Posts Tagged: Blueface

Sep 15

IP Desktop Phones: Far from Dying

Over the past few years, there has been a common perception that IP desktop phones are on the verge of dying. Yes, it’s true that landline telephony is on the decline, VoIP ‘landline’ calls are on the rise. This assumption stems from people believing that landline telephony usage is on a rapid decline owing to increased fixed mobile substitution, yet this is not the case.

Our recent Blueface ICT surveys showed that majority (67.4%) of businesses currently subscribe to or have access to, both a landline and mobile telephony service. Only 13.4% reported use of landline only, with a slightly higher 15.7% using Mobile only. It is quite evident from these figures that an all mobile business is limited in its ability to project a corporate image and therefore, landline as an element of Business Telephony will certainly remain important.

An article from Telegeography provided many interesting insights into the  main scenarios behind the growth of IP Desktop phones.

Increase in VoIP based phone lines:

Statements that refer to the “death of the PSTN” actually refer to the replacement of TDM (Time-division multiplexing/ circuit switched) technology in the telecommunication network by VoIP technology. The reason behind this is mostly due to cost efficient programs  rather than a new service development.

  • The study also suggests that the decline of phone lines is limited to 1.3% per year CAGR since 2008 – the year when the total number of wired phones lines peaked with 1.29 billion subscribers.
  • It is interesting to note that even though switched telephone lines have declined at a compound rate of 4% every year, VOIP consumers have increased by a whopping 18% annually, enabling to neutralize the decline in switched phone lines.

Decline in Residential Landline voice:

Over the last few years, residential landline voice traffic has decreased rapidly owing to an increase in mobile and VoIP to VoIP calling. However, this has not affected the number of phone lines which remains more or less stable.  According to Ofcom’s recent Communications Market Report, the number of fixed outgoing phone calls from residential phone lines has decreased with an 8.2% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the last five years.

The Future

With all the positive trending for IP desktop phones, there is no ignoring the fact that there is much more for the next generation to look forward to. Some of the major developments that would take over telephone communications are:

  • Software based Communications
  • IP Media Phones
  • Hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange)

In our recent ICT survey, a high number of respondents (70.9%) said to be using computer-based telephony software (i.e. Skype, Google Talk, X-lite) for business purposes. This is a reflection of the growing expectations and demands on businesses IP connection. While it has not yet been used as a major mode of telecommunication by businesses, it is definitely gaining ground in the fiercely competitive telecoms industry.

Another area of major growth in the IP phone space is the IP Media Phones. According to Frost & Sullivan, IP media phones are advanced IP desktop phones which have large displays with either integrated or plugged cameras to enable video communication, as well as support advanced telephony,Unified Communication (UC) features and integrated business applications. The IP media phone market shipped around 1.5 million devices in 2014 and this number is expected to quadruple in the next seven years. The main drivers behind moving to IP media phones are reduced costs and the need to switch to UC-enables devices.

IP Desktop Phones

IP Desktop Phones

With the cost of setting up a PBX system (telephone system within a company or institution that switches calls between users on local lines whilst allowing all users to share a certain number of external PSTN phone lines) being extremely expensive, many businesses are making the move towards a hosted PBX. The Hosted PBX handles voice signals using an IP connection and they carry out the same functions as a traditional PBX with many  benefits  such as reduced initial investment costs, increased flexibility, remote management and greater computer-technology integration. Our ICT survey revealed that 10% of respondents already used Hosted PBX, while 22% felt it would be useful for their business.

There is still a long time before we see the IP desktop phones being replaced on a large scale. Most of the major enterprise communication vendors experienced healthy growth in IP desktop phone shipments in 2014 and also invested in new ones including media phones, SIP phones, Microsoft-optimized/qualified devices and lower-end IP desktop phones.

To sum up, IP phones are not dead by any kind of measure and are here to stay with various offerings in terms of shapes, prices, integration and multimodal communications.

By, Nisha RajendraPrasad

Mar 14

Irish Users Losing Out in European Broadband Lottery


Data released by the European Commission today shows that Europe’s 400 million Internet users face a geographic lottery regarding the price, speed, and range of choice of broadband –showing that a single market for broadband services in Europe is still a distant ideal. This has to change, according to European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes, who has said that there “is no good reason why one person should pay over 4 times more than another in Europe for the same broadband.”

