The small business market for VoIP is heating up, according to a new report by Nemertes. The market research firm points to the recent announcement of the BCM 50 small-business IP PBX by Nortel as a sign that the small-business market will be increasingly competitive over the next 12 months.
Currently, VoIP adoption for small businesses lags behind enterprise adoption. A full 96 percent of overall participants in a recent survey said they had either implemented or planned to implement VoIP; however, only 75 percent of the small businesses participating in the study said they were doing this.
When asked what their primary goal was for implementing VoIP, 100 percent of small business respondents said cost savings; 46 percent said improved communications capabilities; and 36 percent said improved productivity.
Nemertes maintains that at least part of the reason that small businesses are lagging behind enterprises in their adoption of VoIP is the lack of focus on this space by major PBX vendors. However, with the introduction of Nortel's BCM, this may be about to change. The BCM 50 is for businesses with fewer than 30 stations, and includes many of the features and functionality previously offered just to Nortel's enterprise customers.
The biggest challenge facing Nortel and others wanting to target the small-business market is how to migrate users that are happy with their existing PBX systems onto VoIP, says Nemertes, which cited cost-effectiveness, reliability, and full functionality as critical for their success.