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October 11, 2011

Survey Finds Small Business VoIP Expecting Growth, But Are Reducing Costs

 By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

According to a new survey conducted by VoIP telephone and cloud communications provider 8x8 (News - Alert), small- to mid-size businesses are expecting future growth, but are “acutely more aware of the need to reduce costs than they have been in the past.”

8x8 Chairman and CEO Bryan Martin (News - Alert) said "Clearly, the economy remains very challenging for small businesses, and they're realizing the need to scrutinize expenses and prepare for growth by making the right choices now.”

Conducted to “identify the reasons behind the higher than usual demand 8x8 experienced for its services this past summer,” survey officials said, the findings “uncovered some interesting insights, with respondents identifying their top business concerns as reducing costs, attracting new customers and hiring and affording new employees.”

Specifically, as might be expected these days, concern over reducing business expenses grew throughout the summer months: The survey found that 55 percent of new business customers in August 2011 indicated they were "more concerned" about business expenses this year than last. That’s an increase of 16 percent over the 39 percent of new business customers in June 2011 who gave a similar answer.

In contrast, the survey also revealed that "managing and keeping up with business growth" was a top concern for nearly one-third of the respondents.

And when asked about the driving factors influencing their decision to implement 8x8 VoIP phone service in their business, 62 percent indicated “overall cost savings” while 70 percent specified features. Under half, 43 percent, cited portability and geographic flexibility and 37 percent cited the convenience of having 8x8 host and maintain the service.

Last month TMC CEO Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) noted that 8x8 purchased Contactual, formerly known as White Pajama. “I have been visiting 8x8 for about 15 years and when you enter their HQ the first thing you notice is the patents hanging everywhere. They now have about 75 of them,” Tehrani wrote.

After the tech bubble crash the company turned their leading-edge technology into a customer focused business which you could call a business Vonage (News - Alert). This company was way ahead when it came to the ASP/hosted/on-demand/cloud communications space.

White Pajama on the other hand was founded during the dotcom bubble times and the founder was wearing white PJs when he decided to form the company. It was later bought back from the investors by the founder who turned the company into a success. Again, another pioneer in the cloud-based call center space. Oh yeah, and they changed the name to get taken more seriously in a post-dotcom bubble crash market.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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