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More Trends from Frost & Sullivan's Telephony Markets Research

As part of his research on the World Telephony Platform and Endpoints Market, my colleague Alaa Saayed studied the current state and future forecasts for the desktop phone, and key pricing trends. Here's a look at some of the highlights; Frost & Sullivan clients can download the complete study at

* Although sales of IP desktop phones took a hard hit from the economic downturn, Frost & Sullivan believes that IP desktop phones continue to be the preferred telephony endpoint for the majority of business users. Although they will be increasingly complemented and even replaced by mobile phones and soft clients, quality and functionality concerns will limit the degree of desktop phone replacement by other devices during the forecast period.

* Not surprisingly, many telephony and endpoint providers have launched new IP phone models into the market. New products range from low-end IP phones to high-end devices with advanced features such as large color displays, Web-based applications, HD voice and video-calling capabilities, as vendors recognize that buyers want a variety of options for a variety of end users. We expect the wide array of choices to help drive demand within many organizations.

* TDM PBX prices have stayed relatively stable, while IP PBX prices decreased slightly. As the percentage of revenue keeps shifting from hardware to software licensing, telephony providers have been searching for new revenue sources, such as advanced capabilities, maintenance fees, and extended warranties. Due to this shift, a new pricing model has gained traction: subscription-based licensing, under which customers can purchase a license on a monthly or annual basis, combining "right to use" with software assurance.

* Application and client-license bundling is also becoming common. Most telephony vendors are marketing their voice platforms alongside multiple user licenses and integration capabilities, allowing companies to integrate voice with other applications such as messaging, conferencing, mobility and presence. Such bundling strategies let vendors offer a compelling value proposition to their customers, since package pricing is typically more competitive than that of standalone applications.

* When it comes to the price of desktop phones, we’ve seen a slight decrease in IP desktop phone prices, as well as a shift in cost components, from hardware "boxes: to software-related elements such as large displays supporting rich XML applications.

* Finally, the slow-but-steady move from proprietary IP phones to SIP-enabled devices is lowering overall market prices and increasing competition.