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.
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.