The Growing VoIP Market: Where the Momentum Has Shifted
VoIP has been around long enough to have made it from “emerging technology” to the norm. Much like the Internet did for encyclopedias, VoIP is making land lines seem archaic. Companies large and small are opting for internet phone systems over wired PBX because:
- It’s less expensive, particularly for international calls
- It provides equal quality
- Its reliability has improved dramatically
- It’s much more scalable
- It’s faster to deploy
- It’s easier to maintain
- It requires little IT help
VoIP allows even the smallest companies to compete with the big guys when it comes to communication. It has leveled the playing field and enables companies to afford enterprise-level call features once reserved only for the big spenders. The VoIP market is getting crowded with providers promising quality, reliability and lots of fancy features. As with the computer industry, the attractive price point and service become the differentiating factor.
What is this all-access pass doing to the VoIP market?
How Fast Is Fast?
Infonetics Research recently released a report that found between 2012 and 2013, the overall global business VoIP market grew 11 percent. By 2018, it forecasts the worldwide growth will reach $88 billion.
Hosted, cloud and managed services are growing at an even faster pace, as is unified communications. These facets of VoIP are gaining momentum as companies are finding offloading the maintenance of the phone network to the provider quite attractive. With tighter budgets and fewer IT resources, the cost of third-party hosting is worth every penny.
Infonetics reported the sales of hosted PBX and Unified Communications (UC) rose 13 percent in 2013 over 2012. The business VoIP market is expected to grow from $24 billion in 2013 to $35 billion by 2018. According to another source, MarketsandMarkets, the UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) market will grow from $13 billion in 2014 to $23.34 billion in 2019, just over 12% growth compounding annually.
To put all of these statistics into perspective, the tablet market is forecasted by IDC to grow 19.4 percent in 2014, actually declining from previous years. While the VoIP and UC industries aren’t quite at these levels, their steadily increasing double-digit growth rates are impressive.
What It Means for You
The good news for any sized organization is you have options. With more players in the field, it will become apparent which ones can consistently provide the features, functionality and service companies require and which ones will struggle to compete. There’s still plenty of growth potential, as only 50 percent of businesses still use other connections besides VoIP. As long as the numbers prove revenue can be made, providers will abound.
ShoreTel's business is the phone business so we offer clients the choice of PBX, VoIP, and mobile solutions that can be virtualized, managed, hosted, on-premises or cloud-based with centralized or distributed Unified Communications. We integrate with leading CRM and ERP applications and offer a host of features that make your phone system work for you. With so many options, clients can customize their phone network to meet their exact needs both now and in the future.
We’re excited about where the industry is moving. These numbers only encourage us to continue to strive to be a better company.