SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Matt Brunk | December 30, 2012 |

 
   

Who Moves To the Cloud?

Who Moves To the Cloud? Hosted providers are turning the competitive heat on, luring in customers with incentives.

Hosted providers are turning the competitive heat on, luring in customers with incentives.

You can call it a golden opportunity because that's exactly what it is. The real question is who gets the gold? SMBs are moving to hosted voice services seemingly faster than anything else, and if these projections below are accurate then those old days of dealing with the Telco are becoming a thing of the past. Well maybe.

These numbers demand attention and evidently garner it from plenty of businesses that don't have cash to invest in a premise solution. This doesn't negate investment in the infrastructure, but the hosted players are making it easy to do business.

FREE phones, free installs and other hooks to make it easy to say goodbye to the Telco--such measures are commonplace. Last month I interviewed several hosted providers and they are turning the competitive heat on, luring in customers with incentives.

Now, they can afford to do this since they are the ones reaping the gold. Customers pick what they want as a phone and can mix and match manufacturers if they desire. But this isn't the only reason these small businesses are moving.

The platform that offers the right user interface to create call flows and easily adapts communications to the needs of that particular business are the ones winning new accounts. Those needs, while varied, are not typically what you find from your business line or Centrex type of services with cheap phones. The right features, including the glue to get calls to where business owners want them, are important but not as important as a predictable phone bill.

There are three distinctive traits that I've found in what I think will be a successful hosted voice provider:

First, the provider makes it easy to do business. No-risk and trial-setup periods are offered, and then hand-holding from pre- through post-implementation. Customers all have different and often unique requirements, and the provider that listens to the requests and pays more than lip service eases more customers into the fold.

Secondly, the provider that makes the interface easy to use and understand will stand out. People learn differently, and when a solution employs a useable knowledge base with solutions, visual call flows, and simplifies the process of setting up a communications system, then customers will come on board.

Thirdly, the provider ensures customer engagement and success. A valuable lesson that some providers learned early on is that, while they may have regional, national or even international presence, without local support, their odds of continuing successfully diminish. Churn rates don't tell the full story, but cash flow and profitability does. A static solution from a hosted provider just isn't acceptable, and if they are going to compete, then the engagement process doesn't end with the initial sale.

This circles back to the Telco. Customers still need access and viable bandwidth. As the customer's dependence upon the communications solution grows, so will their investment and so will their reliance on the Telco and even other carriers for redundancy.

While I'm not moving all of our voice services to the cloud, I've already encountered providers and have now selected "a provider" to launch some services. That's my project for starting into the New Year.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017
March 27-30 | Orlando, FL
Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Special Offer - Save $200 Off Advance Rates

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

March 8, 2017

Enterprise IT's ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business -- 80% of CIOs agree. But the CIO role has never been more challenging than it is today, with rising operational respo

February 22, 2017

Sick of video call technology that make participants look like they're in the witness protection program? Turns out youre not alone. Poor-quality video solutions can give users an unprofessional ap

March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.