Posts Tagged: technology

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

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.


Jul 12

ThoughtBox wins Blueface Business Elevator Final


And the winner is…. Thoughtbox

Wow, what a weekend! And what an exciting day our Blueface Elevator Final brought! Many many congratulations to Cristina Luminea of ThoughtBox, who took the prize on the day; her initiative of educational software for children that helps them to discover the answers themselves looks set to become a huge success and we’re delighted to be able to assist her in growing and advancing her business. While Cristina took the top prize, all nine finalists really impressed us with their enthusiasm and commitment; it is always inspiring and motivating to meet dedicated entrepreneurs

who believe and invest so passionately in their business. many travelled from early on Saturday morning to make it to the Westbury Hotel for set up and there was a great atmosphere in the ‘Business Zone’ as everyone got their displays ready. We called over to Carphone Warehouse, Grafton St. to take photos in store and this was when the adrenalin really started pumping for the Blueface team – nine great teams of finalists was gonna make for one interesting competition!!

Presentations from finalists kicked off in the early afternoon, in the Grafton Suite of the  Westbury Hotel. First up was James McNamara presenting for CleverMiles, our regional winners in the Drogheda heat. The second presentation was from Niall Fennell of Ireland’s Raw Kitchen, regional winners in Galway. Third was Randall Wharton of RigBag, who won the Cork heat, while fourth we had Trevor Keane of Fantasy5Live, winners of the Kilkenny Heat. Our fifth presentation was from Barry Spearman of New Age Memorials, who won in Limerick. We took a short break halfway through the presentations and by this time, we had so many audience members, some extra rows of chairs had to be quickly installed in the theatre!

After the break, we got straight back into the presentations with the first of our joint winners from the Dundrum heat, Mark Moore of Oral Eye. Next was the other joint winner from Dundrum, MotionFox, presented by Rob Quigley. Second last was the first of our joint winners from the Carrick-on-Shannon heat, Cristina Luminea of ThoughtBox and the final presentation of the day was from our other winner in Carrick-on-Shannon, Malcolm Donnellan of Simply Phone to Photo.

After all of these amazing presentations, we didn’t know how just one winner could be selected! Luckily we had a very experienced and professional judging panel to do the hard work for us and they retired to discuss each idea in turn. Guest judges, Economist Constantin Gurdgiev and Brian Fallon, CEO of and Founder of; joined Alan Foy, CEO, Blueface; Peter Scott, General Manager, Carphone Warehouse Ireland; Nigel Heneghan, Managing Director, Heneghan PR; David Gorman, Managing Partner, Gorman Quigley Penrose; and David O’Donnell, Partner, Mason Hayes + Curran, in choosing the winner.

In the end, ThoughtBox came out on top and took the prize of a huge package of business services including telephony services  from Blueface, mobile handsets, tablets and other hardware from Carphone Warehouse, advertising from Newstalk 106-108FM, public relations advice from Heneghan PR, accountancy advice  from Gorman Quigley Penrose and legal advice from Mason Hayes + Curran.

Alan Foy, CEO of Blueface commented afterwards: “Congratulations to ThoughtBox, who won based on the high standard of presentation given today, the creativity behind the idea and the commercial value of the business going forward. It was a tough decision, as the standard of applicants surpassed all of our expectations. Thank you to all who took part and helped make this happen, we are very pleased with the level of support we received in our initiative to highlight and promote the large number of innovative and exciting start-ups in Ireland and we look forward to working with and assisting all of the finalists in any way that we can.”

More information about all of the finalists will be available on this blog over the coming weeks and we hope to have an interview with Cristina of ThoughtBox ready for publication soon. Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the competition or who helped to make it the massive success that it was! Right now we’re thinking about how we can make Blueface Business Elevator bigger and better in the future, so watch this space :-)


Some of the Key sponsors pose with Christina outside The Westbury Hotel.

Nov 11

Blueface and Panasonic strengthen relationship further.

Blueface, Ireland’s leading internet telephony provider has teamed-up with Panasonic Solution Company Europe (PSCEU) to provide an exclusive new offer on the Panasonic KX-TGP500 cordless SIP phone system that brings together the advantages of modern internet HD VoIP voice calls, business phone functionality and easy web based administration.  The exciting new offer means that when customers purchase one KX-TPA50 handset, they will get a second handset free of charge. The KX-TGP500 SIP phone system is an ideal telephone solution for SME’s and sole traders operating in a small office home office (SOHO). The system can be used for business calls with the second handset serving as the dedicated household phone.


For just €99 (ex VAT) buyers receive a Panasonic KX-TPA50 handset along with the KX-TGP500 base unit with one included KX-TPA50 handset. For situations where more than two handsets are required, customers may purchase additional systems with the two for one offer also applicable for multiple purchases.


“This is a win-win deal for Blueface customers who can avail of the low-cost and flexible telephone solutions we provide along with the two smart Panasonic user- friendly handsets,” said Alan Foy, CEO, Blueface.


We are pleased to team up with Blueface to bring this unique offer to SMEs and the home office market,” added Bob Mercer, Area Sales Manager at Panasonic. “This initiative is an indicator of Panasonic’s development in the provision of telecommunications solutions and Blueface, who are a forward-looking innovative telecommunications company provide an ideal partner for us.”


The KX-TGP500 SIP phone system offer which is exclusive to Blueface customers comes with support for three simultaneous network conversations, support for up to eight SIP registrations and a hands-free speaker phone on cordless handset.

Sep 11

Blueface is pleased to announce the appointment of Nameer Kazzaz as new CTO.

Blueface, Ireland’s leading IP telephony provider has appointed Nameer Kazzaz as Chief Technology Officer. Together with the Blueface engineering team, Nameer will be responsible for delivering the Blueface technology roadmap and unified communications offering.

Nameer Kazzaz is one of Europe’s leading VoIP experts, with over 12 years experience in both the private and public sectors, with a special interest in open source technology and its application to both traditional and the emerging Cloud Telephony.

Before joining Blueface, Nameer  previously held senior roles in  PlanNet21 and Smart Telecom and has consulted on many VoIP and network security projects in the public and private sector.

During his career in the telecoms sector, Nameer was responsible for the introduction of one of the first mobile VoIP networks, and deployed some of the largest soft-switch environments in the world. He is also a regular contributor to global conferences on the subject of IP telephony, Security, Enum, Next Generation Networks, IMS and Voice services.

Educated in Iraq and England, Nameer holds multiple qualifications in computer science, electronics and engineering.