Being flexible is an important part of business. No one wants to miss an opportunity because it doesn't fit into the normal workday or the normal workload. Desire to improve that flexibility is what's driving a more rapid push toward not only hosted Internet protocol (IP) telephony, but also toward unified communications and collaboration (UCC) tools, as a new report from Frost & Sullivan detailed.
Frost & Sullivan's newest report had a lot to say about the recent nature of the industry. In 2014, the market pulled in $3.32 billion in revenue, and by 2021, that number will grow to a projected $17.93 billion. Elka Popova, who serves as Frost & Sullivan's digital transformation program director, notes that small and medium-sized businesses will likely lead the way on this front. A combination of tight budgets and limited expertise causes such firms to turn to hosted services. Larger organizations will also get into the fray, but for different reasons; instead of being pushed by a desire for cost-effective improvement, larger organizations instead look to cloud as a means to better support remote workers without having to turn to multiple vendors to get the job done.
Concerns in this market do exist; security is a major issue, as well as specific requirements in customization and integration. Some firms are concerned about losing control over communications, a point that's often a concern in dealing with hosted services. Reliability and quality issues also come into play, holdovers from earlier attempts that may not have gone so well. There are means to work around these issues, of course, and those are points providers should keep in mind.
Addressing quality and reliability issues can be done with service-level agreements (SLAs) and similar contracts, with specific remedies offered for incidents. Many times, these won't even be necessary as reliability and quality alike have been on the rise in recent years. In the end, it's all about offering the customer what's most desired and backing it up with sound customer service techniques. The good news here is that there's a clear demand for the product itself, which means companies now only need to address specific objections in order to carry out sales. Companies even know what these objections are likely to be, so sales and marketing efforts can be planned out in advance to address these specific issues before contacts are even made.
Hosted IP and UCC tools can be a big part of a business' operations, and businesses are eager to take advantage of these new technologies to get the most out of a work day. Vendors, meanwhile, will have to be careful to address the issues that may come up in order to best reach this interested, if concerned, market.