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March 29, 2010

In VoIP Bright Spot for Telecom, snom Sees Opportunity

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

No doubt you’ve noticed, but Voice over Internet protocol seems to be finding its way into enterprises of all types and sizes.

In fact, Insight Research recently called VoIP “presently one of the few bright spots across an otherwise gloomy telecommunications landscape.”

A recent report from Insight finds that “decision makers that buy enterprise voice services have made a collective commitment to invest in VoIP within the enterprise.” Enterprise VoIP, especially, “has enjoyed success despite harsh economic conditions, proving that commitment to this service is real.”

In fact, Insight analysts say, the question is not whether VoIP will become the predominant form of enterprise voice – “the big questions are when, how, and by whom.”

One company looking to seize the opportunity is snom technology AG (News - Alert), a vendor of voice over IP phones, which showed off its VoIP communications products for the SMB and enterprise markets at the Channel Partners Conference and Expo in Las Vegas this month.

The company exhibited several new products, such as its snom 870 touchscreen desktop phone and its PA1 public announcement system. Snom also debuted the snom OCS for unified communications and its IP conference phone, snom MeetingPoint.

“Designed for today’s information-driven workforce, the snom 870 is the latest addition to snom’s 8 series of fourth generation SIP phones,” snom officials said. “The phone features a slim design and multimedia capabilities anchored by its color touchscreen display and intuitive interface.”

snom officials touted the phone’s high resolution display, which “serves as a dashboard to launch a variety of business communications -- telephony, unified communications and customer relationship management applications.”

“VoIP technology adoption depends on the commitment of enterprises to truly migrate to converged voice and data networks. VoIP equipment never was and never will be the least expensive way to deliver a voice extension within the enterprise,” the Insight research found, adding that while it is true that some VoIP phone systems, such as those offered by Altigen, are less expensive than comparable TDM units, “this is more the exception than the rule.”

The typical cost of a VoIP extension from the legacy vendors was found to be “only marginally higher (around 25 percent) than that of a digital extension.” Likewise, the pure-play IP PBX (News - Alert) vendors currently offer per-seat pricing that is also very competitive again, about 25 percent higher than digital TDM-based extension pricing.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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