Recently, Voxox Director of Marketing, Ron Kinkade, was quoted in a report by telecom comparison team Software Advice on how technical language could influence VoIP adoption and utilization.
Software Advice sat down with Ron for an in-depth interview on this subject. Some of the key points discussed were:
- If you're in the market for a service and feel like you don’t understand the tech language for the solution it provides, it might not be the right fit for your business.
- The size of your business matters when determing whether you need to be more familiar with the jagon of service level requirements. The larger your business, the higher your understanding and knowledge will have to be as well.
- Technology services have improved to provide better tools for small businesses without dedicated experts of technical lanuage.
- In order to get the most ROI, you have to understand all the costs involved in VoIP. SIP trunking could save you money, if it's properly managed.
- The language of Unified Communications becomes more simplified as it gets widespread. The message to reach more markets successfully.
Here's the full Q&A:
1. How much of the technical language of VoIP do businesses need to understand to make an informed decision when purchasing an IP telephony solution?
For the mass market (<20 seats) I think it’s less about the language and more about why a business is looking for a solution in the first place. Is it lower cost? Features? Mobility? Most of these consumers are focused on cost & reliability first, features and functionality second. I think companies in this space should focus on finding a partner with a strong reputation for simplicity, excellent support, and straight-forward pricing.
When you get into the larger markets, where you might be dealing with IT professionals, multiple locations, or with additional service needs - the same reasons ‘why’ still apply. However, companies are putting more at risk in choosing a provider and as such, should educate themselves more before finding the partner that provides them with the service level requirements they need.
In short, as a customer if you feel you don’t understand what a company is selling you - then they might not be the right fit for your business.
2. How much of the technical language of VoIP do businesses need to understand to administer their phone systems and manage their voice networks? What solutions are available for businesses that don't have the resources to perform these tasks themselves?
Again, it depends on the size of the business and what type of solution they are looking for. Most businesses with less than 10 seats aren’t going to need a high level of knowledge, while larger businesses will want to familiarize themselves with service related language. There are a wide variety of Hosted PBX options in this space that simplify the management of devices and numbers. VoIP providers offer a variety of options for small or large businesses when it comes to administration or customization, including dedicated support, onsite training/installation, and SLA’s for some businesses. There are 3rd party consultants in the space that are available as well.
3. How are technologies and services evolving to serve smaller businesses without dedicated IT staff to help with purchasing and administering solutions? How do app-based models like Voxox's help to address the needs of this market segment?
While technology can sometimes complicate an offering, when done right it automates and simplifies. Support is making a comeback and better tools are available to help customers. Online management portals are getter better UI’s, support is becoming more accessible with social/helpdesk/crm tools. The entire purchase process can now be done online without the need for a quote and timely. At Voxox, we offer a full range of telephony services including mobile/desktop apps for consumers, Cloud Phone and Hosted PBX for small business, as well as wholesale/carrier services.
4. What aspects of VoIP technology do businesses need to understand to maximize ROI with SIP trunking?
Now we’re wandering into acronym land… Anytime you talk about ROI, you need to understand all of the costs involved. Cost of hardware, cost of service, cost of support, cost of maintenance. At a high level, you save with SIP because you don’t have to over provision lines at your locations and reduce hardware costs. Fewer PRIs (primary rate interface) or T1s. SIP offers affordability and flexibility. However a poorly managed SIP setup can be just as costly. The real ROI comes from adopting a centralized architecture, improved security, and the benefits of a well managed SBC (session border controller)
5. How will the language of Unified Communications shift as providers expand their offerings in the SMB space? Will this expansion also involve technological innovations?
It becomes simplified and more widely understood. To reach more markets successfully, providers have to simplify the messaging. There will likely be technical innovations, more automation, more controls. Not long ago, the concept of “the cloud” didn’t exist - now it’s a mainstream term. Saas, Big Data.