… they’re a little clunkier, and don’t have the same physical feel and familiarity as a desk phone, and not everyone is using a PC everywhere, Arnold said.
Ibrahim said cloud-based VoIP systems are being considered the future for both large- and small-scale business communications. With technology being used to enhance business efficiency and quality, cloud-based VoIP phone systems offer advanced phone-system features and a unified workplace phone system that works where the team works, he said.
“VoIP also eliminates the need for high priced equipment — for startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses (the backbone of the U.S. economy), that is significant,” he said.
In terms of security, a legacy phone system is a separate, dedicated network that runs independent of or parallel to the data network, so it’s not likely to get hacked and it’s not really that valuable to hackers, Arnold said.
“When you move from legacy to IP, voice is running on the same network as everything else because it’s a data application,” he said. “Now it’s just one of many streams on your data network and now your phone system is a more interesting target for hackers. So if you’re lazy or negligent, then hackers have an easy entry point. And they’re not doing it to eavesdrop on your calls … but they can use your phone system as a point of entry to your data network where they’re after bigger things.”
In addition, people often are using mobile phones in Wi-Fi network settings, so if your calls aren’t encrypted, there’s potential there for mobile calls to be tapped, Arnold said.
“And the pitfall for softphones is if the utility factor is pretty low, it may be hard to justify the cost of having it,” he said. “When you subscribe to a VoIP service, it’s going to be an extra $10-12 a month or whatever to have a softphone on an endpoint,” he said. “And if people aren’t using it, then it’s a bit of a waste of money.”
And with the phone market rapidly consolidating, there are fewer players. If you’re using a phone vendor that’s not a household name, “it’s possible they may not be there two to three years from now,” Arnold said.
For the channel, the market is moving to a cloud-based, hosted SaaS model in which customers lease instead of own and consume as they go, Arnold said.
“The second thing is as telephony becomes more of a cloud-based application, it’s going to have less value as a standalone sale or application,” he said. “It’s going to be tied more and more to UC CPaaS platforms where it’s built in to a whole solution. That’s a different kind of a pitch or value proposition.”