A casual observer looking at recent research regarding market trends may reach the conclusion that the era of hosted services is already here. Whether or not this new age is upon us or we still have some way to go before we get there, the trends clearly show that this is where the market is headed. It is safe to assume that many (perhaps most?) Telcos and Service Providers are currently evaluating deploying hosted services. Many are already offering them.
While the shift to hosted services brings clearly recognized advantages there are challenges as well. Deploying hosted services for business customers is not an easy task. The move from legacy connectivity services to fully hosted options requires a change in sales, provisioning and support models. A recent AudioCodes white paper entitled “Maximize Your Hosted Voice and UC Services” took a close look at this issue, covering a set of best practices that are based on experiences of Service Providers who have already successfully deployed hosted services and were able to adapt to take advantage of the growing opportunity.
What are business customers looking for?
The key to a successful deployment is to understand the needs of the business customers. In many cases business customers do not understand technology and products. But they do recognize the need for advanced solutions and services that provide value added far beyond just basic connectivity. Business customers want to reduce costs, especially small to medium businesses whose limited resources force them to outsource maintenance and upgrades to third party experts. They have concerns about security issues such as the security of the data being stored in the Service Provider cloud and the internal security of the business network. They have concerns about productivity and are always looking to provide the right tools and communications environment to their employees in order to get the job done. And finally, businesses must communicate effectively with their customers and suppliers. When a customer calls a business, they expect an instant response. An unreachable business, even for just a few minutes, will reduce customer satisfaction and eventually cost the business money.
The Service Provider Opportunity
All of these concerns can be handled well by the Service Provider hosted services model. Hosted Voice and Unified Communications services provide an excellent opportunity for the Service Provider to address their business customers that are shifting away from legacy telephony and offer them a new and attractive value proposition. Not only can Service Providers retain their business customers, they can also benefit from new revenue opportunities as the market shifts from on-premises PBX to a hosted model which is far more attractive in terms of pricing and features. New value added services that are offered as part of the hosted model can include much more than standard PBX features, providing the Service Provider increased services revenues through licensing models. Service Providers can also optimize network costs. A simple and easy to manage hosted services solution will result in lower complexity and reduction of CAPEX. This can be achieved by using high interoperability devices, auto management and quality assurance systems.
Learning Best Practices from Successful Deployments – Read More
The business communication market has been shifting for some time from legacy telephony services to hosted services models and by 2018 it is expected that 75% of new business lines deployment will be hosted lines. So the opportunity is there. To learn more about Service Provider’s best practices when deploying hosted service, see the AudioCodes White Paper: “Maximize Your Hosted Voice and UC Services”.