5 VoIP Trends to Look out for Right Now
The VoIP market has expanded considerably over recent years, bringing with it new suppliers, new products and new choices for businesses. As the evolution of VoIP technology continues to enhance the modern business world, companies embracing the changes can better shape their company’s future. Those that harnessing future technological developments will benefit from better functionality and lower costs. Here are the 5 VoIP Trends that you should be looking out for right now!
1. Shift towards hosted VoIP/cloud PBX
The ability to have a provider host your VoIP and deliver the service entirely over the internet is increasingly attractive to companies. With self-hosted VoIP systems a company has to purchase and install the telephony hardware on their own premises. But with cloud-based systems, companies don’t need to make any investment in the technology at all. They do not need to buy and install a PBX system. Instead, the cloud provider bears all the capital hardware costs and simply charges the user a fee for using it. The payment model is usually a simple and easy monthly fee based on the number of users.
Cloud provision of VoIP services also allows companies to easily and quickly grow their systems. Extra lines can easily be added by the cloud provider as and when they are needed. Cloud delivery is perfect for companies that don’t have dedicated IT staff who are skilled in telephony as it’s the cloud vendor that is responsible for maintaining, repairing and upgrading the system.
2. Integration of VoIP with ERP
The integration of VoIP with ERP Software allows companies to make calls directly from an ERP system itself. This sort of functionality allows teams to quickly and accurately dial their customers or suppliers.
It’s great for outgoing call centers and sales teams and can greatly enhance CRM activities. Call times are automatically logged directly into
the system, along with any manually inputted call notes that the user wants to add.
The ability to connect a phone system with ERP software can increase the productivity of sales, warehousing, purchasing, supply chain and marketing teams. Large-scale corporate communication processes can be automated, making them faster, more accurate and highly efficient.
Integrating your CRM and accounting solutions within ERP software enables businesses to provide better customer service. Streamlining calling via a single interface makes it easier for the staff that are building relationships with their customers. Detailed customer and sales order information is readily accessible within ERP systems and integration with VoIP makes for improved and more productive customer connections.
3. Security as a priority
Any service that works over the internet can be vulnerable to attack, and VoIP is no exception. As more and more companies are utilising VoIP, then security concerns become paramount.
Encryption and authentication protocols are already available that can secure against the interception of calls. But there are other attack methods and vulnerabilities that have previously make organisations question just how secure VoIP is.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks can cripple a business, effectively meaning they are unable to place or receive calls.
Of course, conventional telephony is hardly secure, but vendors and providers will increasingly look to demonstrate how they are building in security measures to mitigate and protect against threats.
As we continue through 2017, VoIP vendors and network providers will be safeguarding their systems to protect against vulnerabilities and attacks and to guarantee that their customers’ calls are secure.
4. The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) trend continues apace. From televisions to fridges, we’re seeing more and more connected devices and gadgets. And even buildings and lighting and heating services are becoming “smart”. It’s estimated that more than 50 billion objects will make up the IoT by 2020.
With the integration of VoIP and the IoT, there are opportunities for organisations to use their phone networks to bring greater functionality for both their business operations and for the working environment.
VoIP is already an internet-connected service, so it is a logical step for it to integrate with IoT services, appliances and devices. Via a VoIP phone, users can then interact with business software, the office environment, office equipment and transport. They can adjust settings on devices or be automatically alerted when data changes or meets a certain threshold.
This can bring all manner of functionality for businesses, with opportunities for greater efficiency and productivity for remote workers and the automation of processes without the need for human input or decisions.
The integration of VoIP and IoT will open up all sorts of possibilities during 2017, and the stage is set for VoIP to become the conduit that will drive IoT-enabled businesses.
5. Preparation for 5G
We already have 4G communications. But 5G – or the fifth generation of mobile network – is the next telecoms standard. It will bring higher capacity and will allow for more users on the networks. It’s anticipated to provide better coverage, more efficient signals, faster connections and improved download speeds.
Although there is no standard yet, it is believed that 5G technology could come to fruition as early as 2020. In preparation for this, VoIP suppliers will be developing and testing telephony systems that will work on the new network.
VoIP technology over 5G will greatly enhance remote and flexible working. With the ability to convey more data, even faster than before, employees will be able to connect more efficiently to business networks. This could mean more reliable mobile VoIP calls, higher quality video conferencing and enhanced geographical coverage.
Harnessing VoIP trends for business success
VoIP used to simply be a – very successful – means of using the existing network structure to provide telephony services. But the coming year heralds changes that will revolutionise the technology and bring so many new business benefits.
Companies that understand these trends and utilise them within their operations will be in a better position to bring about growth and successful business transformations.
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