Categories
Hosted VoIP Unified Communications

6 Reasons Business Communications are Evolving from Legacy Voice to Hosted VoIP and Cloud UC

Businesses are turning to cloud-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and unified communications (UC) solutions for myriad reasons: to control and reduce costs, manage complexity, increase productivity, and enable easier collaboration. But for many organizations, VoIP and UC implementations can be challenging to manage. Luckily, communications service providers (CSPs) can remove the complexity and alleviate the need for internal IT staff to manage and maintain the solution. According to recent IDC survey data, hosted and cloud solutions will continue to gain significant traction and significantly outpace on-site solutions.

Organizations surveyed in 2014 that had deployed VoIP:

  • 33% said they had a hosted VoIP solution.
  • An additional 29.6% indicated they planned to implement hosted VoIP in the future.

Organizations surveyed in 2014 that planned to implement UC:

  • 41.7% of current UC users said their organization had deployed a premises-based UC solution.
  • 61% planned to implement a hosted/cloud UC or UCaaS compared with 30% who planned to implement an on-site UC solution.

Here are 6 reasons why business communications are evolving naturally from legacy on-site voice systems to hosted VoIP and cloud-based UC solutions. To read the full IDC report, click here.

 

1. Shift in How Businesses Communicate

When it comes to how professionals communicate, it will always come down to voice. Voice communications will always be an essential aspect of conducting business in today’s fast-paced environment. But the way in which organizations communicate is shifting from siloed, legacy voice platforms to integrated cloud solutions.

2. BYOD Explosion

Business professionals are redefining how and where they work. The proliferation of mobile devices, fueled by BYOD and the consumerization of IT, combined with the increasingly distributed and virtual nature of workforces are key drivers of this shift.

3. Growing Comfort Level with the Cloud

The accelerating adoption of managed, hosted, and cloud-based communications solutions is being driven by organizations’ growing comfort level with cloud delivery models. Although businesses will continue to invest in on-site solutions, their growing comfort level coupled with increasing numbers of hosted and cloud-based services in the market has led to faster-than-expected adoption. As a result, the available UC delivery and deployment options now include managed, hosted, cloud-based and hybrid offerings, far beyond the traditional, premises-based offerings that dominated the market a few years ago.

4. Businesses want Cloud Benefits, Now and in the Future

Business communications are naturally evolving from legacy voice systems to cloud VoIP and UC solutions as organizations reevaluate their existing solutions and consider the benefits of moving to a cloud-based model:

  • Control and reduce costs
  • Simplify the delivery and management of communications
  • Boost productivity and efficiency
  • Facilitate migration to a converged network
  • Encourage collaboration internally and externally with customers, suppliers and partners.

In fact, some organizations are deploying cloud-based UC or unified communications as a service (UCaaS) not only because they believe their users will leverage the advanced features immediately, but also because the additional functionality will be there whenever it’s needed.

5. Demand for Mobile, Video & Social

The popularity of mobility, video and social business applications is also contributing to rising demand for cloud solutions that seamlessly integrate UC capabilities with advanced voice capabilities, mobility and collaborative apps. Businesses are considering how UC can enable new applications, help solve business process challenges, and enable users to communicate and collaborate whenever and wherever they want using any device. However, these applications and services must be easy to deploy and manage as well as intuitive and simple to use. That’s where online customer portals that centralize management of all UC services comes into play.

6. Centralized Management

Over the past few years, CSPs have paved the way for providing UCaaS by integrating unified messaging (email, voice, and fax messaging), IM, conferencing (Web, audio, and video), presence, and mobility with the underlying telephony and call management capabilities already resident on hosted VoIP platforms. An example of one such centralized portal is Broadview Networks’ innovative MyOfficeSuite®. The  MyOfficeSuite® portal enables customers to control everything within the OfficeSuite Phone® UC solution – phone, voicemail, email, HD Video and web conferencing, Android® and iPhone® apps for mobile access, online fax service, Instant Messaging and more.

Categories
Hosted VoIP

Why Switch from PBX to Hosted VoIP and Cloud Phone Systems

2015 Business Phone System Buyers’ Report: Why Switch from PBX to Hosted VoIP and Cloud Phone Systems

If you’re thinking about buying a new business phone system , here’s your guide! Sometimes knowing what factors prompt other businesses to switch can help in your decision. This report from Software Advice is a wealth of information on Most Wanted Features and Applications, Top Pain Points, Buyers by Industry and so much more. With all the different options available for business communications (i.e. on-premises Private Branch Exchange (PBX), on-premises IP PBX and Hosted VoIP and Cloud UC systems), it can get overwhelming. Let this navigate you through all the reasons to upgrade to a hosted VoIP or Cloud phone system.

If you get nothing else from this report, know this: the PHONE still reigns supreme over all other communications. Yes, people are increasingly using web-based channels like email, social media and online chat to connect with your customer support team, but at the end of the day their phone interactions with your business dominate their perceptions.

 In other words, if you don’t do a good job with your auto attendant – the automated menu that lets callers self-select where their call is routed – then you’re likely to lose their business.

Daniel Harris, Market Research Associate at Software Advice, a VoIP software reviews website, gives more insight:

Our survey asked a population of U.S. consumers about how they would respond to a bad experience with a local business’s auto attendant. These findings suggest that auto attendants are a vitally important customer-facing element of business phone systems, particularly for local businesses.

  • Strikingly, 42% of our sample says that they would take their business elsewhere.
  • Only 7% says that they would email the business.
  • Moreover, only 20% says that they’ll look for info on the company’s website if they can’t use the auto attendant, which is less than half of the percentage of respondents who would simply take their business elsewhere.

We asked consumers about their top pain points with using auto attendants in order to identify the key elements of good auto attendant design. The top pain points among the consumers in our sample are long introductions (cited by 29%) and too many menu options (cited by 28%). In order to arrive at guidelines concerning how to avoid these pain points, we analyzed a sample of 45 small business auto attendants to track metrics on average introduction length, menu length and number of menu options.

  • More than half (58%) of the introductions in our sample are under three seconds long.
  • Only 9% provide branding statements regarding their businesses in auto attendant introductions.
  • Additionally, overall menu length rarely exceeds 40 seconds (only 24% of the businesses in our sample had longer introductions).
  • We also found that very few small business auto attendants include more than 8 options – only 6% of the auto attendants in our sample extended beyond this number.
  • The lion’s share of auto attendants clustered between 4 and 5 options (42% of our sample).

I hope this guide helps you make a more informed decision about what type of communication system is right for your business. Remember, you typically only have one chance to make a good impression on your customers and prospects, so make sure that the phone system you choose gives your business a professional, polished image.