everything about the european voip market: trends, startups, news and reviews


VoIP Killed The PBX Star

richard tehrani over at tmcnet, has a nice overview of the future - or lack thereof - of the pbx market. i don't entirely subscribe to his point of view that the success of voice over ip will kill off the pbx market. as he correctly points out, traditional pbx companies such as avaya, have been making a killing selling voip-based pbx's

i'm not convinced that a software only p2p ip based communication system will be an easy sell. companies traditionally have come to expect a physical system installed at their premises. a software based solution will not replace traditional - or even new ip-based - phone systems overnight, just as the asp-based model hasn't made us replace all our in-house servers for a hosted solution.

let's not forget that telephone systems are of critical importance to businesses and our dsl and cable internet connections have not yet offered the same amount of stability as we've come to expect from traditional phone lines. having your website down for an hour because of internet connection problems is one thing, but not being able to answer the resulting phone calls is entirely different matter that businesses will not accept.

here's a short overview of how the market will be segmented according to tehrani's vision:
  • Asterisk based solutions. Asterisk has been taking over the telecom marketplace by storm, much as Linux did with the operating systems market. there is a tremendous amount of opportunities for smart, flexible business to introduce Asterisk based solutions or provide consulting and support for this software.
  • P2P solutions. Skype has been incredibly succesful in introducing the p2p concept in the telecommunications industry. many other companies, such as nimcat networks and popular telephony are trying to push this technology into the business telecom market, with variable success.
  • Small business solutions. Companies such as Epygi have been quite successful in introducing small - router-like - stateless devices that offer basic voip functionality while being easy to manage. currently, the devices are still a bit overpriced and companies in this segment may expect quite some competition from both low-cost Asterisk based solutions and larger brands such as Linksys who will inevitably introduce pbx systems based on the same form-factor and price structure as their current router/gateway offerings.
In short, the battle is definitely not yet over, and it's far from clear if a single winner will come out. there have been a number of acquisitions by big companies getting their feet wet, and it remains to be seen how successful they will be in introducing their products in a - for them - new marketplace. in the mean time, it's up to smaller companies to get their products ready and secure a piece of the pie


  • At 7:10 AM, Blogger Patrizia said…

    Asterisk based solutions.
    P2P solutions
    Small business solutions

    I would talk about other options:

    1) Mass Market solution

    It includes P2P and all the other Providers of mostly SIP VoIP.
    These in my opinion have the best chance to get the mass market, since they offer open platforms and intercomunicability.

    2) Commercial solution.
    It includes small and big companies.
    It requires more than the Mass market (more security, more privacy, more protection, more quality).
    And of course the price will be different.

    3) Entertainment solution.Home entertainment solution

    In a very near future the heart of the home will be the Media center.
    A big screen.
    One set top box which will be a small computer, with all the necessary features to:
    1) Surf
    3)Download and watch movies, TV on IP
    4) Will be the Real Interactive TV, where you can bet (on auctions on sport events) buy, vote, choose, ask questions...the limit is our fantasy...
    5) Call on IP

    VoIP will be in the future integrated in a screen.
    For entertainment in the home, for video conferencing in the office.

    When commercials will move to IP (and that is coming soon) the Revolution of IP will begin...



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