Samsung’s new all-in-one IP phone system offers easy integration with smartphones, including seamless handover from Wi-Fi to GSM and from desktop phones to mobiles.
In the last few years, mobility has gone mainstream. Once an option – a necessity even – for sales people and knowledge workers, mobile working is now standard for employees at all levels of an organisation and in all departments.
According to a global Vodafone study1, 75% of companies have introduced flexible working policies that enable employees to vary their hours and use the latest technologies to work from home or on the move. The trend is most advanced – and runs deepest – in developed economies like the US and Western Europe. In a new whitepaper2, IDC predicts that by 2018 three quarter of the Western European workforce will be mobile.
Change on this scale is nothing short of revolutionary. Even so, many businesses (and suppliers) persist with outmoded telephone systems that limit their ability to harness all the benefis that flxible working brings to productivity and business efficiency.
Senior Product Manager at Samsung Electronics UK, says Samsung is taking a different approach. “We believe there is a need for continuing development and innovation. Businesses today have specifi requirements, such as easy mobility, flexibility and low running costs, that other communication systems might struggle to deliver. The Samsung Communication Manager Compact (SCMC) is Samsung’s response to these changing market requirements,” he said.
Foremost among these is mobility and the seamless integration of mobile phones into the voice network.
“Businesses today are downsizing their office space and adopting hot desking. They are encouraging employees to work from home and work flexibly and that leads to the use of mobiles rather than filed desk phones as the primary communication devices,” explained Wood.
“The big challenge is to enable customers to enjoy the power of mobility without any loss of control. How do you give the customer control over mobile devices so they can do things like record calls, keep call logs, keep audit trails and so on? You have to ensure that the business is able to control communications rather than let individual users do whatever they want. The SCM Compact gives users the ability to work anywhere, at any location, and enjoy a completely seamless experience, with the business retaining complete control.”
With support for smartphones running the WE VoIP mobile unifid communications app, the ability to move calls from a desk phone to a mobile in mid-call, and automatic handover of voice calls from Wi-Fi to GSM – without the user having to do anything, the SCM Compact is tailor-made for today’s more mobile workstyles. It also meets the demand for flxibility and low running costs.
The SCM Compact is a pure IP-based VoIP phone system for 16 to 512 users. It is a smaller version of the Samsung Communication Manager Express (SMCE) for up to 3,000 extensions, with the same feature set, same look and feel and
same form factor.
It comes with many of the most popular business applications built in. This includes a powerful voicemail system, expandable to 32 channels; auto attendant; call recording; and a full audio-conferencing suite that allows users to confiure and set up a conference call just as they would with any other conferencing system.
SIP trunks are the primary means of connectivity with the outside world. However, in the interests of flexibility, the SCM Compact can be used with optional gateway modules for ISDN Primary Rate, Basic Rate, and even analogue lines.
“The system has four universal slots and a choice of modules that you can slot in, including 60-channel ISDN, 30-channel ISDN, 4-channel Basic Rate and 4-channel analogue trunk cards. There is also an analogue extension card, so you can link in things like fax machines if you need to,” explained Wood.
For handsets, the SCM Compact uses Samsung’s existing range of IP phones, as well as smartphones running the Samsung WE VoIP mobility app.
The SCM Compact is a single, all-in-one appliance designed to fi into a rack in an on-premise or remote datacentre. Measuring just 44mm high, it takes up very little rack space, uses less power than separate units and emits less heat, helping to keep down cooling costs.
Wood says the system is an economical option for suppliers and installers too.
“We’ve made installation very simple – you can get the system up and running in about fie steps on a web GUI, which reduces installation costs,” he said. “And there is a lot of system monitoring and network monitoring built into the system, so support costs will come down. Because you can access the system remotely to look at logs and do analytics, you can identify faults across the network and have them corrected without having to travel to a site.”
Adding extra functionality is equally easy. The SCM Compact will integrate with Samsung’s existing range of apps, including its desktop CTI, contact centre and call reporting products; and adding extra users is just a question of acquiring new licences – there is no need to make hardware or software changes.
“The SCM Compact starter pack gives you everything you need – the main system, including rack mount brackets and power cable, and 16 user licences, either with or without voicemail. That’s the starting point. Then, to expand it, you just add new user licences, or if you need the TDM trunk connections you just add in the option cards. SIP trunks are not licensed so you can add as many as you like without any additional cost,” explained Wood.
One of the key functions of the system, says Wood, is integration with mobiles and the very slick way this works. “There’s no need for any user interaction – employees use their mobile as normal and the system does the rest. It doesn’t matter what number you dial: if it’s an on-net call, it goes on-net; if it’s an offnet call, it goes off-net. If you are in the office, it works the same; and if you are out of the office, it works the same – it’s a seamless experience for the user.”
Users of Samsung smartphones benefi most, as they are the most deeply integrated with the SCM Compact, followed by generic Android handsets. But even iOS smartphone users can look forward to a greater degree of integration, including the ability to push calls from the phone system to an iOS handset over Wi-Fi – something that can’t be done on a Samsung OfficeServ phone system.
Unlike iOS phones, which need dual connectivity – Wi-Fi and mobile network – to receive a call, Android phones just need a Wi-Fi connection. As well as offering a more seamless experience, this enables them to act as economical alternatives to DECT and Wi-Fi phones.
“You can use an Android phone even if you don’t have a signal, just Wi-Fi connectivity. So we see them being used a lot as DECT replacements. You can buy a standard, entry-level Samsung business mobile for about £130, not put in a SIM and use it as a generic Wi-Fi handset – and it will probably work out costing less than a dedicated Wi-Fi or DECT handset,” Wood said.
With impressive ease of use, low running costs and seamless mobile integration, Samsung is confient that the SCM Compact will become the phone system of choice for modern businesses as they adopt more agile, flxible ways of working. As Wood says: “People will deploy it because it’s very easy to use.”
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