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Tomorrow Is The Birth of a New Communications Era

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Business Phone Systems Are Expected To Undergo Major Changes In The Future

Organizations have more control over the communications landscape than ever before. In the past, companies were forced to pick between several old phone systems, selecting the model that yielded the most benefits and the fewest challenges. Today, decision-makers have much more say in the matter, especially as telecommuting, cloud computing and the mobile landscapes evolve and force enterprises to implement innovative communication platforms that can support a broad range of functions and capabilities.

The emerging remote workforce and proliferation of cloud services have forced enterprises to pursue technologies that not only provide a competitive advantage, but can introduce new conveniences for users. These requirements, among others, are encouraging firms to abandon old phone systems for newer, more innovative VoIP platforms.

In a recent interview with Smart Business Network Online, telecom expert Alex Desberg said tomorrow's business phones will not necessarily be the conventional desktop offerings that are commonplace throughout today's corporate environment. Instead, he believes that VoIP phone systems will take on a dominant role, as its capabilities will provide companies of all sizes and industries new financial and operational opportunities.

"VoIP can play a huge role by incorporating offices with telecommuters and a mobile workforce," Desberg told SBN Online.

Desberg noted that the IP telephony landscape has experienced rapid transformations during the past several years, which makes them completely different from the traditional phone systems that haven't necessarily changed in decades. These transformations have been driven by the growing comfort organizations feel toward VoIP, as well as the changing beliefs firms share toward the cloud, which has encouraged the use of cloud VoIP systems.

The idea of hosted phone systems has been around for a long time, though enterprises are just beginning to embrace the tools and strategies they need to maximize functionality. In the past, organizations didn't want to manage their own equipment and solutions, as doing so would cost more financial and operational resources. Now that the cloud has become a household name in the business world, decision-makers feel less worried about outsourcing platforms to a trusted third party.

VoIP Systems of Tomorrow

Similar to how VoIP has evolved during the past several years, this momentum is expected to keep up in the coming years. This is largely because companies around the world will always seek new phone system features that can improve operations and make life easier for both employees and customers. Desberg highlighted how the ongoing changes in the software market will continue to drive innovation in the field of VoIP.

In general, there are two major shifts happening in the VoIP market: the move toward the cloud and the need to support mobile functionality. Now that bring your own device (BYOD), teleworking and other mobile-enabled processes are becoming more common, enterprises need to consider incorporating next-generation capabilities into their main phone system.

A CompTIA report highlighted how enterprise mobility is such a broad concept that analysts have only discovered the tip of the iceberg. Many experts believe that BYOD is only the beginning of an ongoing shift to transform desk-bound operations to more agile and flexible practices that can be carried out from virtually anywhere at any time on any platform.

Citing a Forrester Research study, CompTIA noted that roughly two-thirds of employees already use at least two devices, including smartphones and tablets, for work-related tasks. Meanwhile, businesses are pursuing a broad range of next-generation solutions, including building customized applications for business phone systems, cloud services and other technologies that promise to give employees and decision-makers greater operational capabilities.

Preparing For The Future

As the business phone system landscape evolves and transforms to support more comprehensive and sophisticated solutions, executives need to take the time to assess their organization's specific needs and whether pursuing one option is more beneficial than another. This means that decision-makers must understand how their employees currently operate and plan to function in the future. If enterprises foresee themselves having to support an increasingly large remote workforce, which will become more common in the coming years, they need to consider embracing cloud or mobile-enabled technologies that do not compromise connectivity or efficiency.

Companies also need to consider their budgets, as some innovative phone systems will inherently be more expensive than other tools that may not support as many functions or applications. If a firm's bottom line is under a lot of pressure, executives should consider cloud solutions, which are often more cost-effective than conventional solutions.

Regardless of what an organization's long-term objectives are, decision-makers need to think about how the communications landscape as a whole will continue to evolve in the future. If enterprises fall behind during this transformative time, they may find it increasingly difficult to meet the needs of employees and customers. Rather than risking having to face this challenge, executives need to keep their ears to the ground and listen for change and how those innovations will impact their processes.