In the past, the business phone system was often a land line platform that could not necessarily support remote access or the use of advanced applications that make the collaborative experience more worthwhile and effective. As the digital and mobile landscapes evolved, decision-makers were encouraged to augment their current communication technologies with more innovative offerings that could provide a more substantial experience to users at a more affordable price.
These demands led to the development of IP phone systems and VoIP, which has been gaining momentum with each passing year. A recent report by Infonetics Research highlighted the growing need for VoIP, noting that the global market generated approximately $63 billion in revenue in 2012, up 9 percent from the year before.
While there are a number of reasons driving changes in enterprise communication, the transformations are largely being pushed by the ongoing demand to support a remote workforce and multiple branches. After all, a growing company will need to extend its borders, as limiting a firm to a single building will only prevent it from increasing in size.
"Vendors are increasingly pitching cloud telephony and unified communications services alongside SIP trunking as more multi-site businesses seek out hybrid solutions," said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP and unified communications at Infonetics Research.
Where is VoIP headed?
Infonetics Research highlighted that the combined market for enterprise VoIP and residential IP phone services is forecast to generate nearly $83 billion in revenue by 2017. This will largely be driven by the private sector's endless pursuit to deploy the most advanced, innovative and effective phone system available, which is turning many decision-makers to SIP trunking, cloud offerings and other technologies.
Analysts noted that cloud-based communication services generated roughly 17 percent more revenue in 2012 than in 2011. Meanwhile, the demand for SIP trunks grew 83 percent over the past year as business executives sought out tools to support multiple branches without jeopardizing savings or flexibility.
Managed IP PBX offerings, which remain the largest portion of the overall VoIP market, experienced a 9 percent growth in sales, suggesting that many enterprises are reliant on dedicated systems.
"The market for VoIP services has moved well beyond the early adopter stage to mainstream status in many developed countries," Myers said. "New geographic regions are opening up and SIP trunking and hosted UC continue to heat things up, fueling growth."
To the cloud and beyond
As traditional IP solutions pick up speed, cloud VoIP services are gaining momentum in the private sector due to their ability to support remote connectivity. This was highlighted in a recent report by My VoIP Provider, which noted that a cloud service's ability to provide individuals with anytime, anywhere access to mission-critical resources is among the technology's most important characteristics. In the coming years, this significance will continue to gain weight as the mobile landscape expands and decision-makers continue to implement bring your own device.
As consumerization trends transform, employees will increasingly see the benefits associated with working outside of the office, particularly after they realize they will still be able to carry out corporate tasks in an efficient manner. To do so, however, executives need to implement a telecommunication platform with the right phone system features capable of supporting advanced operations.
By planning ahead and working with a trusted service provider, companies of all sizes will be able to replace traditional phone systems with more innovative offerings that provide real benefits to the organization as a whole.