Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The SMB VOIP Market points to a study (well, Andy calls it a study, I call it a blog post) about the untapped VoIP market - the small business. It seems everyone is geared up for this, because besides the 1200+ VOIP Providers, there is a daily announcement about some new small biz PBX. Look, companies like Nortel can not make a profitable PBX for the under 20 line market, mainly because maintenance would kill the sale. Small business wants an idiot proof box that they can administer themselves. (Something like SUTUS Business Central).

Businesses with under 25 employees do not typically have an IT person. Alice still wants her transfer button on her phone to work the same way. It has to be seamless. Much of VoIP is too complex for small business owners. Heck, my ATA disconnects because my crappy VZ DSL blinks too much, so I have to recycle the modem and the ATA. You think Joe Busy Owner wants to do that every week to make sure his phones work?? The VoIP solution for VSB has to be reliable, good quality, same price, and easy. EZ. Also, it needs to be sold as a solution, not line replacement. Line replacement is what Cable offers. You need to be more Remarkable.

One thing I did learn from attending so many conferences this past year: Hardly anyone that works for a VOIP company can tell you in simple terms what they offer and what the USP (differentiator) is. Even Andy's clients have a had time describing their services to me at ISPCON.

BTW, from Network World: "According to Insight Research, “Incumbent phone companies are expected to lose more than 1.5 million small business phone lines to cable competitors by the close of 2007 alone, and nearly 10 million small business phone lines over the next five years.”

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