The VoIP phone maker and developer Snom Technology is making a push into Italy and opening an office in Milan.

In what could be a barometer of the current state of Europe’s economies, the German company ruled out a move to the UK.

Heike Cantzler, marketing manager for Snom Technology, said both the UK and Italy were considered for the expansion.

She told that both Italy and the UK had very active Web markets – which had made the decision about where to expand difficult.

Ultimately, concerns over the UK’s economic situation and the perception that the Italian market was more receptive to new technology, tipped the balance in Italy’s favor.

"The financial problems in the UK are worse than in Italy," said Cantzler.

"The UK and US economies have big problems. With the rest of Europe, we are still waiting to see what will happen.

"Maybe next year will be hard but at the moment we do not feel any difference."

Snom develops and manufacturers VoIP telephones based on an open standard for enterprise communications.

It employs 50 people worldwide, with offices in Germany, Italy, the US and China.

In common with other VoIP industry businesses, Cantzler said a recession was likely to benefit Snom as companies sought ways to reduce costs.

She said that as Snom phones can be operated with a large number of compatible IP-PBX that support SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), they offer customers a wider choice for enterprise communication systems.

In October, the Berlin-based company launched the Snom 820, a VoIP business telephone with a high-resolution TFT color display.

Cantzler said the 820 typified Snom’s philosophy of adding as many features to products while keeping prices down.

"The 820 is the only phone worldwide – aside from Microsoft’s phones – that integrates with Microsoft Outlook," she said.

"This is really interesting because the Microsoft phone is one that is very expensive and very difficult to handle. Even Microsoft developers tell us that they use a Snom phone because it’s easier."

Praise indeed.

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