Mark Swendsen, managing director EMEA, ShoreTel does not sit on the fence when he says, “Hosted VOIP services will never gain a significant share of the IP telephony market, just as Centrex services have never demonstrated any noteworthy in-roads to the analogue or digital PBX markets.”
He continues, “The financial model can hold appeal to smaller businesses, or those who are unable to lease CPE equipment, but it jeopardises the 5 x 9s reliability demanded by businesses of their voice services. Additionally CPE solutions offer benefits such as flexibility, ease of use and application integration, while users of hosted VoIP services only receive vanilla flavoured offerings.
In the IP telephony markets, we will start to see the Managed Services business model taking hold. This service, rather than a commodity based offering, is something we have seen before in the enterprise software market, with suppliers such as Salesforce.com. When successful, Managed Services provide the customer with a flexible, needs based financial model, coupled with high quality services which evolve to meet changing business needs. The first vendor to crack this code for the IP telephony business model, will reap the rewards of first mover advantage.”