So my panel this morning on Trends and Future of VoiP/Telco 2.0: the Emergence of Cloud Telephony with Cbeyond and Dialogic was standing room only. The slide deck is here:ITEXPO-East-2011-Emergence of Cloud Telephony.
We discussed the trend of SMB to move to the Cloud for not just Voice. We hit on deployment, security, Fax over IP, and benefits. One of the big benefits is that Cloud (or Hosted PBX) takes the technology out of the way for small businesses. No upgrades. No hardware. Just buy and use. And you get more from Cloud that if you had premise based, because buying call recording, IVR and ACD appliances is big money.
Why Cloud now? As yesterday's panel explained: ubiquious broadband, economics, lack of tech skills in workplace, and doing more with less - all lead the SMB space to at least look at Cloud. Add in the media buzz and the fact that they already use cloud services like CRM, payroll (ADP and Paychex), Quickbooks online, email, Skype, and banking. The other factor is that sales folks are now asking about apps, something we did not typically do before. How many times has someone called you from Verio, GoDaddy or Rackspace to ask about your server or websites? You can't sell it if you don't ask.