To Purchase, Subscribe or Punt

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

To Purchase, Subscribe or Punt

I filled out a questionnaire last week that had as a question the supposition that PBXs were going the way of the dodo bird. Cloud computing and hosted communications are viewed as making hardware purchases extinct. I do not hold that outlook. Broadvox has a major business segment that is focused on offering hosted communications. In fact, we have expanded the offering with the inclusion of the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution. It is now the latest member of the GO! family of products as GO!UC. However, the sales of PBXs or IP PBXs will not end in the foreseeable future.

The criteria used by businesses in deciding whether to purchase, subscribe or move to a fully managed or hosted model vary greatly. Consider some of our industry’s favorite phrases, “command and control”, “best of breed”, and “one throat to choke”. These phrases amply describe philosophies applied to various business operations and processes. The first, “command and control” is usually the approach a business owner takes to a business or mission critical application. For example, will Broadvox will not outsource its private IP network, nor will Ford outsource the servers running its manufacturing plants. The second, “best of breed” has been applied to both hardware and software but the current use has been expanded to include practices as well as investment methodologies. Consequently, it can be used to determine if a subscription model best fits a business strategy or model. Most of you reading this blog probably subscribe to security software or offsite storage application to protect your personal computers and information. Most businesses now subscribe to a payroll or business financial management applications from Intuit or ADP. Finally, we use “one throat to choke” to describe our implementation and responsibility for a fully managed solution. Gartner has estimated the growth of cloud computing at 18.9% per year. I do not dispute that. I do, however, believe that companies will continue to be quite diverse in how they spend and invest their dollars and resources. It is not a question of whether the PBX will become extinct. It is better to consider how various hosted applications will complement existing and new business infrastructures.

In listening to the new IBM ad for SmartCloud which asks should you trust an online bookstore or search engine with your critical business information (clearly digs at Amazon and Google), I am reminded of the role of trusted and knowledgeable partners. IBM is advising us that only it has the world class expertise to build, deliver and support businesses as they transition to the cloud. SmartCloud becomes another product/solution in their large product portfolio of hardware, software and services.  

Broadvox believes in Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and we believe in the continued success of our various equipment OEMs, distributors, VARs and agents. It is important for each member of our ecosystem to customize their value proposition and product offering to leverage the changing IT and communications landscape. It may not become “one size fits all” but the wrong size never fits.

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