There's no doubt that the cloud has seen great success over the last couple of years, as it has been embraced by businesses and consumers alike. Indeed, the convenience of basic storage services like Dropbox, or even more media-centric services like Google (News - Alert) Music, is undeniable.
But on the business side of things, adoption is always slower and one cloud-based technology in particular, virtual PBX, has yet to make significant headway.
According to Forrester (News - Alert) analyst Dan Bieler, a mere one out of 10 businesses have switched to cloud-based communications. This has led many to wonder why cloud-based voice has been slower to gain traction at the enterprise level than other cloud technologies. Well, for one thing, conventional voice services are doing a good job of staying competitive with cheaper rates. For another, making the switch to virtual PBX (News - Alert) just isn't high on the list of priorities for many organizations.
As such, virtual PBX must boast a differentiating feature that will make the switch worthwhile for enterprises. Some say that mobile device management may be that feature. By also taking advantage of mobile phones and tablets already being used by a company's workforce, enterprises are sure to show more interest. Many vendors are already working on this.
Despite virtual PBX's relatively slow adoption, the industry did enjoy a four percent sales increase during the first quarter of this year, demonstrating just how lucrative it could be if interest was higher. Indeed, j2 Global (News - Alert) Communications has enjoyed high revenue and strong share prices, which can largely be attributed to its voice services.
Furthermore, virtual PBX has seen strong growth internationally, with sales growing by 18 percent in Q1 2012 from the same period in 2011 in the Caribbean and Latin region. Asia Pacific saw a 16 percent increase in the same period.
Though virtual PBX has yet to really catch on, that doesn't mean it hasn't been a success and with mobile device management on the way, the industry has massive potential for further growth.
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Edited by Braden Becker