In-Stat, a technology research firm, released its latest research study Jan. 10 that showed that hosted voice over IP telephony usage has increased among small businesses.
The study, "Hosted VOIP: Steady Growth, But Will the Boom Come?" found that small businesses have the most hosted VOIP deployments in the 20-to-50-seat range and that hosted VOIP will continue to grow over the next few years with revenues expected to exceed $2 billion by 2010.
"Most business customers adopt hosted VOIP with the expectation of cost savings, but soon come to value the feature functionality and integration with data networks the application provides," David Lemelin, senior analyst at In-Stat in Scottsdale, Ariz., told eWEEK. "As a result, hosted VOIP solutions are becoming more valuable."
The study goes over a wide variety of topics such as factors increasing the adoption of hosted solutions, mobility convergence, differences in service providers, sales tactics and a VOIP providers approach to the market.
"As business managers assess their resident ability to deploy and manage enterprise-like VOIP services, many are finding themselves lacking the capital and expertise required and as a result, hosted VOIP solutions are becoming more attractive," Lemelin said.
The study from In-Stat found the following:
- U.S.-hosted VOIP seats in service are expected to continue to increase consistently to more than 3 million in 2010, up from 373,000 in 2006
- For hosted VOIP services, cost savings is the main appeal
- Businesses that have several office locations as well as the mobile worker are most attracted to hosted VOIP solutions
Lemelin believes that "business customers looking to outsource voice and data integration to a trusted provider, rather than having to handle integration and ongoing maintenance themselves" is one of the factors that has contributed to the growth of hosted VOIP.
When it comes to the future of hosted VOIP services, Lemelin said: "I see solid growth for the foreseeable future because this is a solution aimed at a massive SMB [small to midsize business] target."
"I think as we see increased convergence of voice, data, video and mobility, hosted VOIP solutions will be part of integrated solutions bundled to meet the needs of the SMB market," Lemelin said.
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