Hosted VoIP Moving Toward the Enterprise

Carl Weinschenk

The test of a technologies' staying power may be its ability to move fluidly between target groups. Wi-Fi, for instance, started off as a consumer offering; only later did it become a potent business platform.

The same ability to adapt to gain access to new markets is evident in the managed VoIP sector. Hosted VoIP approaches, in which a third party manages and usually owns all or most of the equipment, has found its most willing customers among small and medium-sized businesses. That makes sense, since SMBs-especially those on the smaller side of the equation-generally don't have the funds to buy these platforms or the expertise and desire to run them. Enterprises, on the other hand, traditionally are far more likely to opt for the control of owning their own platforms. They also have staff with the skills to oversee the projects.

The economy, apparently, is accelerating the move of hosted services upwards to the enterprise levels. xchange reports on Infonetics Research findings that managed VoIP services overall are doing well, though the study doesn't appear to break the segment down by customer size.

But there are signs that at least some of the growth is coming from enterprises. This piece reports that hosted VoIP service provider Telesphere has gotten $15 million in funding from previous investors including Rally Capital, Hawkeye Investments LLC and Greenspun Corporation. The story paraphrases CEO Clark Peterson, who says that revenue has increased "dramatically" during the past eight months, largely because larger companies have signed on. He credits the economy for the newfound interest of these organizations.

It will be interesting to see if enterprise use of hosted and managed VoIP services increases. It likely will. Things are never the same before and after a recession: The lessons learned during the dark days are put to good use once the sun begins to shine again. If that pattern holds, hosted VoIP services will become a more common enterprise tool.



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