The study found that Irish users are paying up to 3 times more for their broadband services than consumers in other European countries, with prices here the third highest in Europe. Cyprus was the most expensive for broadband with Spain taking the 2nd place.

Given these figures, it is unsurprising that Irish people are among the most likely to limit internet use and international calls on their phones because of cost fears; Irish people were found to be the most reluctant in Europe to phone someone in another country because of the cost! However, the study did find that almost half of Irish consumers have now embraced the idea of using an IP telecoms provider such as Blueface to make cheaper calls.


Despite higher than average prices for Irish broadband, the study found that two-thirds of people do not know what speed internet they signed up for and if they do know, they are likely to get just 75% of the speed advertised to them with their broadband package anyway. According to Kroes, “while underlying networks are improving, the gap between advertised and actual speeds is as wide as in 2012.”

In addition, 40% of consumers in Ireland reported difficulties accessing online content due to slow speeds or downloading capacity, while 18pc had been hit with extra charges for downloading too much data, even though most people weren’t aware this could happen.

While successive waves of telecoms sector reform by the European Union have helped transform the way telecoms services are delivered in the EU, the sector still operates largely on the basis of 28 national markets. Both customers and operators face differing prices and rules.

The findings above show a clear need to give broadband users stronger rights and the European Parliament next week will vote on the Commission’s plans for a #ConnectedContinent which proposes measures to ensure consumers have accurate information, clear contracts, reliable speeds and greater rights to switch provider, or end a contract if they don’t get the speed promised. The #ConnectedContinent will also help to overcome market fragmentation and price differences by allowing efficient operators to sell their services to consumers in other countries.

Improvements such as these will enhance competition and increase choice for users; which will hopefully ensure better value and higher quality services across all EU member states. In Blueface, we believe that access to high quality broadband infrastructure and services at affordable prices is vital for businesses and consumers alike. We need to rapidly address our approach in Ireland in order to ensure our businesses can effectively and efficiently compete on a pan-European basis. This report illuminates the challenges facing Irish customers of broadband services and we welcome the debate on the issue in order to challenge operators to rebalance their approach to pricing and quality in the months and years ahead.

Feb 14

ICT Insights Report Launch

Last week Blueface launched our ICT Insights Report 2014 in the ballroom of the Four Seasons to an audience of 200 business leaders and IT professionals who braved stormy conditions for an early start. Thank you to all who attended on the morning and those that sent their best wishes.

A special thanks to Emmet Ryan, technology editor of the Sunday Business Post and Matt Porter, Managing Director of Kedington who joined our panel as contributors on the morning.

The Report combined a survey of businesses in Ireland along with seven key predictions for technology trends that will impact on Irish businesses in the coming years.

A copy of the report can be read online here:

Share on Twitter with the hashtag: #ICTinsights


Pictured above is Alan Foy and Janelle Eagleton at the launch of the ICT Insight Report.

Before the doors opened.


The last minute preparations.


Breakfast briefing.


The pre-function room filling up.


The Blueface Seven ICT Predictions.


Q&A Session begins.


Panel: Nameer Kazzaz, Alan Foy and Janelle Eagleton.DSC_0080_m

Alan Foy wrapping up the morning briefing.DSC_0090_m

The Blueface ICT Insight Report team (L:R Brian Martin, Brendan Gaffney, Nameer Kazzaz, Janelle Eagleton, Katarzyna Wojcikowska, Alan Foy, Kristina Paulauskaite, Bruna Natal, Anne Marie Campbell, John Jones and Laura Wilson.


If you’d like Blueface to share our insights with your management team or you’d like to share your input, please email us at


Thank you,

Brian Martin


Feb 13

Blueface joins Panasonic European Cloud Solutions Network



We are very pleased to have been officially announced as part of Panasonic’s European Cloud Solutions network this week! We are committed to delivering a first-class user experience and outstanding value to our customers and partnering with renowned electronics manufacturer Panasonic allows us to offer customers market-leading hardware on which to use the Blueface service. This week’s announcement reflects a relationship that has seen Blueface become the largest vendor of Panasonic IP handsets in Ireland over the last two years.

