Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are jumping on the hosted IP telephony and unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) services bandwagon, joined in part by larger enterprises, as reports funnel in from all sectors on the benefits realized when companies access these technologies from the cloud. In fact, a recent study from Frost & Sullivan revealed that the number of installed users for this market reached 8 million in 2014 and is expected to grow to 41.9 million by 2021.
SMBs do represent the majority of these users, as large enterprises are more able to afford their own on-premises installations. SMBs with smaller budgets and fewer (if any) IT staff can now keep pace with their larger counterparts by outsourcing their communications infrastructure to a cloud-based third-party provider. With this move, they can better meet demands from employees, partners and customers for more-efficient communications that enhance productivity and support their bottom lines.
“Budget and resource constraints, as well as the appeal of faster access to advanced features, and the ability to supplement limited in-house IT staff, are lending momentum to hosted services among SMBs,” said Frost & Sullivan UC&C Program Director Elka Popova. “Among larger distributed organizations, concerted service provider efforts, in addition to maturing technologies and business models, will drive adoption.”
All in all, businesses large and small are discovering that hosted PBX solutions make for greater business agility in meeting communications, infrastructure and operations objectives in today’s business environment. Here are a few doors that open when you deploy a hosted communications system:
For growing businesses, scalability, or the ability to quickly and easily add phone lines, is crucial to capitalizing on business ventures. With a hosted telephone system, you add phone lines through the Internet, eliminating the need for physical wiring and the labor associated with installation and maintenance. Furthermore, you can seamlessly transfer your existing phone lines to the IP-PBX server while adding new lines. If your business development expands across the country or overseas, your IP-PBX system will support these additional branches as well. As a matter of fact, one interface connects your entire enterprise, locally and globally.
A hosted telephony system eliminates the need for traditional on-premises communications infrastructure and it’s associated equipment costs. In effect, you own your phone lines, and you do away with exorbitant long-distance fees as each phone line is routed over the Internet, eradicating proprietary phone carrier charges. What’s more, the flexibility and cost efficiency of the IP phone line solution combined with a myriad of communications tools provides companies with the greatest guarantee of ROI.
Businesses productivity levels soar when your employees can use real-time communications tools such as presence, videoconferencing and instant messaging over the Internet. Regardless of the location or proximity of all users, UC will help you keep workers connected to office staff and resources. For instance, hosting virtual meetings via Web conferencing allows organizations to enjoy the benefits of face-to-face meetings. UC will also keep your workers connected on the road. What’s more, UC systems that include mobile clients allow companies to easily embrace next-generation mobile trends like bring your own device (BYOD), providing on-the-go employees with the same communications features and functionality they have on their desktops.