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Cloud Telephony: The Battle Over SMBs
Whenever a company can utilize a much-needed service without costly capex investment, interest in that service increases greatly. After all, the history of the telecom market has shown time and again that as soon as you build something concrete, it is already outdated. That is why an increasing number of carriers and enterprises are expressing interest in vendors that offer cloud telephony solutions.

As the name suggests, the solution resides in "the cloud," or on the Internet. Cloud concepts are not new: They date back to the days of Frame Relay and other data protocols, when virtual circuits were located in frame clouds to avoid the high cost of point-to-point circuits. What is new is that telephony vendors are providing increasing numbers of services in the cloud. In many ways, it is becoming difficult to distinguish between "hosted" and "cloud" services, but vendors are beginning to differentiate their offerings.

Voice and other PBX-like services are currently the biggest offerings, but service providers are becoming more creative with cloud telephony services, providing everything from individual voice applications to payment services. At a time when many carriers are seeking ways to differentiate their offerings and improve customer loyalty, cloud telephony seems like a natural avenue for them to explore.

The biggest market for cloud telephony is SMBs, because they do not warrant the attention, pricing, and specialized communication services of large carriers. 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, and the savings on the opex side from not needing a dedicated IT person to run the system make for a winning combination.

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.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (vsi0210_toc.pdf)
One of the primary reasons that cloud telephony is beginning to take off is that enterprises are finding it difficult to ignore the capex and opex savings these solutions can generate. In most cases, cloud telephony solutions require little to no capital outlay, since the hardware and the bulk of the software are kept at an off-site location that is accessed by the enterprise. And because no dedicated telephony or IT personnel is needed to maintain the solution, the operational budget is slashed considerably. The following excerpt shows the benefits that leading cloud telephony vendors say their technology enables for various groups, including operators and carriers, equipment vendors, and enterprises.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies analyzed in this report include: 8x8 Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT); Aptela Inc.; BroadSoft Inc.; Cypress Communications Inc.; Ditech Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: DITC); Ifbyphone Inc.; Paetec Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: PAET); PanTerra Networks Inc.; and Zuora Inc.
Total Pages: 22
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