The list of terms for a similar function has gotten ridiculous. In a world that has gone acronym crazy, it is very difficult to get a simple message out. However, hear me scream that the market for virtual IP PBXs is growing faster than premise-based solutions. The reasons for this vary by size of company, industry and financial performance. Yet we know that purchasing a hosted IP PBX offering is not a decision made lightly. It means giving up control of a key resource for your business to a partner that you may not know well. The benefits are easy to list: delay, minimize or eliminate capital expenditures, future-proof your telecom system by transferring the responsibility for maintaining, updating and enhancing the equipment, acquire IT/VoIP expertise without increasing internal staff, and provide improved telecom features and services to telecommuting workers or branch offices. Buying a hosted PBX service can also be a quick entry into the world of Unified Communications and application collaboration.
Ovum projects that hosted communications services will generate $9 billion in revenue by the year 2014. Current estimates are that the market is somewhere between $1.5 and $2 billion today. This level of growth far exceeds most other areas of telecommunications. Ovum is estimating that SIP-based services will grow over 30 per cent during each of the next three years.
For hosted SIP services to move beyond early adopter into the early majority phase classic market adoption process or bell curve, the service providers have had to improve their networks, products and reliability. Early adopters are risk takers. They expect to deal with the difficulties of a new product or service. They expect to see revisions and corrections. However, the early majority expect most of those problems to have been resolved. A reliable fault-tolerant hosted system is what is attracting business to pursue hosted offerings. It has also been good that just as the ITSPs like Broadvox have made these improvements and are offering hosted IP PBXs, the technology sector has begun a push for off premise applications.
Hardware based IP PBXs will continue to sell and deliver an array of benefits to their buyers. The debate should never have been one versus the other. The debate should always have been about what was best for a given business at that point in time. Broadvox is excited to offer its new hosted product GO!VBX, but it continues to work with OEMs and its VAR partners to deliver hardware solutions supported by SIP Trunks.
Hosted, cloud computing, software as a service (SaaS) and managed services are receiving significant mindshare. It is important for the IP communications sales channels to accept that as fact and determine the best way to address it. Adding such products to their portfolios is just one possibility. However, acknowledging that off premise solutions is gaining mindshare is an absolute necessity. The sales channels need to understand that prospects now trust the providers of these solutions to meet or exceed Service Level Agreements and provide survivability options. Non-premise based solutions is no longer a bad idea.
See you on Monday.