The mobility trend is clearly here as a byproduct of modern society. Consumers are on-the-go and taking their communications along for the ride. One element of that mobility that may not be as obvious is the use of mobile VoIP. With the latest announcement from Juniper Research (News - Alert), however, carriers and tech companies are paying more attention to the role mobile VoIP is set to play in businesses in the next few years.
According to this UC Strategies article, the research firm has released the findings of a recent study suggesting that by 2017 more than one billion people will be communicating with mobile VoIP by way of free smartphone apps. While some see this as a growing opportunity, others are wondering what has taken so long. Given the benefits and cost savings associated with mobile VoIP, the customer lag is surprising.
It’s possible that a simple lack of awareness is the biggest obstacle to widespread mobile VoIP. For many a consumer, VoIP is a foreign word and an unfamiliar concept. For those on the commercial side who have already implemented business VoIP internally, a lack of mobile VoIP for professionals in the field demonstrates a clear disconnect – no pun intended. Even when mobility is available as an extension of the business VoIP offering, regular use still isn’t always supported.
In fact, research shows that mobile VoIP is only used when it can be downloaded for free or when users get the app for no additional charge as an extension of a service they have already deployed. For instance, business VoIP providers 8x8 (News - Alert) and RingCentral, both offer free mobile apps for customers that allow for easy integration into the hosted PBX system. Mobile professionals will use VoIP on-the-go if they are encouraged to do so, but it must be as seamless as standard communications if users are expected to make a change.
According to Juniper’s research, consumers will only adopt and use mobile VoIP when they believe they are getting something for free. In other words, they will only use mobile VoIP apps to communicate with others using the same app. If a call could potentially cost them money, they will avoid using the app. For those companies promoting the use of mobile VoIP, encouraging users to download the app (when not part of a business VoIP solution they already have) and use it for all calls is the biggest obstacle to widespread adoption.
To truly optimize the business VoIP experience, however, it’s important to select the right provider and the right solution. This TMCnet report highlights a few elements to look for to make the right selection for a particular environment:
- Trial a solution before making the selection
- The solution must be easy to use over its lifetime
- It must be flexible and scalable
- All business VoIP features must address current needs
While each company may need to add a few other elements to the list before making a selection, the important thing is to have a list and demand that the business VoIP solution meet the needs of the organization or any measurable benefits expected may not be realized over its use. Such an obstacle can be overcome in an environment where business VoIP is already the preferred method of communication. Companies like Nextiva are providing companies with unlimited calling and faxing, local and toll free numbers, no cost setup, no monthly contracts and more than 100 business-ready features. When users are out on the road, they have access to the same capabilities, making it easier to standardize the use of mobile VoIP from anywhere.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Jamie Epstein