Is it time for you to consider a hosted telephone system?

Hosted telephone

The rise of cloud-based telephony

Cloud-based applications are pretty topical just now in a business context and this is reflected in the figures of a report from 2014 that indicated that 78% of UK organisations have formally adopted at least one cloud-based service, giving cloud a mainstream deployment status. UK cloud adoption has grown by 61.5% since 2010 when the annual study began. With many businesses already using cloud-based applications like Dropbox, Office 365, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Zendesk and many more being utilised, the trust in online, cloud-based services is growing.

But what about Telephony-as-a-service? One of the UK’s leading network carriers, Gamma have stated a considerable growth in this sector over the last 24 months; similarly, a recent report from the Cloud Industry Forum stated that 20% of businesses surveyed currently use a cloud-based solution for unified communications and 18% for Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP).

There is further evidence to suggest Hosted is now coming into its own. Specialist VoIP statisticians Cavell, at their excellent European VoIP Summit earlier this year, presented research that showed that the Hosted VoIP market had grown by 17.49% in the early part of 2015, with over 245,000 seats being added to the cloud within the last 6 months. Largest growth had been seen in the companies of up to 50 members of staff, but there was also surprising growth in the larger companies with a few large contract being awarded that affected the statistics positively.

Furthermore, from our own experience, we have seen a healthy interest from the SME market in particular- which follows the pattern of these companies being generally more receptive and better placed to adopt new practices and technologies.

But why are more organisations making the jump across to cloud telephony services? Well the most common reasons are that some view the shift to off-premise solutions as a natural progression for a growing enterprise, as a hosted telephone system is quick to roll out, extremely cost friendly, and eminently scalable- all major plus points for companies with determined growth targets in mind.

Why choose a hosted telephone system?

There are a number of different reasons that are positively effecting the drive behind the rise of hosted telephone systems but some of the main benefits include cost reduction, flexibility, cash flow implications, scalability and ease of management amongst others. Some of the hosted solutions we have provided our clients has been for the following reasons:

1) Scalability – A medical and clinical services company were primed to move to a new office because of an expansion in their operational capacity and their legacy system was restrictive in terms of limitations to a fixed capacity ceiling with relation to adding new extensions. We proposed a cloud-based telephone system, where there are no restrictions and as the subscriptions are on a monthly basis, there is the ability to scale down when there is no requirement or seasonality requirements.

2) Reduced costs and upfront capital requirements – Another client of ours, who was reaching the end of life of their system wanted to reduce their costs for calls internally and avoid paying out large amounts upfront for new hardware.

Cloud services are priced by subscription, with fixed payments every month or year. That makes costs easy to predict and control and you don’t need to worry about being locked in long-term.

This manageable approach to cost is why small businesses have led the way in cloud adoption.

3) Ease of Management – With our hosted offering, all administration for monitoring or provisioning is done through an easy-to-use online portal allowing you to add a phone extension, or reroute a line to someone else, you don’t need to call in a third party engineer. All call routing is managed via a straightforward online control panel. Give your first line support team access to the console for fast, efficient; they’ll be able to connect new lines in an instant, and change routings with a click.

What is the ahead in the next 12 months for hosted telecoms?

At present it would seem that the rise of hosted telecoms solutions is on a steady upward trajectory as industry carriers report a continued increase in adoption especially as they look to drive this market. Similarly, organisations are feeling more confident with the progression in capacity, bandwidth and reliability from broadband providers to ensure quality required to make this a viable solution. For larger companies, there is also progression- companies with large service centres and contact centres are now also beginning to turn towards hosting, largely because of the scalability it offers and for disaster planning considerations.

The industry’s largest players are investing a lot of time and money into making the hosted telephony solution a more robust and viable one, continually adding functionality and enhancements to key aspects such as security: as adoption increases and companies get more used to their new technology these concerns should be gradually assuaged with reassurances based on actual experience, rather than hear-say.

Finally, with so many businesses looking to enhance mobility, increase collaboration and embrace the idea of truly Unified Communications, the steady pilgrimage towards Hosted should, over the next year or two, become more of a race- expect to see many more providers of Hosted solutions enter into the fray as interest increases.

Is it time you switched?

It would seem that more and more of your competitors are using cloud computing to become more efficient and productive, leveraging all of the benefits we’ve covered in order to improve the service they offer. Businesses that don’t compete are going to slip further behind.

There are a number of requirements that need to be met to ensure that a hosted telephone solution is viable including the distance from the exchange and your requirements (number of users, line speed availability etc) versus services available in your area that will ultimately determine your suitability – but the best way to determine this would be to speak with our pre-sales team.

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About incovo

incovo is a business communications technology integrator of category leading unified communications, infrastructure, integrated network solutions and document management solutions to small and mid-sized organisations throughout the UK. Our focus is creating dependable, cost-effective business communications solutions for businesses that ensure a variety of methods of collaboration to meet the ever-changing market conditions.

At incovo, we provide fast and effective support to all of our customers through our multichannel support network – allowing our customers to feel the benefits of compelling solutions that will enable their businesses to grow, tailored to their needs.

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