happy with the end result.

Convergence (News - Alert) is definitely changing our methods of doing business. Products like the Sharp OSA now facilitate paper-less workflow, fax communications and integration with VoIP and FoIP products. The same MFPs could also communicate utilizing the Dialogic Brooktrout (News - Alert) SR140 product line with Dialogic media gateways and VoIP. In other words, full VoIP, data, FoIP and workflow convergence spread over multiple locations and states. Maybe it’s time to do an audit of your current product offerings and add some imaging to the mix.

Max Schroeder (News - Alert) is the Senior Vice President of FaxCore, Inc. ( and was also the moderator of Reseller Live at ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2008.

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