There's a different model at work. One with clear choices.

Enterprise telephony, as delivered by the PBX, was a stable, relatively slow growing market split between Nortel, Avaya and Siemens as the primary competitors. The big growth spurts in North America happened in 1996, with the creation of the North American Numbering Plan, which greatly increased the number of area codes in Canada and the USA. Of course, it was an opportunity of license and configuration adjustment.

The next great growth spurt happened in 1999, as firms considered the risks of Y2K problems and the resulting increase in IT spending to account for these.

The NBX Corporation, introduced the world's first IP PBX in the fall of 1998. They were the outsiders and focused on a market that was poorly served by the classic PBX manufacturers – small and medium enterprises. These customers were looking for a better way, a more fundamental approach to business telephony without the pain, the cost and the hassle of traditional approaches.

The IP PBX product category is a disruptive technology, with a significantly different architecture to replicate many of the features to enable advanced IP telephony services.

3Com acquired NBX and integrated the product into its lineup of enterprise-class products and applications.

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