Looking ahead to 2015, one of the more interesting developments is the rise of cloud-based VoIP. Hosted PBX services offer the potential not only for a better level of service, but for the addition of a host of other services and back-end analytics and integration that bring a new host of services forward. (You can find a list of hosted PBX providers here)
So what are the benefits that would drive adoption of cloud-based VoIP? Some of the most interesting benefits include:
- More Cost-Effective – While the monthly service of a cloud-based VoIP service probably won’t be cheaper than an in-house solution, the adoption and initial implementation costs will be. And, once you factor in the personnel costs of running your own VoIP network vs simply outsourcing one, the ongoing cost savings become a lot more apparent.
- Better Customer Experience – A company’s ability to communicate with its customers is often the primary way by which those customers judge the company. In other words, if your communications with your customers are sloppy, and if there are problems like VoIP jitter and feedback, it makes your company appear unprofessional. Outsourced VoIP services may help alleviate that provided that they have a solid Internet connectivity strategy, which should include WAN orchestration of multiple ISP links for both added capacity, improved VoIP performance as well as auto fail-over in case any of the Internet connections have problems or gets disconnected. Most organizations will be well served with a blended MPLS approach.
- Renting vs. Owning – A lot of companies today don’t want to carry the hardware and software of a VoIP system on their books, so to speak. The licensing costs, the depreciation, and the upgrades to both hardware and software is often more than they want to support, especially given the personnel costs to maintain all of it. For many companies, simply outsourcing what you need for your enterprise is a lot more supportable.
- Better Analytics – Especially for companies that rely on call volumes for their business, such as customer service organizations and some sales organizations, the ability to integrate advanced analytics into their VoIP network, without having to implement the software themselves, is a key advantage. And moreover, the ability to integrate those analytics with other sources of contact such as social media, means a true competitive advantage, and something that was previously only open to large companies.
Companies looking at outsourced VoIP providers need to look for providers that aren’t simply going to give them an outsourced PBX. Rather, they need to evaluate based on the ability of that provider to do things like offer enhanced services and unified communications, over and above simple VoIP services.
Cahit Akin, CEO, Mushroom Networks, Inc.
Mushroom Networks is the provider of SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN) and NFV solutions capable of Broadband Bonding that enables self-healing WAN networks that route around network problems such as latency, jitter and packet loss.