Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Revenge of the SIP

By Ben King

Pingtel was formerly a proprietary company dedicated to selling systems based on the SIP IP communications standard. It decided to go open source, says Rich, because the general drift of the SIP industry was driving in that direction.
“We have always been a leading proponent of SIP and SIP-based communications,” he says. “One of the hallmarks of this technology is to redefine how people communicate. IT has the power to drive a really strong drive of commoditization through the industry.”
In a SIP based world, when any handset or soft phone can talk to any PBX, there won’t be much money to be made in hardware or software, at least not for companies without a global brand name.
So better to be the ones who kick the bottom out of the hardware market themselves, and make their money selling support and services.
“We can either be the commoditizer or the commoditizee*. We think the market is going that way and we wanted to be the one that does the commoditizing,” says Rich. “When commodification enters the value chain, the number of vendors goes up and there is strong downward pressure on prices, and that is good for the customer.”
PBXes won’t become a commodity overnight, though. Open source PBXes are still an unknown quantity, and the corporate market will take some persuading before it abandons the comfort of established suppliers.
The small and medium business world, however, is already showing some interest, and Pingtel gearing up to satisfy it.
“We have just started building our channel… really in the fourth quarter of last year. We now have 40 resellers signed up around the world. Our core focus is on the SMB market with the product delivered through VARs and resellers.”

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