Panasonic has a long and distinguished history of delivering cutting edge, user-friendly products to markets across the world for almost 100 years. The company has been at the forefront of a wide array of technical innovations and they are the preferred Blueface hardware supplier thanks to their fantastic range of intuitive, business-class IP enabled phones which, we believe, help users get the most from the Blueface service.

Using the Panasonic redirect server, Blueface can order hardware to be shipped directly from Panasonic to the customer. This hardware remotely configures itself as soon as it is switched on and connected to the data network.  This streamlined process for equipment configuration has benefited both large and small customers of Blueface with increased accuracy and quicker deployment times.

Blueface’s growth and success is built upon the trust of our customers; we take accountability and reliability very seriously and in Panasonic, we believe we have found a hardware supplier that shares our dedication to quality and cost-effectiveness. Check out the Panasonic range of hardware here, or give us a call on 01-524 2000 to find out more.

Dec 12

Merry Christmas from all at Blueface!

Its Christmas jumpers all the way today in Blueface HQ as we head into the last weekend before the big day! Between the awesome Christmas Market here in the IFSC, and the fresh (non-rainy for once!) weather, we’re definitely in the festive spirit! We’ve got a few last bits and bobs to sort out here, but the charades tournament is definitely happening later!

Very best wishes for you and yours over the holidays! If you need us, we will have email-based support on the 25th and 26th of December, with phone and email contact from the 27th onwards, so we’re never too far away :-)

Over and out, see you all next week!

Dec 12

Take Part in our Survey to WIN an iPad Mini!

Blueface has launched the largest ever user-led research project on Business Communications in Ireland and we want to hear what YOU have to say! Take the Blueface Business Telecoms Survey and have your voice heard in a report on Business Communications in Ireland.

Data collected in this survey will inform the Blueface Business Telecoms Report, published on the 1st of February 2013, which will examine emerging innovations, potential areas of savings, and strategies for increasing productivity that can be identified as the business communications sector evolves. This report will provide businesses with an ‘industry insider’ viewpoint on business communications and a unique resource to assess their own infrastructure and processes.

To show our appreciation of your assistance in this very worthwhile research, we will present one lucky survey participant with an iPad Mini – the latest in mobile business-boosting communications technology.

Nov 12

Blueface Announces Expansion Into Italian Market

It was a very exciting day in Blueface HQ yesterday as we announced that we will be expanding our operations to the Italian market through the strategic acquisition of leading Italian cloud telephony provider, Kebu. After months of planning, we can now tell you that from Q1 2013, Blueface Italy will be providing the same suite of high-performance, low-cost cloud telephony services to Italian SMEs and Corporates, that we have been supplying to our customers in Ireland since 2004.

We are all so delighted to have the opportunity to bring our services to a new market where competition is strong and SMEs are as keen as ever to avail of cost advantages coupled with better communications solutions. We are particularly looking forward to working with the the fast-growing Italian high-tech start-up industry where demand for Blueface’s highly innovative and cost effective services is already particularly strong.

Our initial presence in Italy will be from our offices in Rome; with offices in Milan and Florence to come on-stream during 2013. This move into Italy marks the first step of Blueface’s European expansion plan and we have a lot more planned so stay tuned to our blog to hear it first!

If you would like more information about Blueface Italy, please contact or call us in Dublin on 01-524 2000.


Nov 12

Blueface Elevator Finalist MotionFox Launches ‘Kubswear’

Blueface is delighted to congratulate Blueface Elevator Finalist and Dublin Regional Joint-Winner, MotionFox, on the launch of their new kids’ range, ‘Kubswear’.

With their entry in the Blueface Elevator competition, MotionFox really impressed us with an innovative range of safety-wear for cyclists, runners and walkers which combines the essential hi-viz vest with an expandable back panel, allowing for safe carrying of a backpack without obstructing the vest itself. Having enjoyed strong success with their adult range which is stocked at sports and cycling outlets nationwide, we’re delighted to see that MotionFox have now launched ‘Kubswear’, a fun hi-viz range for children which has been designed to increase safety and visibility at play and while cycling or walking to school.

As Rob Quigley, CEO of MotionFox said when he called in to our offices in Dublin last week, “There’s increasing numbers of primary pupils walking and cycling to school in Ireland, so we wanted to design a range of fun visibility clothing specifically for kids, that could be worn whether they are on their bike or simply walking to school or partaking in sports.”

