For an increasing number of companies, hosted VoIP will become an attractive alternative to their existing inhouse implementation. Let’s briefly review the rationale behind your choice for either a hosted VoIP or on-premise VoIP solution.
Is there a moment to choose for hosted VoIP?
It won’t deliver a solid business case when one decides to make the transition to hosted VoIP or Unified Communications at a time that the existing inhouse communications solution still works flawlessly and within budget. In reality, there are two excellent opportunities to consider hosted VoIP:
- Are you still using a traditional legacy telephony solution, and have you decided that it is time to move forward? In that case VoIP – possibly with additional Unified Communications features – is the logical next step. And for you as a company, the logical choice to be made is whether you want to take the burden of installing and maintaining it, or outsource it from day one to a specialized service provider.
- A similar question arises when you already deploy VoIP and perhaps also other communications services inhouse and substantial upgrades are required in the installed base. You need new hardware, new functionality or IT-systems must be integrated. Do you initiate a large and costly migration project, or do you take the opportunity to outsource at least part of your IT burden? Note that telecommunication is typically a popular domain to outsource since it is on the one hand very specialized technology and on the other hand less business-specific than many other IT applications.
What is the business case for hosted VoIP?
Traditionally the choice for hosted VoIP was typically beneficial for smaller companies, while bigger organizations opted for an on-premise solution. Due to the development of IT costs, the trade-off point between both options is moving towards larger number of users. Hosted VoIP is also an option which perfectly fits the generic trend towards outsourcing and cloud services.
When not to choose for hosted VoIP
Typically, organizations which are very large and complex in business models, internal structure and geography opt for an inhouse solution. These organizations often use internally shared services centers which are responsible for all IT operations and act as a kind of internal hosting provider towards the different departments and locations. Also, it is hard to transfer all the organizational complexities of a multinational to specialized VoIP service provider. And if a lot of bespoke integrations are required, complex business processes have to be supported or security and data integrity is a key demand, an inhouse solution is often required. Certainly, if an organization has a strong focus on inbound or outbound services (like call centers), there may be so much company-specific adaptations that a choice for an on-premise solution is inevitable.
The trend towards hosted VoIP
Nevertheless, we can say that hosted VoIP is on the rise. Cloud-based Unified Communications provider BroadSoft – recently acquired by Cisco – does a survey every year with service providers and industry leaders to better gauge the trends in the cloud UC market. If we compare the figures of their different surveys over the years, we see that the predictions for the use of hosted VoIP in 2020 in the different segments increase every year:
- Small business segment (<100 employees): In 2016 the experts expected that by 2020 55% of the small business will use a cloud UC solution. This means a 7% increase compared to the 2015 survey.
- Midmarket business segment (100 – 999 employees): Here we see that the industry experts expect in 2020 a penetration of 49%. Which is 11% more than in 2015.
- Large enterprise segment (1,000+ employees): Here the expected percentage for 2020 is 45%, which is even 25% more than the 2015 survey.
What is specifically striking is that the larger segment percentages are approaching the small business segment ones. Traditionally, hosted or cloud VoIP and Unified Communications are associated with smaller companies. Now, also the big ones are catching up.
RSconnect and hosted VoIP
We as RSconnect provides Single Sign-On functionality for Cisco VoIP solutions which make use of Extension Mobility. Our smart client (Active Login Manager) is installed on computer or laptops of Extension Mobility users and whenever they log into their computer, automatically the telephone on their desk is loaded with their settings and features. And the other way around. As soon as a user switches off his computer, his telephone is logged out as well.
Our smart client works with the CUCM (Cisco Unified Call Manager). Although our solution is traditionally used for on-premise Cisco Unified Communications solutions, it is also available for hosted VoIP providers. Any hosted VoIP offering based on the Cisco CUCM technology can provide Single Sign-On functionality to end-users deploying our client software.
Single Sign-On for hosted VoIP
- If you are a hosted VoIP customer, you (want to) make use of the Extension Mobility feature and would like to use Single Sign-On, please contact your hosted PBX, VoIP or UC provider to check whether they offer the RSconnect Active Login Manager.
- If you are a hosted PBX, VoIP or UC provider and would like to add Single Sign-on to your portfolio, please contact us. We are happy to show the potential of our offering.