VoIP, also known as IP Telephony, is one of the most promising Internet technologies for business today. The legacy private branch exchange (PBX) systems of yore are no longer competitive in terms of features, flexibility or pricing; such is not the case with VoIP services, which is poised to evolve substantially in the near future.
Here are the three VoIP improvements that business owners will be able to take advantage of in the next few years:
The Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is a technology that is growing at a very fast pace. In essence, IoT consists of a network of devices that connect to the cloud; furthermore, IoT supports the machine-to-machine (M2M) protocol, which allows smart devices to interact on their own.
IoT technology has already been applied to VoIP in two features: call-hunt and login from multiple devices. With call-hunt, office staff no longer have to worry about missing a call; it can be configured to ring one device after another before going to voicemail. This means that employees can answer from the office, from home or from their smartphones. By connecting all these calling devices to the IoT, they can “talk” to each other and share information about location and availability.
Private Cloud PBX
For most business owners, switching from traditional PBX to hosted VoIP has been a smart choice over the last few years. Now that cloud technology has become the standard of Internet communications; business enterprises will be able to manage private cloud systems from their offices.
Concerning cost and convenience, most business owners these days will benefit from hosted VoIP solutions; however, some enterprises will need to host their own private cloud and VoIP. These could be law firms that need to safeguard the information of their clients physically, or else they could be defence and security contractors. A private cloud will require a hardware investment and a very fast Internet connection; once the equipment is installed, a private VoIP system can be configured for maximum compliance, security, and confidentiality.
VoIP and Business Social Networks
Popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger combine social media features with VoIP technology; this is something that interests the enterprise world very much. Microsoft is leading the way with Skype for Business, which can be integrated with Slack, the social network app for business users.
Tech giant Google is developing WebRTC, a new protocol that brings VoIP functionality to Web browsers. Microsoft has show interest in WebRTC; the company recently acquired LinkedIn and has been promoting Skype for Business therein. The next step could be Skype WebRTC for LinkedIn, which could be a new beginning for business-oriented social media.