The relevance of VoIP implementations in the marketplace continues to grow as a result of gains in flexibility, customization and integration. Industry analyst firms peg the rate of growth at something in excess of 20 percent per year.  The emergence of several developments related to VoIP are becoming more apparent and together they reveal the direction VOIP is heading.  While VoIP is growing and expanding in myriad ways, let’s take a look at five significant trends surrounding enterprise VoIP.

Accelerating Growth of Managed VoIP Cloud PBXs

The market for on-prem PBX systems is reaching its end for almost every class of organization.  What began in earnest among small business clients has now firmly moved through the midmarket and into the enterprise space.  This is because the economics, flexibility and scalability of hosted, cloud-based VoIP systems are, in most use cases, superior to what’s available via on-premises systems.  Equally important are the advanced call management capabilities and ever growing array of new Unified Communications (UC) features supported 24/7 by skilled and committed partners.

Hosted VoIP Contact Centers to Run Your Business

Current research (see: “Table 2” below) clearly shows that using a hosted VoIP contact center can be advantageous to your enterprise.  In fact, this research shows that cloud-based contact centers enjoy 27 percent lower annual costs associated with customer turnover, compared to their peers.  The research from Aberdeen Group also shows that cloud-based contact centers are far more likely to implement and monitor crucial processes that drive improved performance in relation to their peers.  Many companies have found that an improved customer experience is the hidden ROI associated with the scalability benefits that cloud-based contact centers can provide organizations.

In addition to all of the benefits that can be gained externally for enterprises that utilize hosted contact centers, businesses are also realizing the many advantages that can appear internally, as well.  Whether it’s the more reliable, scalable and routable calling and services, or the mobile access and reduced calling rates, internal employees are clearly benefiting from hosted VoIP contact centers, too.

Table2

Cloud-Based VoIP Solution Integration

A driving force for this trend is today’s multi-tasking workforce that strives to simultaneously complete as many tasks as possible while using the smallest number of tools.  As a result, we will continue to see more integration with cloud-based platforms and products using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for integration with Accounting Systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, and Contact Center and Help Desk programs.

Further Convergence of VoIP and UC via Collaboration Solutions

VoIP and UC continue to merge as collaboration apps and services like chat and messaging look to overtake email use in 2016 – especially for internal communications.  Moreover, there will be a continuing need for communications and workflow tools across departments, as well as the entire business. We will also continue to see productivity gains from merging team video-conferencing with chat, reducing the length of email chains.

The push toward this collaboration trend is the Web Real-Time Communication (Web RTC) standard, an open-source technology and API standard created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  This standard enables voice and video calling to take place directly from browsers using embedded coding.  Popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Microsoft Edge have announced support for WebRTC.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

Another important trend in enterprise VoIP is the way it impacts the Internet of Things (IoT).  It is predicted that by 2020, almost 26 billion objects or “things” will be connected or reside in the Internet.  The IoT, for those unfamiliar, is the concept of connecting anything with an on/off switch to the Internet and to each other.  This could mean connecting your cell phone to your coffee maker, light switches, washing machine, wearables and so on.  In the near future, VoIP will become integral to the “smart home” through the use of VoIP-enabled phones through which users can control home security, lighting and smart thermostats.

These VoIP phones would also be key devices for the smart office.  For many mobile employees, enterprise VoIP phones could be used to reserve desk space and customize the hoteling environment they plan to work from in an upcoming week.  For instance, using their VoIP phone, they could adjust the lighting, monitor setup and transfer their business phone number to a particular desk space – simply by using the VoIP softphone client on their smartphone or tablet.

No matter the trend, it is clear that enterprise VoIP usage is not just growing but thriving and is developing into a foundational building block for voice services.

For the latest in cloud computing trends, check out BizTech Magazine or CDW’s collection of cloud-related white papers, case studies and infographics.

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