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SMBs taking to unified communications

Joe O'Halloran

A new report from analyst firm Canalys shows that the take up of unified communications (UC) solutions among small businesses is growing.

According to Matthew Ball, analyst, Canalys, UC can potentially save SMBs businesses significant costs and dramatically raise their productivity. "These are benefits every small business needs at any stage of its life, but they are particularly critical during the challenging economic times in which companies are operating today," Ball said. "Having access to affordable, business-critical solutions are an extremely valuable proposition for small businesses."

In the report,Canalys highlighted that UC call control lines provide PBX functionality and that the total market for the sub-100 lines segment (small businesses) in 2007 was 18.4 million lines. Europe accounted for 60% of lines with North America accounting for the other 40%.  Market leader was Avaya with a market share of 13%, followed by Siemens, 9%; Aastra, 9%; Alcatel-Lucent, 9%;  Cisco, 8%; Nortel, 8%; and Panasonic 7%.

Commenting on the report, Avaya’s Geoffrey Baird, vice president and general manager, Appliances, Mobile and Small Systems Division, said, "It's our experience that small businesses need communications capabilities, enabling them to solve problems such as improving productivity and competing with bigger brands or other local companies. We're… committed to working closely with our worldwide network of resellers to bring these newest features to small businesses." 


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