Take Advantage of the Rising Popularity of Hosted IP Telephony
According to a recent report by research firm Frost & Sullivan, hosted IP telephony and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) are rapidly being adopted by organizations looking to utilize cloud infrastructure for operations.
The technology is now expanding beyond the small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that traditionally were its primary users. This is because off-site – or cloud – hosting is proving valuable to any organization that’s looking to make the most of a limited budget or constrained resources.
“Pretty much any kind of organization could benefit from hosted services,” said Elka Popova, UCC program director at Frost & Sullivan. “Once organizations start considering a move for more advanced communication, that’s when the cloud makes more sense.”
Lower Upfront Costs
While IP telephony solutions used to require an on-site (or “premise-based”) system, these often came with the added cost of expensive server installations—making them uneconomical for smaller organizations. But, within the Voice Over IP (VoIP) industry, small businesses remain quick to adopt cloud-based solutions.
“Budget and resource constraints, as well as the appeal of faster access to advanced features, and the ability to supplement limited in-house IT staff are lending momentum to hosted services among SMBs,” says Popova. “Among larger distributed organizations, concerted service provider efforts, in addition to maturing technologies and business models, will drive adoption.”
These services include a relatively low monthly fee and can reduce expenses by not requiring on-site IT personnel. Additionally, many cloud solutions come with data security features. With data loss and downtime costing businesses $1.7 trillion in 2014 alone, enterprises of all sizes are taking note of the value offered by cloud security services.
Consolidate and Scale Infrastructure
As technology evolves rapidly, organizations are turning to the cloud to economically consolidate and scale their infrastructures. Cloud solutions offer the chance for increased flexibility, price reductions and performance boosts.
Scalability is also one of the cloud’s greatest assets. Without the need to manually install and upgrade servers, organizations are able to easily keep up with rapid growth—or scale back functionality as needed.
Changing User Needs
Most importantly, hosted IP solutions offer the ability to match how consumers and businesses already live and work. Remote access to systems means that services are never interrupted, even if operations move or an employee is out of the office. Business teams are no longer bound to the office or the exact location where servers and systems are physically located.
Additionally, cloud systems incorporate features that encourage more efficient collaboration. Users can can take advantage of popular collaboration tools like instant messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing and file sharing.
As cloud-based IP telephony solutions continue to offer lower costs, better security and support and remain highly scalable, adoption rates keep climbing. According to a survey of 1,250 SMBs conducted by Edgewater Networks, hosted IP telephony comprises 36 percent of those polled—with 80 percent saying they aim to convert in the next two years. All of these trends indicate that hosted IP telephony seems primed to grow exponentially as the market embraces the cloud.
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