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SMBs Sold On the Value of Cloud Communications

SMBs Sold On the Value of Cloud Communications

For years now, hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (IP) services have provided strong business value, however customarily the advantage has been associated solely with expense savings. Traditionally, businesses that consider on-site PBX a safer bet – because in the event of a business continuity threat the equipment is locally available and able to be accessed easier – place a high value on the reliability and uptime of communications systems. However, according to a July 2011 report conducted by Aberdeen Group, (a leading provider of fact-based research that aids individuals and organizations is making better business decisions) this previous conjecture is no longer accurate.

The report included over 100 businesses that were polled in their use of telecommunications services. Aberdeen Group found that the “Best in Class” companies or top 20% of telecommunications end-users in terms of performance faced one-quarter of the Service Level Agreement-defined issues and had 5% of the downtime as standard respondents. As it turns out, these high-level enterprises were over two times more likely to employ a hosted communications solution than any other organization, which demonstrates that reduced service impairment and improved uptime are now strongly associated with the real-world usage of hosted Voice over IP.

Aberdeen broke the report down even further, splitting its respondent base into three separate categories – small, medium, and large organizations – for additional profiling.

Small organizations (those that comprise of 50 or fewer employees) proved to be very much in favor of hosted Voice over IP solutions, primarily because they were looking for the most cost-efficient solution. Just over 30% of Aberdeen Group’s report audience noted that they have already adopted this type of solution, and an additional 35% say they plan to do so in the next 2 years. Small companies are often heavily reliant on their telecom systems in order to support a customer and partner environment since it is more cost effective than traveling for in-person meetings. Aberdeen Group found that by employing a hosted Voice over IP solution, smaller companies increased their odds of reaching 99.999% uptime (aka the “five 9s”) support that many thought was only attainable to large enterprises.

Medium-sized businesses (those that employ between 51 and 2,500 employees) are less likely to implement a hosted Voice over IP solution, with just 11% of respondents reporting that they have already adopted it and another 30% saying they plan to do so. A part of the issue is that more than 60% of the medium-sized companies listed in the report had already made investments in on-premise PBX solutions and therefore felt compelled to continue using the equipment until it was completely depreciated. That being said, the knowledge with existing equipment and penny-pinching instinct came at the cost of inferior uptime.

While Aberdeen Group’s report indicated that hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (IP) services currently offer the greatest benefits to small and medium-sized organizations, it should be noted that both have different goals and concerns, and have different needs associated with adopting a hosted Voice over IP solution.

John Peoples
Tags : VoIP Communication VoIP Services VoIP Provider

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