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Snom turns 20

Snom enters its third decade with a new owner and the resources to react quickly to changing market conditions and trends

This September, Berlin-based IP-telephony company Snom celebrated its 20th anniversary. Founded in 1997 by Christian Stredicke, Snom has grown to become an international brand for IP desk phones, DECT phones and conferencing devices.

Stredicke started Snom Technology in the expectation that telephony’s future would be digital. To start with he struggled to get any backing, as few people at the time agreed with his prognosis. The telecommunications industry saw no potential in digital; providers were happy to continue selling analogue solutions; and there was no demand from end-users.

Stredicke persevered, focusing from the very beginning on innovation and design. This attention to detail meant that Snom phones soon gained a reputation for quality, especially their audio, which continues to be refined and perfected in Snom’s in-house sound laboratory.

Within just a few years, Snom had become established as a premium brand, its products in use in millions of offices and conference rooms around the world.

Oliver Wittig, Snom vice president of carrier relations and key account sales, said: “Since Snom introduced the world’s first operational IP phone – the Snom 100 – in 2001, change has been radical. Business telephony has undergone a huge transition from analogue to digital and the range of features and functionality, including unified communications, that people now accept as standard would have been unimaginable 20 years ago.

“In this time, the Snom product portfolio has continued to expand and improve. We now offer two ranges of IP desk phone, the D3xx series and the D7xx series; single and multicell mobile DECT solutions; cutting edge conferencing IP phones; and a unique SIP public announcement solution, the PA1.”

He added: “It is worth noting that enterprises that deployed Snom phones 15 years ago are in many cases still using the same devices today. We view this as clear evidence of the durability and adaptability of our products.”

A bright future
Towards the end of 2016, Snom was acquired by VTech, a Hong Kong-based manufacturer with around 37,000 employees worldwide. Being part of a much bigger organisation has reduced Snom’s production costs, enabling it to lower prices, and given it the flexibility and agility to offer customised manufacturing and react more quickly to market trends.

The main development of IP phones continues to be conducted in Berlin, supported by an additional 25 developers from the parent company, who work exclusively on Snom products. CEO Gernot Sagl said: “Snom is still Snom, but faster, more flexible, more versatile and stronger. We are in a very good position right now.”

So far this year, Snom has achieved a double-digit increase in revenue – in some European countries sales are up by more than 60% compared to this time last year. With three new Snom products in the pipeline and resilient demand for deskphones, Wittig is confident that Snom will continue to prosper.

“Many have predicted the demise of the desk phone via softphones and mobile devices, but instead of vanishing into history, the desk phone has solidified its position as an anchor in the day of every office worker. The desk phone has established itself as a key component in all major unified communications solutions. Now, it must continue to adapt to maintain its privileged position and meet the demands of rapidly changing office environments. Whoever can successfully integrate smartphones into office desk communication for true office mobility will be the next big winner,” he said.

Did you know?
SNOM is an acronym for a near-field scanning optical microscope. Christian Stredicke was inspired to name Snom Technology after the acronym by a friend who was building a SNOM at the time the company was formed.