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Cloud Telephony Reaches its Tipping Point - NFON UK
Wednesday 10 August 2016
Rami Houbby, MD NFON UK
We’re at the midway point of the year and the amount of interest in cloud services - and cloud telephony in particular - is growing among business decision makers.
That, however, is not news.
What’s interesting right now is that the early adopter phase for this market is fast becoming ancient history. For the first time we’re looking at a critical mass of customers that see cloud telephony as an intelligent, pragmatic choice for their organisations.
That’s not just my perspective from here in the UK. We’re seeing this tipping point occur across Europe as heightened interest converts into more market demand, and the bulk of all legacy PBX systems are migrated to cloud telephone systems like NFON.
Making a critical mass into an irresistible force
A perfect storm of multiple, irreversible factors is making cloud telephony a better alternative, not just an equal one. In doing so, the cloud telephony market is following a well-documented pattern of development that starts reaching its peak as it matures.
Among the evidence for impending mass-market adoption of cloud telephony is:
- A large, rapidly growing number of mature enterprise customers big and small, across every industry vertical,demonstrating the short, medium and long term benefits of implementing and living with cloud telephony. This breeds confidence and encourages new customers.
- Heightened interest among channel partners and trusted advisors, eager to capitalise on the commercial opportunities of cloud telephony and protect themselves against the negative impact of shrinking on-premise PBX sales. This creates an enormous pull factor among customers who would otherwise be unsure about ‘new technology.’
- Shorter sales cycles for cloud telephony services, driven by higher market acceptance and awareness. Buyers are better informed about their cloud telephony options than ever before, reducing the need for providers to ‘evangelise’ their message and concentrate instead on answering demand and developing more new features/ targeted offerings (e.g. for key verticals).
Some of the market drivers that continue to accelerate cloud telephony demand include:
- The appetite for cloud services in general, to the extent that organisations not deriving cloud services are now in the minority. Organisations who consider such services as a normal part of their IT are the most accepting of cloud telephony.
- Faster speeds and lower costs for broadband connectivity services, enabling organisations to pursue more ambitious IT strategies and be more inclusive about new technology consumption models.
- Greater demand for mobile working among employees who now typically use three or four connected devices instead of one.
- Industry abandonment of legacy technology e.g. large PBX vendors withdrawing support for on-premise hardware product lines; major operators like Telekom and BT planning to switch off ISDN.
- More organisations pursuing digital transformation strategies, designed to streamline processes, increase customer engagement, boost productivity and reduce unnecessary IT costs. This plays to the strengths of cloud telephony.
The cloud telephony message has been getting through, and we expect to see this and many other contributory factors translate into more revenue and market share growth for cloud telephony providers - and NFON in particular.
Let me share one final thought. In the last 3-5 years, motor manufacturers around the world have put almost all of their R&D focus on developing their hybrid and fully-electric models. It’s changing the face of a market that, until recently, drew its technology lineage all the way back to the Benz Motorwagen of 1886. Toyota, Nissan, Ford, BMW; they all have such great legacies with the internal combustion engine. But the electric car we all talk about - the one we all desire - is a Tesla.
Tesla shows that when you need a great product in a market that is also reaching its tipping point, it’s best to be a pure innovator unconstrained by legacy. And that’s exactly what you get with NFON too!