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VoIP, Video, Wireless Provide Spark For Innovative VARs

*Editor's Note: This is the sixth of 10 installments of our 5 Hot-Button Issues series, in which we spotlight five things solution providers should keep an eye on over the coming year in various IT and channel categories.

For networking VARs, it's no longer just about routers and switches. A vast array of new opportunities is cropping up as VARs bulk up on technologies like VoIP, video and wireless that help customers do more with their networks.

As these technologies come together with networking infrastructure, channel players are finding new, innovative solutions to some of their customers' most basic problems. Here's what VARs have said recently about a few of the hot networking areas they are sinking their teeth into.

1. Unified Communications
Now that IP telephony is fairly mainstream, solution providers are taking the next step, delving into the applications that help morph VoIP into a productivity tool.

At the top of the list is unified communications, an application set that aims to tie together voice-mail, e-mail, fax, video and instant messaging. The opportunity is bigger now than it ever has been, said Gia McNutt, CEO of Special Order Systems, Rocklin, Calif.

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