I’ve just returned from ITEXPO (News
) East 2009, which was held in Miami Beach, February 2–4. One of the trends that emerged at the show is that the VoIP industry is indeed alive and well. The show was well attended by people looking for solutions, the Exhibit Hall was full of vendors who were only too happy to speak to the attendees, the meeting rooms were full, the conference sessions were well attended, and all in all the show served as a barometer for the industry.
The day before ITEXPO, I read an article in a major daily newspaper that essentially said that in a difficult economy, people tend to look for certain things, namely: comfort food, such as soup; escapism, either by going to the movies or having the movies come to them (Netflix, etc…); and technologies that help save them money. Wow, I thought. I’m on my way to an IP Communications event and here’s an article that says people are interested in technologies that save money. I should have known then that the show would be a success.
A number of industry pundits — analysts and bloggers alike — attended ITEXPO, and I’ve selected some of their comments that underscore the fact that VoIP is not dead, and a primary reason for this is the desire in the marketplace to seek out and deploy solutions that can help save them money while driving efficiency.
The VoIP industry is not dying. It’s alive, growing and those involved with it continue to impress me with what they are achieving.
In speaking with over 100 of the most influential people in the VoIP industry, the economy has had an effect on their businesses — in most cases a positive one. Someone even told me their customer base tripled from November to January — oh and they’ve been in business for a few years.
Yes, it isn’t great for everyone. But it’s not bad for everyone either. There are still droves of paying customers looking to increase efficiency, make their operations more efficient and say some money in the process. The environment at the show was proof of this.
– Garrett Smith, Smith on VoIP blog
VoIP is far from dead and judging by the crowds and the rooms that were full of people the rumors of its death are far from over.
– Andy Abramson (News - Alert), Industry blogger
The session halls and exhibit floor offered standing room only during opening day at ITEXPO East 2009, in Miami Beach, FL. With many innovative products, solutions, and services being discussed and displayed, it is clear that all forms of IP telephony and convergence communications are alive and well.
Through attending many of the first-day sessions at Digium|Asterisk (News - Alert) World co-located at IT Expo, industry executives, VARs, and solution providers alike are making the compelling case that open-source solutions provide opportunities for significant ROI.
While the perils of the new economy have hit businesses hard across virtually every industry, IT decision makers and business owners can take comfort in the fact that "affordable innovation" is truly possible. With this affordable innovation comes the excitement and "buzz" that surrounded the conference on Monday. SMB owners to large enterprise IT directors excitedly took notes as they witnessed revolutionary ways to improve their technology ROI, while adding new and exciting features as well.
– Matthew Nickash, Considering Convergence (News - Alert) blog
…channel partners are more eager than ever for applications and business solutions that make immediate impact in the form of ROI because their traditional product lines — communications platforms and phones — are not driving the same rate of sales as before.
End users need solutions to real problems around customer retention, business protection and cost reduction. Channel partners and VARs are a sharp bunch; they want to sell what customers want.
So I am excited about our present opportunities.
I believe that if ITEXPO East 2009 can be considered a barometer of how the VoIP industry is faring, than it’s certainly not a stretch to say that the industry is far from dead. In fact I would say the industry is positioned well for success, even through this turbulent economic time.
Greg Galitzine is editorial director for TMC’s IP Communications suite of products, including TMCnet.com. To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Greg Galitzine