If you’ve been considering replacing your business phone system, it’s worth brushing up on the latest VoIP trends. Even if you’re not, things are changing rapidly enough that your competitors may get an edge by taking advantage of the latest advancements in VoIP and VoIP-related technology.

Business communications and collaboration have been undergoing a vast transformation recently. According to the Harvard Business Review, Telecom is the #2 industry undergoing digital transformation.

What does this mean for you? That depends on your business. We’ve assembled the latest VoIP trends below so you can assess which ones give you the most opportunity to make an impact with your technology choices.

1. Increased VoIP Security and Compliance Demands

As hosted and cloud VoIP gain wider acceptance, companies demand more security from their VoIP solutions. Hosted VoIP is not just a curiosity anymore. It’s no longer the exclusive domain of startups and businesses willing to take risks. Serious companies rely on hosted VoIP to carry vital communications and sensitive information.

Leading hosted VoIP providers are responding by ensuring higher levels of security to keep customers’ data and communications safe, away from the prying eyes of hackers. It’s not just general security getting attention in the hosted VoIP sector lately. Companies in highly regulated industries like healthcare are interested in the advantages hosted VoIP can provide — demanding greater security and compliance from providers who want to serve them. This is especially true in smaller healthcare organizations like doctor’s offices, dentists, clinics, and specialists.

We’re glad that some hosted VoIP phone systems have been updated in a way that’s brought their security standards up to HIPAA and SOC2 compliance requirements — ultimately giving customers a choice they didn’t have before.

Read more about the power of VoIP >

2. Accelerated Adoption of Hosted VoIP

Analysts have been predicting a steady rise in hosted VoIP for years, but recently, adoption has been increasing faster than analysts had expected.

UCaaS Market Growth 2019

What does this mean? Essentially, better choices for you. Since leading hosted VoIP providers have lots of resources due to customer growth, they can invest in more robust, reliable, inventive hosted VoIP phone systems and the applications that go along with them. Or they can invest in an improved user experience. Or better support. The list goes on.

3. VoIP System Value vs. Lowest Price

It’s easy for any technology provider to claim it offers a price advantage. But as hosted VoIP becomes more ubiquitous and product/service offerings become more mature, fewer companies focus on simply procuring the cheapest option. More companies are looking to get good value for the money as the shortcomings of budget systems rear their heads.

Cheap VoIP phone systems are typically just that — cheap. They’re designed to minimize costs, so cheap providers can’t spend time developing and delivering quality products and services. They usually have minimal features, clunky interfaces, poor customer support, and little to nothing in the way of integrations with business-critical third-party applications, like Salesforce or Google Office.

You may get a pat on the back for saving the company money when you first sign a contract with a cheap VoIP supplier, but you’ll be dodging angry looks a few months in when nobody can get work done because they’re using a glitchy, sub-par system.

That’s why more and more companies are looking for a good value in their VoIP system — they feel like they’re getting a lot for the price they pay. That can include reliability, features, security, service, and ease of use. Even though you won’t see it on many feature lists, something as simple as time saved and hassle avoided can be significant factors in customer satisfaction and how a company intuitively calculates the value they get from their phone system. Innovative companies don’t let price be the only deciding factor.

See our hosted VoIP phone system pricing >

4. Proliferation and Consolidation of VoIP Providers

As the barrier to entry drops, small VoIP providers are popping up everywhere. However, this element of choice doesn’t necessarily help customers, as most of those offerings are ubiquitous and undifferentiated. 

Vendors are consolidating on the mid-large side of providers, putting market power behind their innovations. This is typically where you’ll see more unique features, packages, and complete offerings.

What can you do about all this choice? The main thing you can do is research your options. VoIP providers that customers love typically earn a number of awards from respected analysts who have tested and judged their services against their main competitors.

Finally, going with a smaller VoIP provider during this industry consolidation means there’s a good chance that a more prominent provider will acquire them. That’s not necessarily the end of the world, but it does mean that things you liked about that smaller provider may change once acquired, and you may still be under contract.

Here are a few of the acquisitions and mergers Mitel has made in recent years:

5. VoIP Playing a Bigger Role in Customer Contact and Customer Experience

Hosted VoIP started primarily as a tool for companies to communicate internally, but as offerings become more sophisticated and niched out, and as the focus on delivering excellent customer experience rises, hosted VoIP is pushing into this space.

Here are a few examples from iPerceptions:

  • 67 percent of customers say they’ll pay more for a great experience
  • 57 percent of customers have stopped buying from a company because one of their competitors provided a better experience
  • 71 percent of people recommend a product or service because they received a “great experience”

Call center and customer experience platforms started separately from companies’ hosted VoIP systems. But the two have become much more integrated to take advantage of full customer/prospect lifecycle data and create experiences that are as frictionless as possible.

Hosted VoIP today is often being packaged into a single omnichannel solution that handles the diverse channels customers use to communicate with companies and organizations like yours.

Check out our high-powered, omnichannel hosted VoIP contact center and customer experience solution >

Regardless of the customer experience platform you choose, it’s useful to think about how it integrates (or doesn’t) into your hosted VoIP system — because many companies are squeezing competitive advantages out of the right combination of technology.

6. Adoption is Growing Among Mid-to-Larger Companies

Hosted VoIP really got its foothold with small business, and for a good reason — they typically don’t have many expensive legacy systems to rip and replace. They usually have fewer business-critical systems that must integrate seamlessly with their phone systems. This allowed relatively simple designs without many bells and whistles, or options, to proliferate. 

However, as the core functionality becomes more commoditized and undifferentiated, and even these same small businesses become more sophisticated, some hosted VoIP companies are offering more to attract different kinds of customers.

They are offering more features and integrations to align with more advanced needs and offering multiple tiers of service. Providers also bring different functions into the hosted VoIP ecosystem, like collaboration and call center/contact center functionality.

Which leads us to our next trend.

7. More Levels of Service and Customization

One-size-fits-all simply doesn’t work for hosted VoIP anymore. Larger companies are moving to hosted VoIP. Companies with more complex needs are moving to hosted VoIP. Even small companies can have users ranging from expert power users who rely on advanced VoIP functionality daily to rare users who need things as simple as possible.

That’s why some VoIP providers offer multiple services or plan levels so that companies can get what they need at a price that makes sense.

View our hosted VoIP plans and pricing >

We even have a whole other level of offering for enterprises and companies who need next-level sophistication in their cloud communications systems. That way, everyone can find what they need without compromising.

8. Companies Are Coming at VoIP from All Different Directions

Acquisitions, mergers, and partnerships are popping up everywhere as companies try to combine VoIP and related collaboration and customer experience technologies to give their customers a single unified experience across channels.

Videoconferencing companies are trying to buy hosted VoIP providers, collaboration-only companies are integrating with phone system vendors, and hosted VoIP providers are partnering with contact center companies.

What does this mean for you?

In the long term, all the different facets of communications and collaboration technology should become less fragmented and better integrated over time, making this kind of technology purchase more straightforward.

In the short term, choosing a company that has already integrated many of these technologies under one roof and has deep integrations with any third-party partners will probably pay off to avoid disconnects.

Which of These VoIP Trends Can Mitel Help With?

Essentially, all the above. There are plenty of companies out there publishing posts about shiny VoIP trends they have no way of helping you with. But we know you need to make an impact now — not in five or 10 years.

We have a great range of VoIP phone systems available for different needs, and our sophisticated private cloud VoIP system, MiCloud Flex. You can also extend and expand capabilities with our hosted VoIP collaboration tools and hosted VoIP customer experience solutions.

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