Microsoft is now ready to jump into VoIP for the SMB space with VoIP trunking and the Response Point phone system. Microsft joins Cisco, Linksys, a multitude of Hosted PBX players, Mitel, ShoreTel, and the rest of the hardware clans in competing in the SMB space.
My question is what space do they mean? Medium business of 500 to 1000 users? Small business of 250-500 employees or 100 to 250 workers? Or the under 100 employee segment that itself is segmented into under 25, 25-50, 50-100, and under 10. That's a huge sector that is heavily divided. Not just in size either. Every segment thinks about voice differently; has different needs; and must be sold to differently. I'll be curious to see what the marketing plan is. (So far I have not seen a plan to get to the SB space. Just the Medium size).
I had drinks with a VP of telecom for an IT distributor and we ended up discussing how the Hosted VoIP players will sell to the small business. There's not enough incentive for the headache. It will require the companies to throw money and manpower at it. Something they have been reluctant to do.
This space has been termed (by Seth Godin I think) the Fortune 5 Million because there are at least 5M small businesses with payroll in the US.
If you are playing in this space, drop me a note at peter at rad-info dot net.