One thing that was impossible to miss was the lack of traditional endpoints on show, with many of the companies offering phone systems heavily promoting the software side of their solutions, the handsets were almost a compatibility checkbox rather than a key part of the solution. This was because of a shift away from physical hardware to solutions that were based entirely in the cloud. Suppliers were heavily favouring soft phones in almost all of their demos.
This is interesting as soft phones have a reputation for sometimes being too basic for some employees who need more features to complete tasks and organise efficiently. There is also a popular belief that soft phones are simply not as reliable as a quality desk phone. Soft phones of course have their advantages (versatility, portability, cost efficiency) but solely relying on a soft phone system is ill advised. Most sensible sources suggest you consider a mix of both soft phones and desk phones when choosing your phone system.
One reason that suppliers may be acting in this way is so they can be a customer’s only port of call. Limiting a customer’s exposure to another firm that produces hardware increases the chance of a customer staying loyal as they are less likely to see what else is out there.