2015 Will Require An Understanding Of VoIP

    By now, VoIP has become well-established. Ever since it first appeared in the '90s, it's been providing a means of communication that is more cost-effective and efficient than copper when used in the enterprise. But the major transition toward mobile technology has given VoIP a new benefit in the present day - software-defined applications that can be used to access office voice networks from remote locations.

    2014 was a year when VoIP saw increased implementations around the world. This was thanks in great part to the cloud. Cloud communications have been an especially effective way to deliver VoIP, whether it's handled on site or in a remote location.

    "As we approach the closing of another year, the market trends are showing what has worked, what needs improvement, and what can be expected looking forward," wrote TMCnet contributor Michelle Amodio. "The hosted VoIP market in particular demonstrated some growth opportunities for service providers, and we can thank cloud-based delivery models for that."

    In 2015, enterprises are going to need to seriously step up their communications initiatives. As more companies around the world begin leveraging cloud VoIP technology, the disparities between "the haves and the have nots" are only going to increase. Cloud-based VoIP is going to be of vital importance in the coming year.

    Getting To Know VoIP

    For those people who aren't sure of what exactly VoIP is, here's a quick refresher: VoIP allows voice connections to occur over IP channels. It can be implemented in a number of different ways, but it is increasingly being leveraged thanks to hosted providers that own, manage and maintain the equipment involved in the process.

    This is where some of the biggest cost savings can come into play. Paying what essentially amounts to a subscription fee prevents organizations from spending funds on infrastructure - from buying it to fixing it when it breaks down. A trained team of professional technicians work around the clock to ensure the highest availability possible.

    But investing in or permitting just any solution is going to cause some problems. Consumer VoIP services are often poorly constructed and can prove to be unregulated. 

    "For better or worse, the Internet is still the Wild West, and VoIP's predecessors – TDM and the PSTN – come from a very different world," wrote Network World contributor Jon Arnold. "When VoIP emerged in 1995, these differences created some fundamental challenges to the status quo, and over the years a regulatory framework evolved. While any form of regulation runs counter to the spirit of the Internet, in the case of VoIP, it's actually a good thing, and it is highly relevant to how you should be using it in your business."

    VoIP Growth Expected To Explode

    According to TMCnet Web editor Rory Thompson, companies that already have VoIP in place are well aware of the advantages it can enable. Not only that, but those that do not have VoIP are starting to realize that they need to put it in place. More often than not, the best way to go about this will be to invest in hosted cloud communications.

    Thompson cited recent research - specifically the "VoIP Services (End-use – Corporate Consumers and Individual Consumers) Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020" study, that shows that VoIP is becoming more viable in terms of things like cost and service quality. But Thompson is quick to point out that things like price are not the sole driver of decisions. In fact, mobility is being seen as a key contributor of growth.

    "The VoIP services market is expected to foresee continuous growth in the coming years due to cost effectiveness, improving network infrastructure across the globe and rising demand for smart devices and mobility among the corporate and individual consumers," the report stated, according to Thompson.

    Modern Cloud VoIP Is Game-Changing

    More people are realizing that IP communications are the way to go these days. The kind of connectivity that they create when leveraged through the cloud cannot be compared to anything else. It will be important to remember these things in the coming year, as more businesses choose to adopt cloud VoIP for themselves.

    But it will also be important to bear in mind that not all of these services are comparable. Rather than allow staffers to run free and choose their own solutions, obtaining enterprise-class architectures - generally located off-site - will be the only way to truly embrace cloud communications.

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