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Does the Software Evolution Spell Doom for Desk Phones?

Desktop phone

… a softphone on your computer or an app on your mobile phone,” he said.

It’s not the first evolution business-phone vendors and partners have seen. Javaid says providers already have made the shift from hardware to on-premises software.

He suggests that partners should lessen their reliance on hardware, and many are taking his advice. Plenty of partners have taken on characteristics of an independent software vendor (ISV) or systems integrator.

“I think just being a hardware type of VAR of course still exists,” Javaid said. “It’s also going to be a tough business.”

What About BYOD?

Will companies allowing their employees to use their own mobile devices sound the death knell for desk phones? The sources for this interview weren’t so sure.

“What I can say is BYOD is moving ahead, but many businesses are still providing devices to employees — at least at the enterprise level,” Zhou said. “How to manage those BYOD devices safely and easily is still a pain point for some corporate IT teams, and having a dedicated device-management strategy for dealing with BYOD is a must.”

Eclipse Telecom's Kirk Armstrong

Eclipse Telecom’s Kirk Armstrong

Armstrong says some startup companies have moved to a BYOD strategy, but that it’s a bad sign when an established enterprise adopts one. It can start as a company looking to save money but result in “1,000 different paper cuts” through various unchecked expenses.

“Bring-your-own-device is something that we heavily discourage [companies] from doing,” Armstrong said. “It’s not something you can contain, and once it’s out in the ethos, there’s no bringing it back in.”

Javaid says Vonage uses applications that quickly provision and deprovision employees joining or departing the organization.

“I’ve heard both sides of the argument on [BYOD]. I think BYOD, especially with smartphones, is not only a big deal, it’s here to stay; it’s growing. There are absolutely security issues and privacy issues. Many of them can be addressed and are addressed through software,” he said.

The overwhelming agreement is that the mobile phone is going to have an even greater impact on the business telephony market in the upcoming years. And partners need to take that into consideration.

“For some of these folks, they’d be looking at this with some apprehension, but I think it’s a great opportunity for them,” Javaid said. “It’s a great opportunity for the industry, because it’s underscoring how this is a software-as-a-service industry and how the the telecommunications industry and the computing/internet software industry have become almost the same now, whereas before these were two very different worlds. I think the humble desk phone is just a sign of that.”

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One comment

  1. Avatar Oliver Jake March 27, 2018 @ 12:40 am

    Desk phones are nowhere near to go down! Not that easily unless we get a good source of battery life for our phones but then again people need privacy and majority won’t even bother to get all their business clients on their personal cellphone.

    Future is always less predicted and right call center service providers are blooming just because of this.

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