The Kubswear vests have colourful and imaginative designs and can be worn as normal, or expanded via a set of simple fasteners that makes it easy to wear over a schoolbag or backpack, ensuring the wearer is seen with no bag blocking their hi-viz vests. The range has two super-cute designs, The Ladybug and The Turtle; as seen above. The Blueface ladies were particularly taken with the Ladybug; we’ve already tried to convince MotionFox to make some adult sizes!

Launched just in time for those dark winter mornings and evenings, the Kubswear range is available for ages 4-6/7-9/10-12, retails at € 24.95 and is available in at sports and bicycle shops, including; CityCycles (Blackhall Place), Hollingsworth (Kilmacud), Hollingsworth (Templogue), CycleBike (off Capel St.), P&K Cycles (Patrick St.) and on line at

Nov 12

Blueface to Face : ‘Networking and Diasporas – Promoting Economic Recovery’

Blueface-to-face business networking events.


Blueface would like to invite you, our customers, to join us for a special event with Kingsley Aikins discussing the importance of Networking and Diasporas, as two key elements of Ireland’s economic recovery and how Irish business can utilise these factors for growth and business success. Kingsley, a world renowned networker, fundraiser and philanthropist, will explore themes such as the role of networking, social capital, the power of diasporas and how to thrive and survive using Networks and Diasporas.

We are absolutely delighted to offer you the opportunity to meet Kingsley and to network with other businesses too.  With such a prestigious speaker, we’d ask you to book your place as soon as possible as places are limited and we don’t want you to miss out. There will be light refreshments served on the evening.

All our business customers should have received an email invitation from us by now, if you haven’t received an invite please email  with your details. PLACES ARE LIMITED, so please book early to avoid disappointment.


Mr. Kingsley Aikins. Guest Speaker.

Guest Speaker: Kingsley Aikins


Kingsley Aikins was born and educated in Dublin attending The High School and Trinity College where he graduated with an honours degree in Economics and Politics. He also has a post graduate diploma in export marketing. He is a member of the Institutes of Exports, Marketing and Linguists (French and Spanish). For 5 years he was the Sydney, Australia based representative of the Irish Trade Board and IDA Ireland. While there he founded the Lansdowne Club – now one of the largest Irish business networks in the world with over 3000 members. In Australia he also  established the Australian Ireland Fund and the Ireland Fund of New Zealand. In 1992 he moved to Boston to take over as Executive Director of The American Ireland Fund. During his time with the Funds over a quarter of a billion dollars was raised and distributed to more than 1200 non profit organisations in Ireland. In 1995 he was appointed President and CEO of the Worldwide Ireland Funds which had activities in 39 cities in 13 countries attended by over 40,000 people. He produced a Philanthropy and Fundraising Toolkit in 2009.

In January 2010 he left The Ireland Funds and established Diaspora Matters a consultancy company based in Dublin which advises governments, regions, cities, companies and organisations how to develop strategies to connect with their diasporas. He writes and speaks extensively internationally on Philanthropy and Diaspora issues. In 2010 he wrote a report entitled ‘A comparative review of International Diaspora Strategies’. In July 2012 he gave the keynote address  at the Hillary Clinton Global Diaspora Forum in Washington and launched a comprehehensive Global Diaspora Strategies  Toolkit and Website ( which look at best practice around the world and make recommendations for countries who want to develop strategies in this area.

Oct 12

Good Times at the Dublin Web Summit

The Blueface team had a fantastic time at the Dublin Web Summit last week and we enjoyed having an opportunity to meet so many exciting Irish and international companies over the two days of the event. Our stand was a busy hub of activity for the entire duration of the Web Summit and our Blueface foosball table certainly seemed to bring out a few competitive streaks!

Highlights for us included popping into a great interview with Coder Dojo participants on the Main Stage on Day 1, and an inspiring talk given by Liam Casey of PCH International on Day 2, not to mention the amazing Happy Pear smoothies and Mason Hayes + Curran’s ‘Dancing Robot’!

Very special thanks to the organisers and to everyone who came to chat to us at our stand. Our special Web Summit offer of a FREE International Number is still open for all attendees so just drop an email to to find out more.