Friday, January 3, 2014

A New Year Brings More Telephony Choices For Business Owners.




Using cloud-based solutions for telephony and unified communications (UC) is becoming more accepted in IT departments, according to a recent survey. The study from Mitel claimed 80% of the 650 IT managers it interviewed saw the benefits of moving business-essential functions into the cloud, with cost savings or predictable costs named as the biggest draw.Just 4% of respondents said they would not consider a cloud-based option for their UC and telephony.
IT managers are not always in place in smaller companies, and individual business owners often push these decisions onto office managers or the "computer tech" who works offsite.  These target decision makers also are clearly starting to see the flexibility and cost saving benefits that a cloud-based approach to communication can offer. "Access to integrated telephony or Unified Communications is a driving factor", stated Steve Carlson owner of GreenBridge Tech," but adopting the technology is driven by the budget.". GreenBridge is a great example of a small start up business that does not want to go out and spend a fortune on new capital equipment. They have to be conservative based on what their potential growth can be.
How much will it cost? Capital investments on new equipment can be upwards of 5K for a small office to 300K for an enterprise system.These require staff to manage it and implement the technology as well as keep staff comfortable with the changes. Scalability and flexibility are not always built into the initial purchase option.
Cloud based " hosted" systems offer a much better return on investment for the small to medium sized business. Hosted by companies with a large IT staff and plenty of bandwidth, they take over your communications needs, manage the equipment, are completely scalable and keep the system software up to date. Competing for as much market share as they can get it seems every big player has jumped into this market. Companies like AT&T have been making a go at this for years, and new competition has beaten a path to surpass them and gain access to viable opportunities.
2014 could very well be the largest single year to date for Cloud migration in this area of telephony, and I am pleased to be assisting businesses in making these complex decisions. Make sure you have a reliable inventory of your current phone system, what you use it for and how you like it's performance. Add to that the features and benefits of what the new Cloud  technology offers and let an expert help you design the business communication system that will serve you today, tomorrow and the flexibility to take you into the future.