May 4th, 2015 by The Modulis Team
VoIP and Mobile Trends to Watch For in 2015
VoIP trends this year are focused on mobility and the cloud. More businesses are attempting to discover and establish a cost-effective telecommunications infrastructure to support new workplace environments. We’ll explore some of the hot trends in VoIP and mobile to watch for this year.
VoIP Takes Over Smartphones
With VoIP apps continually being developed, we will see a shift in mobile phone usage as more people use VoIP through their smartphones and other devices.
Digium developed Respoke, which is an Asterisk-based VoIP app that allows you to use instant messaging, text, and screen share, and to place and receive calls on a website or mobile app. Different service packages are available including free basic service for individuals through paid monthly subscriptions for enterprises.
Desk phones are becoming a rarity and may be entirely replaced by the end of the year for some companies. Company-issued mobile phones and personal Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are frequently more acceptable for many businesses. These devices are already replacing desk phones and headsets, as the equipment breaks down and contracts expire. As it becomes more costly to maintain and replace desk phones and components, companies are leaning toward future trends.
Depending on the route you take, you may expect to pay an average of $50 to $200 per IP phone and about half of the total amount added on to a BYOD policy. Smartphone business applications can cost anywhere from $30 to $45 per user. You may want to contact a VoIP vendor to see if they can customize a monthly service package that includes the use of their application for BYOD users, rolled into the monthly cost of their service.
Company Issued Smartphones Are Here To Stay
A few years ago, BYOD became the latest business craze and continues to prove effective to this day. Businesses issue smartphones to their employees to keep better control over their data security and,although mobile device management programs offer data segregation on devices, business owners feel safer knowing their employees are using the devices they issue.
Managers are considering cost, security, and management when weighing the options between iPhones, Windows phones, and Android based phones. Device and service plans vary from company to company. You should expect to pay a higher price for the iPhone as it is targeted at a higher end market than Windows and Android. Also take into consideration that Apple ends production of older models to keep higher prices on their latest models. Android phones are available at various prices including low, mid, and high price ranges depending on features and functionality. On average, these phones can range anywhere from $99 to $199 for a new service plan, and $550 to $950 with no contract.
The Convergence of VoIP and UC
Later this year, we will see advancements in the convergence of VoIP and Unified Communications (UC) solutions. In fact, the convergence has already begun and is molding the future of mobile technology. Through this convergence, your remote and telecommuting workers can easily collaborate through improved video calling and instant messaging on their phones or tablets.
Asterisk supports SMS, however, you need Asterisk version 10 or 11. You can send text messages through connected channels, as Asterisk will accept a text string as an argument. This technology is still under development, and some vendors may have a solution for integrating SMS with Asterisk VoIP by the end of this year.
Features, Features, Features
2015 is the year for features in VoIP and mobile technology. Some of these features will be embedded into hosted PBX solutions to make businesses even more productive. Hosted and cloud VoIP is seen as more economical for businesses, a trend that will continue throughout the year. With the developing technology in using Asterisk with SMS, the integration of VoIP and UC, and more vendors delivering, this promises to be a year of major change for VoIP and mobile.
Cloud-based VoIP provides a variety of backend performance management tools that will continue to evolve this year. This provides VoIP business users with another channel to remain competitive in their market, since they will have better control over their IP telephony, customer metrics, and the way they connect with leads through phone, email, chat, etc.
Browser-Based Audio and Video Conferencing
Video calls are becoming easier, with programs such as Facetime, Skype, and Google Hangouts. While these platforms are great for personal communications, VoIP providers are looking to bring similar video call capabilities to businesses. Businesses will have more features and control over personal video conferencing. For example, businesses will want the ability to share files, instant message, and host web-based video conferences with whiteboard and screen sharing. These features may show up in new browser-based video conferencing as early as this year.
Smartphones and Other Mobile Devices Will Be the Mainstay for VoIP Calling
Businesses are becoming more mobile. In addition to convergence, mobile devices should be connected using multiple configurations including customized apps designed for specific platforms and fixed mobile convergence. Businesses and customers are demanding a seamless experience in their communications. They no longer want to distribute multiple numbers and varying methods for customers to contact them, as it is cumbersome and confusing. People and businesses are getting used to a high-quality user experience from the use of private apps. As VoIP and mobile technology advances, we will see more VoIP apps for business use. Eventually, mobile providers may end their minute-plan offerings and offer VoIP-only mobile service plans. While this service change may not happen this year, it is not far off.