To Purchase, Subscribe or Punt

David ByrdI filled out a questionnaire last week that had as a question the supposition that PBXs were going the way of the dodo bird. Cloud computing and hosted communications are viewed as making hardware purchases extinct. I do not hold that outlook. Broadvox has a major business segment that is focused on offering hosted communications. In fact, we have expanded the offering with the inclusion of the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution. It is now the latest member of the GO! family of products as GO!UC. However, the sales of PBXs or IP PBXs will not end in the foreseeable future.

The criteria used by businesses in deciding whether to purchase, subscribe or move to a fully managed or hosted model vary greatly. Consider some of our industrys favorite phrases, command and control”, best of breed”, and one throat to choke”. These phrases amply describe philosophies applied to various business operations and processes. The first, command and control” is usually the approach a business owner takes to a business or mission-critical application. For example, Broadvox will not outsource its private IP network, nor will Ford outsource the servers running its manufacturing plants. The second, best of breed” has been applied to both hardware and software but the current use has been expanded to include practices as well as investment methodologies. Consequently, it can be used to determine if a subscription model best fits a business strategy or model.

Most of you reading this blog probably subscribe to security software or an offsite storage application to protect your personal computers and information. Most businesses now subscribe to a payroll or business financial management applications from Intuit or ADP. Finally, we use one throat to choke” to describe our implementation and responsibility for a fully managed solution. Gartner has estimated the growth of cloud computing at 18.9% per year. I do not dispute that. I do, however, believe that companies will continue to be quite diverse in how they spend and invest their dollars and resources. It is not a question of whether the PBX will become extinct. It is better to consider how various hosted applications will complement existing and new business infrastructures.

In listening to the new IBM ad for SmartCloud, which asks whether you should trust an online bookstore or search engine with your critical business information (clearly digs at Amazon and Google), I am reminded of the role of trusted and knowledgeable partners. IBM is advising us that only it has the world-class expertise to build, deliver and support businesses as they transition to the cloud. SmartCloud becomes another product/solution in their large product portfolio of hardware, software and services. 

Broadvox believes in Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and we believe in the continued success of our various equipment OEMs, distributors, VARs and agents. It is important for each member of our ecosystem to customize their value proposition and product offering to leverage the changing IT and communications landscape. It may not become one size fits all” but the wrong size never fits.

David Byrd is vice president of marketing and sales for Broadvox,
and is responsible for marketing and channel sales programs to SMBs,
enterprises and carriers as well as defining the product offering. Prior to joining
Broadvox, David was the vice president of Channels and Alliances for Eftia and
Telcordia. As director of eBusiness Development with i2 Technologies, he
developed major partnerships with many of the leaders in Internet eCommerce and
supply chain management. As CEO of Planet Hollywood Online he was a pioneer in
using early Internet technologies to build a branded entertainment and
eCommerce website company partnered with Planet Hollywood. Having over 20 years
of telecom sales and marketing experience, he has held executive positions with
Hewlett-Packard, Sprint and Ericsson.


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