How the Nordics Killed the Desk Phone

How the Nordics killed the desk phone: MEX, FMC & Dstny

How you look at business communications will be different depending on where you are in the world. If you’re in the in the US, you may have separate devices with separate numbers and a fixed PBX at the office. On the flip side, if you’re in Europe it’s likely that you only have one mobile that you use for all of your communications acting as a part of your company’s cloud-based exchange. If you’re a part of the former, envisioning life without a desk phone may seem impossible. But this concept isn’t just starting to take root, it’s already been implemented across an entire region, and it happened years ago.  

The Nordics are miles ahead when it comes to mobility. You may be wondering how they got to where they are now, but the answer is simple – They were early adopters of a single, life-changing technology called Mobile Extension (MEX). But what is MEX? What does it have to do with Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC)? Most importantly how did MEX lead to an isolated geography becoming one of the largest and most successful case studies for corporate mobility in history? 


What Is Mobile Extension? 

We’ve already talked about what Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) is and what it’s doing for modern communications, but what about its predecessor MEX? What kind of an influence has Mobile Extension really had on business mobility? It’s simple; Pretty much any major offering that converges fixed and mobile business communications has MEX to thank.  

At its simplest, MEX is the precursor to FMC that allows a mobile device to become an extension of a fixed PBX. It has given us the power to enable over 2.5 million mobile users and counting across Europe and is the driving force that allowed the Nordics to kill the desk phone once and for all. 


MEX and FMC 

Understanding MEX is crucial if you’re considering FMC as a solution. To start, they are incredibly similar technologies with incredibly similar end-goals. Of course, Fixed Mobile Convergence is far more adaptable towards our modern day, cloud-based needs, but Mobile Extension gave the previous generation the power to unshackle themselves from fixed communications for good. In other words, by looking at and learning from MEX we can better see exactly where FMC is going as well as exactly what it can do for you.  


The Nordic mobility challenge 

During the meteoric rise of the mobile phone, Nordic businesses were facing an issue that continues to plague some companies to this day - They needed a way to remain constantly connected without the proper means to do so. With a relatively spread out population, workers were spending a lot of their time outside the reach of their PBXs which slowed communication and collaboration to a crawl. When compared to life outside of the office, people were always reachable with technology that was accessible and easy to use, and they were using mobile phones more and more. For businesses however this technology remained frustratingly out of reach - Deploying multiple mobile devices with multiple numbers was not only inefficient but also unreliable and unsecured.  


The mobile business solution  

So how do you solve the fact that you are working with a disconnect between your fixed PBX and a burgeoning rise in demand for mobility? It’s simple – you connect them. As the only solution capable of doing so at the time, MEX made it so that with just a single SIM, businesses could use mobile devices as a part of their exchange, enabling a whole new world of communications.  

As a native integration, we saw MEX start to become bundled with PBX offerings. This not only accelerated the rate in which European businesses adopted mobility, it accelerated the rate in which their users made the concept a part of their day to day lives.  


The results of a mobile workforce 

It took just a few years for MEX to become fully integrated into workplace functionality and culture. Almost all major PBX vendors in the region now have built-in support for Mobile Extension to keep up with demand and efficiency is at an all-time high. Standard mobile phones and SIMs have replaced the desk phone as well as DECT and rolling out hardware to users has never been simpler or more cost-effective. We were able to shape the way a nation communicated and when the dust had settled, MEX had emerged as one of the most impactful technologies the sector had ever seen  

Now FMC is picking up where MEX left off, but this time it’s not just about getting people talking in the Nordics. We’re approaching FMC with the knowledge and experience we have gained as the driving force behind MEX, and as we start to expand FMC across Europe, the USA and the rest of the world, our early vision of a mobile-first global workforce is being realized. With our agnostic FMC solution Dstny Converge, Communications Service Providers are able to retain customers and increase their addressable markets to include businesses who are now clamouring for mobile solutions on top of reducing margin pressure. On the other end, UCaaS Providers also massively benefit from being able to expand their proposition and rapidly get to market with an already world-leading technology.  

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