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Mobility drives next-generation communications

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The office phone system no longer rests on the foundation of traditional land lines as it once did. Many trends led to this transformation, including general telecom innovations, and the consumerization of IT played a crucial role in the development of tomorrow's phone. Rather than struggling with a legacy offering that has trouble maintaining connectivity, businesses around the world are beginning to fully embrace VoIP services.

A recent report by Business 2 Community highlighted the reasons companies are embracing VoIP, noting that many of the technology's benefits go beyond the perceived cost savings. Among the most important characteristics of a VoIP service is the ability for decision-makers to customize their solutions based on their organization's specific demands. This makes VoIP applicable to firms of all sizes.

In the past, executives were handed a phone with a specific number of features in a "take it or leave it" offering. This is no longer the case. VoIP providers today understand that each organization has its own requirements, activities and operational tendencies, Business 2 Community noted. As a result, decision-makers can choose tools like call forwarding, voicemail and call waiting or simply use VoIP for basic voice. Further, companies can deploy an SIP trunk, giving them the ability support multiple media types and a unified communications system.

Even as organizations use video and text collaboration tools more frequently, the biggest contributor to the ongoing VoIP adoption trend is consumerization.

The mobile revolution

The number of endpoints being used in the workplace has recently skyrocketed due to the ongoing adoption of bring your own device (BYOD) and other initiatives that give employees the ability to use smartphones, tablets and other gadgets for work-related tasks. These changes inherently transformed the office phone system, pushing more organizations to adopt VoIP.

Unlike legacy telephony solutions, VoIP can easily adapt to the use of mobile devices in the corporate setting, Business 2 Community noted. This allows employees to connect to the corporate network from virtually anywhere at any time, improving operations outside the traditional workplace.

A separate report by Visiongain forecast the mobile VoIP market to generate approximately $36 billion in revenue by 2016. This expansion will be driven by the collaboration between mobile and VoIP operators looking to meet evolving user demands.

Further, VoIP can help companies that have more than one branch, as setting up the system is often as easy as plugging in the equipment and configuring software. This allows individuals in disparate locations to stay connected with colleagues in other locations, strengthening overall productivity.

A recent study by Frost & Sullivan also highlighted the monumental power of the rapidly maturing mobile landscape, noting that it will continue to drive a new era of communication and collaboration. In the coming years, decision-makers will adopt VoIP and unified communications in an effort to support BYOD and other mobile strategies that are gaining momentum in the private sector.

"BYOD will be a common theme but the situation will be more complex than that in the [future telecom market]," said Audrey William, head of IT practice research at Frost & Sullivan.

Because smartphones, tablets and other technologies will continue to disrupt traditional communication methods, organizations of all sizes need to adapt or prepare to face extreme adversity. By deploying VoIP for a business phone system, decision-makers will be able to transform with ongoing changes in the market, giving their firm an advantage over rival companies. This will become even more important in the coming years, as the private sector becomes an increasingly competitive place.