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4 critical facts about hosted unified communications

A recent report says the communications services market is changing—and that could be good news for your organization


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designed to help communications service providers understand the changing market—and what they should do to thrive. That study has a number of important facts for customers like you, too.

Frost’s report delves into the North American market for hosted IP telephony and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) products—solutions such as presence, unified messaging and business phone systems offered as services by phone companies, software firms and other corporations.

The report presents four important insights that might help you decide if hosted communications products are a good fit for your organization.

  1. The hosted communications club is growing

If you’re considering hosted IP telephony and UCC, you’re definitely not alone. Frost & Sullivan says the market for these services consists of approximately 8 million users today. By 2021, that user base will balloon to 41.9 million. The more, the merrier: watch as service providers invest even further to introduce new features and packages to satisfy the organizations and IT decision makers who make up this growing market.

  1. Small businesses will lead the market

Usually in the IT industry, large enterprises take the lead—and small and midsized businesses (SMBs) trail. Traditionally, the big guys have the finances to try new technologies earlier, while smaller firms wait for those innovations to become more common and less expensive. But when it comes to hosted IP telephony and UCC, that regular model is upturned. According to Frost, the majority of users will come from SMBs that seek flexible and economical outsourced communications. The upshot: SMBs could have a major impact on the growth of the hosted IP telephony and UCC market. And as an SMB, your wishes as far as new features and functions go could become reality sooner than you ever thought they would.

  1. Large companies will sign up, too

Often, technologies that speak to SMBs don’t attract many large businesses. That’s not the case here. Frost says enterprise-sized, distributed organizations could come to embrace hosted communications, too, especially if they want to consolidate their communications infrastructure, optimize IT operations and save money on remote and mobile worker connectivity.

  1. Service providers will step up their games even more

Hosted communications carriers have a difficult task. They compete against technology companies that offer sophisticated on-premise-based solutions to the very end-user organizations that they, the hosted IP telephony providers, hope to entice. How will the carriers compete? “Going beyond features and functionality, service providers must offer strong customer onboarding, consistent support, a balanced mix of automated sales and consultation, as well as efficient service provisioning and upgrades,” says Frost unified communications and collaboration program manager Robert Arnold.

If hosted communications service providers follow that advice, you as a customer can expect to see just those sorts of enhancements. Service providers will develop intuitive interfaces that make it easy for users to get up and running with hosted communications. Carriers will also offer faster technical help to ensure users access the information they need. And the providers will take a studied approach to balancing self-service and the high-touch method when it comes to sales, meeting the savvy IT decision maker’s need for control over and support throughout the provisioning process.

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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