The smallest end of the PBX market is where the biggest battleground is currently being staged by vendors, according to distributor Nimans. “This is the biggest growth market out there, its space where everyone wants to be because it’s where the greatest business opportunities exist,” said Nimans’ Sales Director, Phil Adams.
“The focus a few years ago was on the sub 100 market, then that switched to the sub 50 market and now that has dropped again to the sub 25 sector.”
He continued: “There are a lot more businesses in the market to aim for, from start-up companies to branch networks. Take for example a major nationwide supermarket chain which may only have a handful of staff at each branch, but all these premises need small telephone systems.
“The manufacturers are trying to cater for as many end users as possible. There’s also greater demand for what we would previously class as sophisticated corporate applications. As company business models have changed, so vendors have had to develop smaller systems with the same applications, that the enterprise and corporate switches only used to have.”
Adams said Ericsson’s Evolution, Siemens HiPath OpenOffice and Avaya’s IP500 are ideally suited to the sub 25 market, as he added: “You only have to look at the phenomenal growth we have enjoyed with NEC over the past year with the XN120 to illustrate the continued high demand of this sector.”
He concluded: “Gone are the days of modular construction PBX’s with their traditional limits. Today to add extensions you just need to buy a licence so these systems are far more flexible than they used to be. They tend to be limited by market positioning not the hardware technology.”