SMBs leading hosted phone systems charge

    Small and large companies alike need to have effective communication strategies if they want to stay competitive within their respective industries. In many cases, however, hosted and cloud PBX providers often focus their energy on attracting enterprises to adopt their office phone systems, largely because bigger firms appear to have more money to spend. While this strategy might seem effective on paper, it may be an entirely different story in reality.

    In fact, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often among the leaders in deploying advanced phone services. There are many reasons this is true, including the ongoing demand for small companies to adopt innovative tools to stay on pace with enterprises in their field.

    A study of more than 16,000 service providers and technological decision-makers by The Eastern Management Group highlighted the potential SMBs truly pose for communication vendors. The survey revealed that SMBs accounted for the majority of hosted phone system sales in 2012. In fact, small firms looking for a system with fewer than 30 phones made up almost 70 percent of sales around the world.

    While many vendors are seeing sales of legacy phone systems decline, SMBs offer a glimmer of hope for the future. The study revealed that hosted solutions are the antidote to this problem, as cloud services are often more functional than old-school offerings, which is very appealing to small firms looking to remain competitive with enterprises.

    Why are SMBs turning to cloud communications?

    The Eastern Management Group noted that hosted PBX systems make SMBs "sticky," meaning the firms turn into clients that aren't necessarily looking to change for some time after the implementation. This is largely due to the fact that cloud communication users are happy with their purchases. The study revealed that about 70 percent of hosted phone system customers are satisfied with the technology, while fewer than 1 percent were unhappy.

    Furthermore, The Eastern Management Group also noted that the market for hosted phone systems solutions is growing at double-digit rates due to increased adoption by SMBs.

    Small firms are also very appreciative of the scalability associated with using a hosted phone system, as many traditional PBX offerings often struggle to maintain sturdy communications during times of high traffic.

    A separate report from The Insight Research Corporation revealed that the U.S. telecommunications industry is likely to continue expanding in the coming years, as American businesses are estimated to spend about $154 billion on telecom services by the end of this year. This growth is largely due to the emergence of advanced IP and cloud solutions now available to companies of all sizes.

    "The U.S. telecommunications industry continues to show modest revenue growth, driven by business Internet and mobility solutions," said Fran Caulfield, director at Insight Research. "As U.S. business activity recovers, employment and network traffic increase. In parallel, business applications shift to the cloud and end users shift to wireless access, driving higher network and wireless revenues for service providers."

    In the coming years, the private sector will continue to evolve and force small firms to either keep up or risk falling behind. As business phone systems, along with a number of other technologies, make their way to the cloud, SMB decision-makers will adapt and offer new opportunities for service providers.

    Today's corporate setting is extremely fast paced and highly competitive. By adopting a cloud-based phone system, small organizations can improve their chances of success by leveraging an advanced collaborative solutions capable of keeping individuals connected at all times, regardless of location.

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