According to a recent ZDNet survey, 33 percent of businesses already have IP telephony systems in place. During the next year, an additional 18 percent of respondents will invest in internet-based business phone services, followed by another 13 percent the year after that. This is positioning the sector for rapid and systemic change.
The survey found this shift is being led by the middle market. The vast majority of large enterprise companies have already made considerable investments in IP telephony, and most small businesses are not overly enthusiastic about making a technological shift. However, mid-size companies are striving to catch up with the enterprise and are expected to embrace advanced IP telephony solutions.
This transition to IP business phone systems will also lead to more investments in unified communications. The survey found the vast majority of respondents putting money into new IP telephony are simultaneously shifting to unified communications to expand the capabilities of their collaboration platforms.
Turning to IP telephony unlocks more than just unified communications. It also gives organizations an easy stepping stone into cloud-based collaboration services. This unleashes a wave of collaboration innovation, as the core infrastructure used to support phone services no longer needs to be located at the corporate headquarters. Instead, it is delivered through the network to any end-user connected to the corporate infrastructure. This not only adds a key layer of flexibility, it also enables advanced disaster recovery processes.
Most companies, if the power goes out at their primary headquarters, are stuck without phone services until the lights – and the internet – come back on. With a cloud-based solution, the IT department simply needs to call the service provider and have phones routed to another destination or a backup call center.
This is especially integral now, as consumers increasingly expect to be able to access a company's customer support representatives at any time, regardless of the conditions. Having a call center solution that can remain active and support customers when the headquarters is out of service is instrumental to keeping consumers happy and avoiding the severe revenue penalties. Without the cloud, such services are complex and expensive to maintain. But the cloud turns the capital investment needed to back up communications resources into an operating fee that is much easier for companies to manage.