Recently, Infonetics Research (News - Alert) unveiled parts of its annual list showing the top business VoIP service providers in the EMEA's--Europe, the Middle East, and Asia's--hosted IP PBX / IP Centrex market. Some familiar names made the list, and the rankings will prove to be quite an honor for those who pulled it off.
The three biggest names in the EMEA market, according to Infonetics, were Vodafone (News - Alert), Telenor and TDC, all of whom offered, as Infonetics Research's principal analyst for VoIP and IMS Diane Myers puts it "...strong mobile or FMC capabilities as part of their hosted VoIP services." Myers further elaborated that the companies in question offered services that were "...particularly compelling to small businesses that rely only on mobile phones without sacrificing business-class features."
While this was good news overall for the three big names, the results of the overall scorecard itself were every bit as interesting as the naming of the top slots. For instance, topping the list overall in the hosted VoIP provider for the EMEA market was Norway's Telenor (News - Alert), who beat Vodafone by an extremely narrow margin. Telenor scored a total of 30.7 out of a possible 35 on the Infonetics Research scorecard. Vodafone, meanwhile, scored a 29.9, making it a very narrow victory for Telenor indeed.
The field in general proved to be closely matched, with less than six points separating Telenor from the number 10-ranked provider. Meanwhile, everybody on Infonetics Research's top ten ranking scored universally high in support provision, overall financial stability, and service capability, making the field a very narrow one.
This in turn somewhat limits the value added by the distinction. It's one thing to rank high in the estimation of an independent research firm like Infonetics Research, but when all that separates the top from the bottom is a meager six points, it's hard to exploit that position in marketing efforts or similar measures. No one builds a marketing campaign around being slightly better than everybody else. Worse yet, being that the field is already so close; it wouldn't be hard for any of the top three to lose their position.
Still though, it's an honor to be the top of the rankings, and given the closeness of the list, all parties involved should be able to make some metaphorical hay while the sun shines. Better still, for those in the EMEA market looking for a VoIP provider, they'll have plenty of great options to choose from and only a minimal chance of going wrong at any given time.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman