Speaking to Comms Business Magazine, Andy Bills, UK MD at Swyx says Hosted IP services is a growing trend in the UK market and analysts predict that by 2010 around 10-15% of UK businesses will adopt these services, the majority of which will be in the SME sector.
“The UK SME sector is also very familiar with the concept of hosting, with a recent analyst reporting that 45% of hosted CRM applications in the EMEA region are based in the UK. SME’s have the most to gain from hosting, as services become more integrated and offer more functionality and communication possibilities. It is also less likely that SMEs will have the skills in-house to support them and therefore, they will be happy to “outsource” this to a third party and make them responsible for making it work. This philosophy is entirely consistent with Swyx’s recent launch of Swyxware 6.0″.
Meanwhile, Beverley Martin, Marketing Manager at Aastra says that whilst the past twelve months has seen an increase in talk about IP Centrex the PBX vendors are fighting back.
“The lure of standards compliance with a managed service is attractive to some users and it is clear that there is a segment of the market which is likely to choose to outsource their business telephony, just as they outsource other business areas such as HR and cleaning! However, PBX manufacturers are fighting back, and many of the key business benefits touted by IP Centrex providers such as lower start-up costs and the ability to manage multi-site users have been matched and in many cased bettered by new PBX solutions, especially with CTI, which in many cases are chosen by customers for their feature set and reliability.”
Geoff Gudgion, MD EMEA at Shoretel commented, “Hosted is generating quite a lot of interest but little impact at present. However it is a market we expect to grow.”
Kevin Burns, Commercial Director EMEA, Inter-Tel says there appears to be an increase in the number of smaller businesses being persuaded that despite the limited functionality, a hosted system will work for them. In our opinion it is very much early days for IP Centrix systems, with some concerns, such as security that still need to be overcome.”