The fear of making wrong technology choices can delay critical transitions to modern innovative technologies, writes Garry Ackerman, director of Argantic.

Business leaders need to keep abreast of the ever-evolving telephony market because communications is a key drivers for modern businesses.

However, businesses are reluctant to upgrade their telephony because they have invested in costly infrastructure and onsite equipment. To make it more appealing, telephony providers are offering flexible solutions that can be deployed over existing infrastructure.

According to the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) report, the unified communications (UC) market is making a fundamental shift from premises-based UC to cloud UCaaS.

The report says by 2024, 74% of the new UC licenses purchased by organisations will be cloud-based, up from 48% in 2019. This is largely due to the fact that future cloud UC offerings will be far ahead in terms of features, functions, portals, analytics, and dashboards.

Microsoft’s cloud-based phone system add-on for Microsoft Office 365 is no doubt the future of telephony. With no investment in infrastructure, Teams Voice is an obvious choice for any business, big or small.

This cloud-based phone system offers all the flexibility, scalability and functionality of any modern phone system; and is accessible from a mobile device, computer or a desk phone anywhere. Teams Voice integrates with one’s Office 365 login account, making it easy to receive business calls through multiple platforms.

It is also a critical element when trying to transform to the modern Office environment. For a nominal fee, one can now make and receive calls. Teams Voice also offers advanced features including call transfer, multilevel auto attendants, call queues, direct routing, call groups and audio conferencing.

As more and more employees are forced to work remotely, business leaders need to maintain productivity by deploying new innovative collaboration tools. Microsoft 365 has reached 30 billion daily collaboration minutes with over 115-million Microsoft Teams daily active users.

Gartner also noted that by 2022, 74% of organisations will move around 5% of their typically on-site workers into permanent remote working positions, making cloud solutions more crucial. Additionally, by 2023, 50% of large companies will connect with cloud providers using WAN direct cloud connectivity.

Unified business communication systems can increase productivity, improve user engagement and facilitate collaboration. This has given birth to UCaaS, a cloud-delivered unified communications model that supports various communications functions including enterprise telephony, video conferencing, meetings, unified messaging, instant messaging and mobility.

UCaaS can save businesses a lot of time and money, especially when setting up their communications networks. They no longer have to acquire separate voice solutions, video and audio equipment or instant messaging software.

Because it is cloud-based, another major advantage with UCaaS is that it can accessed from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.

There is no doubt that UCaaS has massive benefits. Small businesses can make their communication systems more robust whilst saving on telephone costs and larger organisations can use it to optimise their sales processes.

Business leaders should keep an eye on telephony trends because it will continue to change the way the handle communications.