The latest analysis from Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) tells us that the market for IP telephone and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) is doing well, but for other reasons than cost. It’s all about flexibility.
Hosted IP and UCC are usually deployed by businesses of all sizes due to both of them being economically efficient. When it comes to managing a tight budget while maintaining a high-end communications platform, these options are the way to go. Hosted IP is a sound choice because with a hosted model, businesses only need to make a nominal investment in telephone sets that are compatible with VoIP. There are no operating, maintenance or upgrade costs to worry about.
In addition to this however, Frost & Sullivan’s latest report finds that businesses are seeking out UCC and hosted IP because of a need for greater flexibility while eliminating the hassle of other systems.
"Small and medium businesses (SMBs) in North America use hosted services to gain greater flexibility and access to more advanced communications capabilities, while large organizations are making the switch to consolidate infrastructure and streamline vendor relationships," said Frost & Sullivan North America Unified Communications (News - Alert) Program Director Elka Popova in a statement. "Going forward, the benefits of cloud solutions for mobile and remote workers as well as increasing service provider focus on service quality and reliability will boost penetration in larger, geographically distributed organizations."
Flexibility is important because the system is not constrained. It can expand or reduce based on the situation. If resources become tight or the number of employees needs to be decreased, this can easily be accommodated, and in times of growth - it is quick and easy to scale up without incurring massive costs or disruption to the business. This gives organizations the ability to immediately make changes and scale up or down with fluctuating business needs.
By removing the worry and maintenance of phone systems, businesses can better focus on their core business capabilities. The management of these increasingly complex business communications systems is outsourced and handled offsite with a hosted model, so the telephony system continues to work while employees can get on with productivity.
Hosted IP services include mechanisms for forwarding voicemail to E-mail and other features used in a UCC system. With VoIP, there is more reliability and better integration than with UC-type products that rely on traditional phone services, making it more attractive for business owners.
“Cost-effective multi-tenant solutions are likely to appeal to the SMB market, whereas UCaaS offerings supported on multi-instance platforms help address security and customization concerns in larger businesses," said Popova. "Even more important is execution—providers must ensure consistent availability and high quality of service to ensure long-term success in the hosted communications space."