SMEs to embrace IP telephony but one size won’t fit all

According to new research from In-Stat, a significant number of small and medium-sized businesses will, over the course of this...

According to new research from In-Stat, a significant number of small and medium-sized businesses will, over the course of this year, fully embrace IP telephony to harnesses the power of the internet in business communications.

The survey shows that more than 30% of firms, including those with less than 100 employees, are interested in and, more importantly, planning to adopt IP telephony solutions in 2005.

However, the research shows that business needs for IP voice networks vary greatly and that there is a growing need for "small office" solutions, which are hard to come by.

According to the survey, this suggests that one size won't fit all for IP telephony and that meeting customers' diverse requirements with a rich portfolio of product may be what distinguishes "leading" suppliers from those that fail.

"Without question, the business network is becoming increasingly fragmented, driving customers' requirements upward and creating a complex product development environment," said Kneko Burney, chief market strategist for the high-tech market research firm.

"Today, large customers appear to have similar need for small office solutions [IP telephony systems designed for 20 users or less], as their small business counterparts," he added.

In-Stat has also found that IP Telephony solutions account for just over 10% of the installed base of voice lines in the enterprise market.

It said that it expected the small business market to become a key growth segment for IP telephony solutions, as these customers show increasing needs for more advanced voice and data networking capability.

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