SMB’s say yes to VoIP

By : |October 10, 2008 0

NEW YORK, USA: In today’s tough economic times, SMBs are reconsidering their planned IT and telecom spending and projects. The projects that will reduce costs and provide clearly identifiable ROI are getting the green light—Voice-over-IP (VoIP) projects fall into this category. This bodes well for the vendors and VARs involved with selling VoIP and Unified Communications-related products and services.

“Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, NEC, and Siemens Communications were the leading vendors based on end-user revenue in the SMB on-premises voice communications systems (including IP-PBX/ converged systems, TDM-PBX/Keysystems) for 2007,” says Sanjeev Aggarwal, VP of SMB Infrastructure at AMI-Partners in New York, and the author of a new AMI report. “Competition is increasing in the IP telephony area with participation from the traditional global enterprise voice vendors, global enterprise IT vendors, regional voice and IT vendors, hosted VoIP vendors, broadband VoIP vendors, and mobile/cellular VoIP vendors.”

The new AMI study, titled “Cashing in on the SMB VoIP Technology Upgrade Cycle,” also examines the key market trends in the IP voice communications landscape. Ones that will have significant impact on the SMB segment are the entry of Microsoft into voice communications, Response Point solutions, Cisco reaching into the sub-50 SB segment, and increased focus on IP/SIP trunking solutions.

“Presence is the killer app for IP-PBX systems and unified communications,” Aggarwal says. “Presence is the key application that crosses all industries and also reaches into the communication/business apps and mobile segments. It will change the interface of the phones, applications, and the way SMBs and enterprises work and communicate.”

Some key findings from the report:

  • Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, NEC, and Siemens Communications are the top 5 worldwide leading vendors (based on end-user revenue) in the SMB on-premises voice communications systems (including IP-PBX/Converged systems, TDM-PBX/Key systems) for 2007.
  • Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, NEC, and Mitel/Intertel are the top 5 leading vendors in U.S. SMB on-premises voice communications systems (including IP-PBX/Converged systems, TDM-PBX/Key systems) for 2007.
  • In 2007, spending on these solutions by small businesses (1-99 employees) was $4.5 billion and medium businesses (100-999 employees) was $1.2 billion.
  • In the U.S. small businesses, IP-PBX systems have a low penetration of 5 percent (in 2007), this penetration is forecast to increase to around 20 percent by 2012. In the U.S. medium businesses, IP-PBX systems showed a stronger penetration in medium businesses— 28 percent in 2006 and increasing to 33 percent in 2007; this penetration is forecast to increase to around 60 percent by 2012.
  • Vendors covered in the report include Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, Nortel, NEC, Siemens Enterprise Communications, Alcatel-Lucent, Panasonic, Mitel, Toshiba, Shoretel, 3Com, Digium, Fonality, Allworx, Talkswitch, Accessline, Samsung, D-Link Corp., Quanta Computer Inc., and Aastra Technologies, Dialogic, NMS Communications, Costco.

AMI has also recently released its new 2008 Global Forecast Model. The deliverable is a comprehensive study that covers the period 2006 through 2012. The forecast is broken out by 22 countries, eight employee sizes (1-4, 5-9, 10-19, 20-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250-499, and 500-999) and specific industry verticals, including AMTUC (agriculture, mining, transportation, utilities, and construction), manufacturing, wholesale, retail, professional business services, FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) and other services.

This study assesses spending, penetration, country/regional growth rates/distribution and overall assessment of telecom market trends. It includes some new categories such as unified communications (unified messaging, mainstream communications, instant messaging, and conferencing) and IP/SIP trunking. The categories include:

  • Telecom Equipment – IP-PBX/Converged systems, Pure TDM/Key systems, Multi-line phone systems, IP Phones/adapters, Cell phones, Unified Communications software including Unified Messaging, Mainstream Communications.
  • Telecom Services – Hosted business VoIP, IP/SIP Trunking, Unified Communications, Local/Long distance calling services, Mobile services, Unified Communications services including Instant Messaging, Audio/web/video conferencing.

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