From Germany with love: IP Telephony Pioneer Comes to Russia

Interesting news: the company Snom Technologies GmbH, which in 2001 released the very first IP-phone in the world, intends to seriously settle on the Russian market. So it turned out that despite the fact that Snom is very widely represented in Europe, the USA and in the countries of the Middle East, we know little about the products of this company. So to say, neither Snom nor spirit.

A few words about the company

Snom is a company with a long and interesting history. It was created back in 1996 already. The founders of Snom were German engineers - typical techies who put technology at the forefront. All the time of its existence, the main office of the company is located in Berlin, and production is concentrated in China.

Director of Snom Technologies GmbH - Gernot Sagl.

Therefore, if we even talk about the famous German quality, then Snom is perhaps one of the most suitable examples. Snom has one of the lowest reject rates in the industry - about 0.2%. In this case, the lower limit of time between failures for any of the devices is set at 333 thousand hours. Numerous awards and regalia speak about the quality, durability and safety of the equipment of this vendor . The company's successes are regularly noted by industry experts. In 2000, at CeBIT, Snom won the “Best of Show” prize, and since 2003, the company's products have been consistently present in the TOP-100 of the “Internet Telephony” nomination, many models are awarded the title “Product of the Year”.

Of course, Snom products are compatible with all common types of PBXs and platforms from leading manufacturers, including Avaya Unified Communication, Cisco Call Manager, 3CX, Huawei, Zeon, and many others.

The company grew not only technologically but also geographically. The first overseas office was opened in 2001 in the United States. Then came the discoveries in Italy, France, and Great Britain. The global expansion can be successfully continued, because in 2016 Snom Technologies GmbH was bought by one of the largest manufacturers of cordless phones, the Vtech Group, which employs 27,000 people and has a current turnover of $ 2.1 billion. This gave Snom access to Vtech Group has three large research and development centers for extensive resources, and not only financial ones. This is not counting its own sound test lab.

Also, do not forget that Snom is a leading premium OEM-manufacturer, its products are glued with pleasure by their labels from Deutsche Telekom, British Telecom and HP.

Here are some fresh interesting projects implemented in collaboration with integrators, providers and telecom operators. For example, together with Karlsruhe CNT AG, a modern IP Centrex solution was introduced in the General Secretariat of the German Red Cross. Or a curious project with the Dutch provider Vtel to equip medical institutions with two thousand phones with specially developed functionality. Another major project Snom implemented with the Spanish VozTelecom. This is a specialized provider of communication services for cloud solutions and VoIP-telephony, whose customers are small and medium businesses in many cities in Spain. VozTelecom liked devices of the 300th series, first of all they were interested in the quality of speech in broadband HD-audio, reliability when integrated with other systems,

The lineup

It's time to tell you about the Snom lineup. At least briefly, because, in a good way, you can devote a separate post to each position.

Snom develops and manufactures devices for call centers, conference rooms and offices. The basis of products consists of two lines of desktop telephone sets - the 300th and 700th. Their functionality is the same, and the lines differ only in design: the 300s have a more elegant “appearance”, but the case design is classic, with a slight slope; and the 700s look traditional for IP phones, they have a much larger tilt angle.

Each model is equipped with a G.722 wideband codec, has from 4 to 12 SIP identifiers, a 2-gigabit switch, and programmable keys from 5 to 36 pieces. Almost all phones have USB and POE connectors. And it is interesting that the USB connector can be used to connect a headset, WiFi, Bluetooth, DECT-dongles. As a rule, the weakest point of most IP phones is the mechanical “end-of-button” button. Therefore, almost all Snom models have an electronic-touch button. All devices are able to automatically update their firmware by downloading them from the manufacturer’s server. Many phones are equipped with a color LCD display and allow you to customize the display in accordance with the corporate style: background, fonts, icons, menu composition, and more. Leading models are equipped with a fairly high resolution screen, an intuitive graphical user interface. as well as an additional screen for monitoring and programmable keys. And if this functionality is not enough, then Snom offers scalable expansion modules - with a screen and 18 assignable keys.

All models, even the most inexpensive, are made of premium plastic. Some of the most popular models of Snom phones come in white and perfectly written out in a bright interior, for example, medical facilities.

Snom also produces a line of handset phones with portable handsets that can be used not only in a large enterprise, but also in a small office or an ordinary household. With the help of base stations, you can combine handsets into a single network: the Enterprise version supports up to 1000 devices, the SOHO version up to 6. In fact, the whole company can be equipped only with handsets with portable handsets.

The most advanced models are M85 and M65. They provide high mobility: waiting / talking time for 200/17 hours and 250/18 hours, respectively. Both models are equipped with 2-inch TFT-screens, vibrating alert, belt clip, keyboard backlight, and the M85 still supports Bluetooth. This phone was created for operation in harsh conditions, including at work, at construction sites. Therefore, the dust-moisture protection of the M85 case complies with the IP65 standard, and the phone has several functions at once that can save the user health and even life. First of all, this is the “Man fell” mode: if the handset detects a drop and does not move for some time (acceleration sensors and position in space), then a message asking for help is sent to a pre-selected number. This is useful if a person fell and lost consciousness, or just not be able to reach the phone to call for help. M85 is also equipped with a programmable SOS button, when clicked, a message is sent or a call is made to a specific number. Also, the phone has a regular 3.5 mm headphone jack, into which you can insert a special strap, and if you pull it out, this is similar to pressing the SOS button.

Also pay attention to Snom conference systems. The C520 is equipped with two DECT wireless microphones and can be expanded with three fully featured C52 wireless modules. A MeetingPoint station serves premises of up to 30 m 2 .

Security of Snom solutions is ensured by a complete list of best practices today: authentication with pre-installed SHA-2 individual certificates, signaling encryption — SIP over TLS, audio encryption — SRTP, installation of forced user mode, connection only via HTTPS, use of complex passwords for administrators, web server and SIP, TLS server authentication.

To Russia with love

For partners, among whom the system integrators and telecom providers are usually distinguished, Snom has several levels of support. Depending on the sales volumes, the partner may simply be registered, or may receive the status of “silver” or “gold”. As a compulsory technical training, Snom conducts trainings, issues free demo phones and offers quite attractive discounts. All devices have a three-year warranty. Plus, everything (and this is company policy), is now preparing a support service with knowledge of the Russian language.

According to optimistic forecasts, Snom may soon become a serious competitor to Cisco, Avaya and Polycom in the Russian market. Especially in the niches of medium and small businesses, where they are accustomed to count money more carefully than in large corporations.

This concludes a brief introduction to Snom. We are very interested in promoting its products on the Russian market, and now iptelefon engineers are actively testing various devices. There are already first impressions and interesting observations, so soon we will begin to publish detailed reviews of specific models of Snom telephones.

Stay tuned for the iptelefon blog .

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