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This note is a guide for IT professionals on how to differentiate between the top vendors serving the IP Telephony (IPT) market for the small enterprise. Since most products meet basic telephony requirements, vendors must be judged using more holistic categories. Choose a vendor that strikes the right balance between price and functionality. Also consider long-term stability, quality of support, and the reach of the reseller distribution network. A critical evaluation using these measures provides a better understanding of each vendor's ability to compete in the small enterprise IPT market.

IPT Background

IP technology has emerged as the most viable telecom migration path for the small enterprise. The move to IP is typically driven by critical enterprise-level needs, such as the overhaul of very old equipment, or the opening of a new office. The most flexible, cost effective solutions available today are IP-based. Past problems of poor service quality and inconsistent service have largely been mitigated by the following advances:

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