SMB Telephony: Vendors Rush in

Ann All

Think vendors are paying attention to a recent AMI-Partners report that SMBs will shell out some pretty significant bucks for networking and communications solutions?


We expect so, based on the growing number of companies eager to satisfy this need. To a list that already contains Cisco, Nortel and Microsoft, add Alcatel-Lucent. The company is introducing a new package of products and services geared toward SMBs called Office Communication Solutions, reports


Included in the bundle: business telephony, applications, Voice over IP (VoIP) and a secured LAN and Wi-Fi infrastructure. Among the goodies: Web presence; unified messaging; shared access to contacts, calendars and documents; and desktop and wireless phones.


To really win SMBs, perhaps Alcatel-Lucent and the other vendors should consider offering hosted versions of their services. According to recent In-Stat research, SMB seats served by hosted VoIP will rise from 393,967 in 2006 to about 3 million by 2010, which represents an increase from 2 percent to more than 7 percent of the market.

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