Guest post: snomONE plows middle ground between Open Source and proprietary PBX

John Stepp, president of Free Tech Consultants, continues the coverage of ITEXPO held in Miami Beach earlier this month.

While covering StartupCamp 3 at ITEXPO in Miami, I also had an opportunity to interview some established companies.  I sat down with snom COO Michael Storella to learn more about the snom phones and the snomONE (announcement covered here previously), an SMB IP phone system that was just released in October 2010.

Once we discussed their upcoming M9 DECT phone with color display and the snom 300 being the only standards based phone qualified by Microsoft on Lync, we started discussing the snomONE.  The snomONE consists of three different offerings:

  • snomONE Free for up to 10 extensions downloadable from the snom website for free
  • snomONE Yellow for up to 20 extensions at $895
  • snomONE Blue for up to 150 extensions at $1495

Since the smallest offering is basically freeware, it is very similar to open source.  The only caveat is that you have to use snom devices on it.  The phones are not the flashiest out there, but given the low cost and high reliability of their devices, the snomONE is a really good deal.  While you are forced into the proprietary desktop devices, you also get a secure software stream that is supported by snom, so you do not have to worry about the topsy-turvy world of open source software updates.  If you choose to change systems in the future, you can reuse the phones since they are standards based SIP compatible.  So, to me, it really does occupy a middle ground between open source and a fully proprietary phone system.

Storella stressed the reliability and security of the system and the fact that it could operate on Microsoft, Linux, or Mac OS X. The ability to deploy on Macs makes it a real fit for small Mac shops.  But the thing that struck me most was the feature set.  Snom is changing the dynamic by providing a host of PBX features such as unified messaging, cell phone integration, IVR, call center and call recording in the snomONE product line. Given the complexity of the feature set, I would use a VAR to help with initial setup of the system.  Not that the system is not intuitive, it’s plug and play.  The system can do so much that you will want to take advantage of all that it has to offer and learn the settings changes that you would want to utilize on an ongoing basis.  It is best to get front end training from a VAR no matter which system you want to use.  I highly recommend checking out snomONE if you are a small business that requires secure complex call handling features and have experienced sticker shock with other systems.


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