SMBs Increase Migration to VoIP, IP PBX

Research firm AMI-Partners has released a report forecasting growth in the VoIP market among small and medium businesses (SMBs). The report states that more than 30 percent of small businesses (SBs, 1 99 employees) and 50 percent of medium businesses (MBs, 100-999 employees) say that VoIP will become critical to their business operations.

AMIs 2010 VoIP Update U.S. SMB Market report provides an in-depth analysis of Voice over IP usage by U.S. small and medium businesses. AMI believes that the market for IP-based voice communications, i.e. VoIP, IP PBX, will eventually merge. The last several years have been dogged by a difficult recession and many SMBs put technology decisions on hold. In the end, the migration of voice and data continues, the chance to leverage data networks with voice communications continues, and the opportunity for greater market penetration of IP solutions among the SMB community remains large.

Karen Nielsen, senior consultant with AMI, predicts that the findings will be good news for the channel.

Most SMBs have limited IT resources; they will rely heavily on channel partners for VoIP installation and turnover, and to help with the crossover from analog to digital,” Nielsen said. “The moment of conversion from analog to digital voice is the single biggest pain point for SMBs. Suppliers and channel partners should be prepared to make this switchover seamless. Partners should also understand and be able to prove that economic benefits stem not only from lower ongoing costs but also from a lower TCO.”

From a supplier perspective, it is still early,” AMI said in a prepared statement. The players are not fully known. The architectures are not completely defined. The markets are not structured. But AMI believes that down the road, the same things that are important to analog/TDM users will be important to digital/IP users: reliability, security, and quality. The winners will be those providers who can provide not only a reliable service, but an alternate back up, as well as the channel expertise to serve SMBs from soup to nuts if needed.”

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