This article was sponsored by RingCentral.By the end of the year, it’s been estimated that global IT spending will surpass £2.26tn, of which researchers believe Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) represents at least 40 per cent. This is said to have been primarily propelled by small businesses. But when you take a closer look at what VoIP is and how it impacts SMEs, it’s understandable why this is the case. Otherwise known as the internet phone, where analog audio signals are turned into digital data which can be transmitted over the Internet, VoIP allows operators to provide cheaper communication services to an ever-expanding consumer base – with mobile operators and VoIP vendors teaming up to provide better global coverage. And thanks to improved systems, the quality of VoIP is now arguably on the same level as a regular phone call. Although the biggest benefit of VoIP may boil down to cheaper calls, companies are now realising how efficient the simplified management of a single voice and data network can be. But VoIP is still maturing, and it seems like 2014 is the year that VoIP gains new ground in the competition against traditional telephony. Coupled with the fact that if businesses sustain their predicted spending habits then VoIP services revenue could reach £52bn by 2018, it might be time for UK SMEs to take a slice of the VoIP technology pie. Here’s why:
- Mobile explosion – Landlines are being replaced by mobile phones, and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping. In fact, in countries such as Sweden, the penetration rate has already reached 100 per cent of the population;
- VoIP Peering – This will allow direct IP-to-IP connections, eliminating the middleman. This is set to dramatically change the role of wholesale and retail service providers for enterprises – also reducing security failure substantially; and
- The Cloud – Cloud telephony is the virtualisation of the telephony infrastructure. This new offering will allow flexibility and the ability to share data from mobile end points – with a possible price of less than $1 per channel a month.
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