The number of companies adopting voice over IP solutions is at an all-time high, spurred by its many flexibility and scaling benefits. According to the latest statistics from Infonetics Research, the global market for VoIP and related equipment equaled approximately $992 million during the first three months of 2014, which is up 37 percent from the same period in 2013. As more businesses learn about all of VoIP’s positive attributes, this figure is likely to rise even further in the coming months and years.
But, as this market grows, so too will the number of companies peddling VoIP phone systems, products and services. As this competition for cloud VoIP business heats up, organizations may find it increasingly difficult to separate one provider from another in the search process. In order to make sure they choose a stud and not a dud, companies should be sure their potential new solution includes the following five features:
1) Unified messaging solutions
While phone calls are still at the core of many corporate communication and collaboration strategies today, businesses are increasingly branching out and adopting email, instant messaging, presence and a wide variety of other offerings. As such, businesses need unified messaging solutions that enable them to use many different modes of communications all at once. This ensures that client needs are always met and that employees remain on the same page with each other at all times.
2) Mobile voice
The days of business only being conducted from 9 to 5 at one central location are long gone. Employees are more frequently setting their own hours and electing to work from coffee shops, rental cars and their own houses. A solution that fails to keep these demands into account will not be widely accepted, which is why companies want mobile voice capabilities within their VoIP offering. An IP telephony system made for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets will ensure that employees can maintain constant connectivity and be always available no matter where in the world they may be located.
3) Cloud communications
In order for mobile voice to work, it must be supported by a reliable IT infrastructure that can be scaled up or down as needed. Enter cloud communications. By hosting a telephony solution in a cloud environment, organizations get all of the power and functionality of an on-premises offering, plus added scalability and mobility. With cloud communications, decision-makers can always be certain their collaboration efforts are properly supported and available to everyone no matter their physical location.
4) Business data integration
As IT ecosystems become more complex, it behooves businesses to look into ways in which disparate programs and networks can be seamlessly brought together. By opting for a VoIP provider with access to open APIs, business data integration becomes a breeze. For example, if an organization has a VoIP solution that is integrated with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, then information gleaned from a phone call can be quickly and easily recorded in the programs.
5) Call recording software
A VoIP phone call is no good if what was discussed on the call cannot be recalled after it happened. By using call recording software, individuals can make sure that all of their phone-based interactions are properly noted and maintained, ensuring satisfactory follow-through for all interactions. Call recording functionality can be added on to a VoIP system after the fact, but it will never work as well as an offering directly built into the chosen overarching solution.
By always keeping these features in mind when choosing or upgrading a VoIP system, companies can be sure they are getting the biggest bang for their buck. As the VoIP marketplace grows to new heights, businesses need to make sure they work with trusted brands like ShoreTel in order to get a VoIP solution that works splendidly now and well into the future.
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