Big Trends for Hosted IP PBX in 2017
Where is the hosted IP PBX market heading?
In the mid-2000s, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology experienced explosive growth. This happened largely because of the release of new powerful applications suitable for large facilities in the hospitality, health, and education sectors. Early adoption was driven by large enterprises.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) couldn’t really justify the costs, and often lacked the technical know-how to install and manage the technology needed for IP-based phone systems.
But with the emergence of hosted IP PBX technology after 2010, everything changed.
Now SMEs can benefit from an enterprise-level business phone system for a fraction of the cost of a traditional on-premise IP PBX system. There’s no questions about it: hosted IP PBX has introduced a more scalable, flexible, and cost-effective business phone system.
The question now is, where is the hosted IP PBX market heading in 2017 and beyond? And where are the emerging opportunities? We’ll explore the 5 big trends to watch in this blog post.
1. Better uptime and support
Some early adopters of VoIP technology may still have nightmares about their connection failing at a critical moment. While dropped connections are now few and far between, they’re always a concern for companies that are just getting started with IP-based telephones. But you can expect service quality to continue to improve this year as more and more companies choose a hosted IP PBX solution and providers beef-up their capacity to accommodate.
Also look for advanced ‘failover’ technology that will seamlessly move your connection to another server if something does go wrong.
2. Integration with more advanced communication
Voice calling is really just the beginning. Companies that adopt hosted IP PBX solutions set the stage for unified communications (UC), which adds video calling/conferencing, text messaging, and presence indication to your IP-based phone system. These additional communication services are also delivered through the internet, so there’s no need to invest in additional hardware to take advantage.
We might even see the permanent integration of UC and hosted IP PBX at some point in the near future. As business communication needs evolve, the convergence of voice, video, and text messaging might become necessary for companies to remain competitive.
3. More enterprise-level functionality
Hosted IP PBX solutions will continue to offer features that were previously only accessible via an enterprise-grade, on-premise PBX system. Features like auto attendant and virtual phone numbers are increasingly common among hosted IP PBX providers. The playing field is levelling out, and the technology advantages of large enterprises are quickly disappearing.
In fact, expect hosted IP PBX to go mainstream for small, medium-sized, and large enterprises alike. It’s quickly becoming the new norm for business phone solutions.
4. Mobile replacing desktop devices
Fixed handsets are no longer necessary. And a lot of companies are actually getting rid of them because their employees are using smartphones, tablets, and computers to make phone calls. Bring your own device (BYOD) business models have a lot to do with this shift. A lot of companies are letting their employees make work-related calls with their own devices. This makes it easy for employees to telecommute and stay connected to the office while travelling.
Expect to see a lot more mobile-first offices in 2017.
5. Better integration with business apps
Phone systems no longer operate in a vacuum. Companies are looking for ways to integrate their business phone systems with other necessary applications like customer relationship management (CRM). They’re starting to expect communication services that allow them to make better decisions with data. The integration of voice with other critical functions will help companies learn more about how communication affects performance indicators like customer satisfaction and employee productivity.
2017 is going to be a big year for IP-based phone services