When we last blogged about VoIP solutions for the SMBs, we noted that even as vendors like Cisco, Nortel and Microsoft talked up their SMB-friendly products, none of them seemed to be able to strike a nerve with the target market.
Money quote from a Savatar Research analyst: Vendors "still tend to sell on features rather than economics." That appears to be changing with a series of forthcoming product introductions that boast some pretty compelling price points.
ZDNet blogger Russell Shaw notes that 3Com is rolling out several solutions geared toward SMBs with five to 200 users. There are two versions of a platform called VCX Connect, which bundles Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) software-based IP telephony call control and unified message in a single-server package -- one for organizations with up to 100 users and another for organizations with 100 to 250 users. The price: $7,000 for a primary server and $5,500 for a secondary for the VCX Connect 100, $7,500 for a primary server and $6,000 for a secondary for the VCX Connect 200.
For even smaller SMBs, the company is also selling a plug-and-play appliance meant for organizations with up to 30 users. Called the 3Com Asterisk Appliance, it's fully compatible with 3Com's handset lines and priced at just $1,595.
Microsoft is offering similar pricing for its SMB Response Point software packaged with hardware from Quanta and D-Link, reports Network World. Twenty-phone systems from those vendors with the software will cost less than $5,500.