Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cloud Telephony - Silver lining is in the SMB Market

[prnewswire] Network operators are aggressively targeting small and midsized businesses as the primary market for emerging cloud telephony services, positioning cloud telephony as an economical way to take advantage of a full range of advanced applications such as unified communications, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading IP Services Insider, a paid research service of TechWeb's Light Reading.

Cloud Telephony: The Battle Over SMBs examines the cloud telephony market, including how it is defined, a comparative analysis of the solutions, market strengths and strategies, and market drivers. The report also explores the benefits that can be achieved for carriers, vendors, and enterprises. Additionally, the report provides a competitive analysis of nine leading vendors in the cloud telephony industry, as well as the trends they expect to see in the future.

"Cloud telephony providers are finding that small business owners are eager to buy services in the cloud, because they do not have the cash for a capital outlay," notes Denise Culver, research analyst for Heavy Reading IP Services Insider and author of the report. "The savings on the opex side -- gained by not needing a dedicated IT person to run the system -- makes for an even stronger value proposition," she adds.

The next 12 to 18 months are likely to see a significant surge in revenues in the cloud telephony sector, according to sources interviewed for the report. "Voice and other PBX-like services are the biggest offerings, but service providers are becoming more creative with cloud telephony services, providing everything from individual voice applications to payment services," Culver says. "At a time when carriers are seeking ways to differentiate their offerings and improve customer loyalty, cloud telephony seems a natural avenue for them to explore."

Other key findings of Cloud Telephony: The Battle Over SMBs include the following:

* While SMBs are the prime market sector for cloud telephony, operators are also targeting larger enterprises with dispersed branch offices and workforces.
* Real estate and legal firms are emerging as the hottest vertical industries for cloud telephony.
* Increased workforce mobility is driving more interest in applications such as unified communications, making these apps essential to an operator's cloud telephony strategy.
* As cloud telephony gains ground, operators will need to demonstrate adequate security to protect enterprise resources.

Cloud Telephony's Silver Lining is in the SMB Market, Report Finds

Cloud Telephony: The Battle Over SMBs is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (6 issues) to Heavy Reading IP Services Insider, priced at $1,595.

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