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Tuesday, 12 February 2013 16:03

Amcom to offer Cisco's cloud based unified comms

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Perth based telco Amcom has become the second telco in Australia to adopt Cisco's enterprise-grade unified communications platform, the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution, which offers a full range of business communications services from the cloud.

Amcom has made a $2m investment - presently financed by Cisco - in HCS in preparation for the launch of services in June. Its move follows an announced from CSC in August 2012 that it would be the first company in Australia to offer Cisco HCS.

HCS was launched in June 2010. It runs on the Cisco Unified Computing System and offers Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Contact Center, Cisco Unified Mobility, Cisco Unified Presence, Cisco Unity Connection, and Cisco WebEx Meeting Center (hosted separately by Cisco) to support IP telephony, video conferencing, presence, instant messaging, chat, collaboration and mobility.

Amcom CEO, Clive Stein, told iTWire that Amcom was in a very strong position to offer HCS because it has an extensive network over which to deliver the service, an established base of customers using the premises-based equivalents and expertise in hosted offerings and in Cisco technology.

"We already have about 1400 government and enterprise customers that are using Cisco Call Manager and other on-premises solution. We also have a national data network, including our own fibre optic network in Perth Adelaide and Darwin, and we have all the IP telephony skills around service activation and billing.

"We currently run a BroadSoft platform for the mid market with about 100,000 end points. And we have very deep Cisco capabilities in a business we acquired called L7 solutions. It has been Cisco's number one partner In WA for some time."

Stein said he did not see the Cisco offering supplanting that from BroadSoft because the two addressed quite distinct markets. "The BroadSoft offing is for the mid market and below and we see HCS tackling the corporate and government market at 100 seats and above for some customer and 250 and above for others. The BroadSoft platform is very much cookie cut. Cisco's is much more tailorable to customer requirements."

Stein said he expected the current momentum behind BYOD would be a significant factor driving adoption of the hosted offering by existing Cisco users. "We see BYOD as being one of the key drivers - customers wanting to have the same functionality on any device, anywhere."

Amcom has about 200 reseller partners and a subset of these will be offering HCS alongside and in competition with Amcom's direct sales team. "We are very focussed on empowering our channel to have the capabilities that we have ... we have a very strong direct sales team," Stein said.

In addition to HCS Amcom is also upgrading its Cisco-based network with an additional $5m worth of new kit, also vendor-financed. Stein said this represented a regular refresh that the company undertook every six years or so.

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