Cloud-based voice and telephony services continues apace

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Almost half of companies surveyed by Britannic Technologies said they had cloud-based voice and telephony services, while two thirds said they had a partial voice solution in the cloud.

84% of respondents said they understood the proposition of cloud computing, yet there were some intriguing responses as to why companies aren’t putting their voice services in the cloud. Almost half (48%) of those polled said they were concerned about security worries, while 38% were worried over reliability, 29% found it difficult to integrate into existing systems, 19% were worried they couldn’t manage it in-house, and 19% didn’t understand it.

Interestingly, the most likely executive to approve cloud-based telephony was the IT director (49%), followed by the CEO (31%) and the rest of the board (31%). Cost savings (60%) were the main reason why voice and telephony services were being moved to the cloud, followed by greater business agility (55%), speed of deployment (40%), and freeing up the IT team to work on other areas (33%).

These figures, which were described in part as “staggering” in the press material, yet the wider story here may be the uptake – or lack of – of unified communications (UC) services. A recent report from Research and Markets described the trend as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), and there are still plenty of partnerships taking place; StarHub announcing a deal with Avaya, and ShoreTel, Ingram Micro and HP partnering up in separate deals.

Yet the majority of recent research around the area has not been positive. The overall UC market of $21.1 billion is dwarfed by the global telephony market of $1.65 trillion.

As reported by CBR Online, a recent PwC report argues the case of there being two different markets: UC 1.0, used by more than half of small businesses which has a degree of integration between fixed and mobile telephony; and UC 2.0, companies having a more integrated solution which naturally commands a smaller audience. Similarly, a survey from Easynet argues European companies, while understanding the benefits of UC, aren’t utilising it to its full potential.

Jonathan Sharp, Britannic sales and marketing director, commented on today’s findings: “Senior managers are now aware that technology helps businesses differentiate themselves in today’s competitive marketplace. It also enables employees to work in more collaborative ways and essentially service customers better.”

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