Small and medium size businesses (SMBs) across the world will hope to benefit from a new unified communications (UC) box developed in South Korea by the partnership of LG and Ericsson.

As is often the intention with UC boxes, here the new iPECS-MG is aiming to perform all of the functions you would associate with a traditional in-house PBX, while giving you a better ability to combine disparate elements of a network and enable smoother data handling all in one go.

The box is able to deal with both VoIP and video communication, enabling you to connect up to 414 different lines so that you have flexibility as your business grows. It is not just for purely IP-based communication and data collaboration, as it can also remotely manage mobile networks, giving you an all-in-one solution to many of the typical issues which might face your company as it develops.

SMB Unified Communications by LG-Ericsson

LG-Ericsson spokesperson, Ian Kenney, said

"the iPECS-MG will help businesses which want a hybrid approach to unified communication. It will let you migrate your telecoms to harness VoIP if you so wish but will still work hand in hand with PSTN landline connections, so that you can gradually upgrade or have the option of IP-based services available in the future, even if you are not ready to make the leap just yet."

Rival Pressure

Of course the LG-Ericsson partnership is not the only company offering this type of UC box to budding businesses at the moment, with major rivals putting pressure on one another to keep prices competitive and improve the technology which is packed inside each piece of kit.

Some market analysts believe that UC boxes and the companies which build them need to adapt in order to tackle the questions relating to the gradual consumerisation of information technology in the workplace.

In a growing number of companies, the employees are encouraged to bring their own device and harness it for work purposes, whether it be a smartphone or a tablet. This can present obstacles in a number of areas, from security concerns to problems relating to the unity of a particular communications system.

American researcher, Bill Haskins, who works at Wainhouse Research LLC, told IT that

"SMBs are often unprepared for the demands made by employees who want to be able to hook up their personal devices to a business network during working hours. This could have been problematic in the past, but LG-Ericsson is reportedly attempting to stand out from the crowd, by allowing small companies to embrace outside devices, as well as in-house business telephone systems."

What Makes UC a front runner

What makes this UC box noteworthy is its ability to network devices regardless of their location. This means as long as you have a web connection you will be able to use the same services and access the same information from your portable device, according to Mr Kenny.

Remote working is becoming an increasingly essential service, even for SMBs, so with an ability to manage 250 devices simultaneously, irrespective of where they might be in the world, the potential of the iPECS-MG is definitely extensive.

Of course most companies will need to pick a UC solution which fits into their needs, but the flexibility and scalability of something like this box is going to be ideal in a business which has any ambition. Greasing the wheels of commerce is all about adapting and moving towards an IP-based world at the moment, but if you can stagger this ascent and save money in the process, then it should be easier to persuade you to invest.

This article was written by Daisy group plc, leading provider of business telephone systems including Hosted VoIP and IP telephony phone systems to UK SME, corporate and enterprise customers.

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