Virtual Office Featured Article

Virtual Office Gets New Help from IP, UCaaS

March 28, 2017
By Steve Anderson, Contributing Writer

Virtual office spaces the world over depend on the best of communications tools, and the good news for those virtual office users is that there's more technology available than ever before to make the concept run smoothly. Increasingly, business users are turning to hosted Internet protocol (IP) telephony and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) tools to make communication run more smoothly regardless of location.

New word from the Digital Transformation team at Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) finds that vendors are increasingly rebuilding service portfolios to meet the growing demand for these technologies, which are in turn increasingly priced by virtual office users and other use cases. Businesses increasingly eager to step up their productivity and overall agility, and are turning to these highly-mobile alternatives to produce such mobility.

In fact, Frost & Sullivan expects the hosted IP telephony market to grow at a 26.9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2022, which will create a new slate of installed users as more businesses take an interest in this new technology. Such a growth rate is likely to draw new competitors to the field, so in order to fend off such advances, businesses are going to need to step up offerings to match. Most recommended additions include the use of open application programming interfaces (APIs), team collaboration tools, and the like.

Additionally, some limiting factors in the market will be in place, like an overall reluctance to invest in new infrastructure to support these tools, the growth of new business models that allow premises-based technology to be run via operational expenses, and a basket of customer concerns ranging from security to control.

Virtual office technology is already available in fairly large numbers; these days it's fairly easy to connect remotely to just about anywhere and carry on a conversation as if in the same room. We've got tools like Skype (News - Alert) and FaceTime running right alongside the newest in Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) that make conferencing as easy as websurfing. So trying to be a distinct player in this market can be difficult, and adding features may only be a temporary solution as competitors seek to balance offerings and gain market share.

It's likely to be a tough market in the virtual office space, with so many competitors going after the same brass ring. Finding a way to be the best value in such a field won't be easy, but the rewards are potentially staggering.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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