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A Look at Where the Voice Management Industry is Headed in 2012

December 29, 2011

By , Director of Content Marketing, Content Boost

2011 was certainly characterized by the advent of several technologies such as VoIP, SIP and the cloud as well as some controversy surrounding call quality and the lack thereof.

And when it comes to VoIP call quality, if it is lacking businesses can greatly suffer.

According to a recent Infonectics Research 3Q11 market share report, businesses are continuing to transition to IP-based phone systems even though the global economy is still testy: “Hybrid IP PBXs continue to dominate, making up nearly 2/3 of global revenue; pure IP PBXs continue to grow as a proportion of the overall market, making up nearly 1/3 now and growing.” 

“Clearly the migration to VoIP, SIP, and UC technologies is progressing, and is predicted to continue in 2012,” Tracey Whitney, director of marketing for Tone Software (News - Alert), told TMCnet. “But as businesses move forward with these investments, they are keeping a close eye on the expected returns in user productivity, improved business processes, and lower overall operational costs.  The catch:  when VoIP call quality is poor, and the voice network is plagued with performance and availability issues, the business cannot realize the expected returns from their converged communications investments.  Poor quality drags down user adoption, impedes user productivity, slows business processes, and increases support costs as IT teams struggle to deal with user complaints and the underlying network issues.”

Nowadays, call quality and proper voice management have become integral components for a company’s success and everyone from IT teams to users to business executives has their eye on these two capabilities.

One company that continues to push the envelope when it comes to voice management capabilities is Tone Software and it does this thanks to its ReliaTel VoIP Quality and Network Service Assurance technology.  With call quality and voice management only gaining in importance, Tone Software feels well positioned to meet these demands in 2012 thanks to its powerful VoIP QoS and converged voice network management capabilities that ensure the call quality and network performance necessary to drive the desired ROI from convergence technologies, according to Whitney.

While 2012 will certainly see the continued migration to VoIP, SIP and UC technologies and a heightened attention on voice management, it will also call into focus the challenges that still exist.

“Voice is an evolutionary technology that continues to progress in new ways with new applications, and so the challenges will continue to evolve as well,” Whitney said. “But, at the core of voice management,  is the underlying necessity to provide a rock solid network infrastructure that can drive real-time voice services.  Because businesses often migrate to advanced communications technologies gradually, the underlying network is frequently comprised of a diverse mixture of manufacturers, devices and technologies, which further increases the obstacles to achieving effective end to end management of the environment.”

Tone’s ReliaTel voice management solution is ready to handle these challenges as it is platform agnostic, providing key VoIP QoS, TDM PBX, and IPT network service level management across virtually any mix of technology, including Avaya (News - Alert), Nortel, Cisco, Siemens, Mitel, NEC, etc.  Consequently, businesses can deploy ReliaTel across their entire migration path and throughout their adoption cycles of IP based communications.

As we look ahead to 2012 and what might be in store for the voice management industry, TMCnet also asked Whitney to reflect on how the industry has accelerated over the last few years.

Among those changes is that face that with VoIP and convergence taking off, many traditional network management tools are now offering VoIP management components or capabilities. For example, ReliaTel provides over 60 core quality of service statistics, including listening quality and jitter buffer overrun metrics, as well as both active and passive analytics including low level application and transport layer statistics on a per call basis – all of which are important to rapidly and accurately troubleshoot and resolve call quality and voice network issues, according to Whitney.      

With 2012 ushering in within days, Whitney said she is most eager to see how the adoption of cloud based solutions will affect the industry.

“In 2012, businesses will make technology investments and purchases that can truly provide payback in the short term,” she said.  “Cloud-based offerings are a strong option for businesses that want to progress without requiring large up front capital expenditures, and significant IT staff to deploy and maintain technology.   Economic conditions being what they are, it is likely cloud solutions will see significant growth in the coming year.”

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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