All phone systems in the future will be cloud-based – the new generation of decision-makers won’t accept anything else – nor will they be prepared to fix the inevitable problems that would arise with on-premises systems
Cloud-based systems have now become just another way of delivering IT services. Increasingly, they are the preferred way of consuming technology for the millennials who are now starting to move into management positions in all organisations. They have, after all, grown-up with technology and are used to it being simple to access and use, anytime and anywhere on any device.
It follows then, that these users would be likely to prefer a cloud phone system, to one that is installed and managed on-premises. Indeed, the very idea of a physical PBX that would be installed on-site and have to be physically maintained as well as kept up to date, would be anathema to them.
There is also some evidence to suggest that they would not be very good at managing such as system (or any other on-premises technology for that matter). A report produced by research firm Vanson Bourne and Barco, a specialist developer of collaboration systems, debunked the myth that technical issues are only associated with the Baby Boomer generation (55-plus), and showed a lack of digital skills across businesses, with over six in ten (66 percent) of IT decision makers claiming that Generation X or millennials (25-54 year-olds) ask for the most assistance.
There is every reason to suppose that this applies to voice technologies as much as it does to computer hardware and software. Indeed, the Vanson Bourne/Barco study found that after presentation technology problems (67%), the form the most common requests for IT assistance was associated with Internet connection issues; problem with cloud-based voice systems would fall into this category and indeed, any cloud-based voice system would be entirely dependent on the organisation’s connection to the Internet.
Quite simply, Generation X and millennial workers and decision-makers, expect technology to “just work” and there is no reason why they should expect anything else. They have been used to accessing apps and services on-demand and using them intuitively. It should be no real surprise then, that when it comes to sorting out problems with technology, they would neither expect to have to fix the problem themselves, nor have the patience to wait until it can be sorted out by a technician.
Voice would clearly fall into this category and this is why it’s future is most certainly in the cloud. Furthermore, with voice it is not just Gen X and millennials who expect it to work faultlessly at all times – all generations currently in the workplace – including the Baby Boomers, expect voice services to be 100 percent available. In this sense, everyone is the same.
But the main difference between the generations – as the Vanson Bourne/Barco demonstrates – is that no-one now expects to have to manage the phone system themselves; the expectation is that this will be done by the company that supplies the cloud voice system. Typically, this will now be a specialist managed services provider (MSPs) business. Just about every B2B technology reseller or solution provider now offers a portfolio of managed services and for these businesses, adding cloud voice systems into their range is not difficult.
It is these businesses, who are used to monitoring and managing cloud-based solutions and services remotely for their clients, to whom the Gen X and millennials will expect to turn when they have any issues with their voice system. If the MSP is doing its job, they should never have to do that anyway, as the services provider will be keeping a constant digital eye on their clients’ systems and acting to prevent and resolve issues before they develop, rather than responding only when it becomes a problem.
This is the real benefit of cloud voice systems; they are not likely to go wrong because they are managed by experts and monitored around the clock to ensure that the continue to function as they should. And who have the tools and technical nous to address problems and ensure that everything continues to run smoothly.
As a result, the millennials who are now moving into the decision-making positions in organisations will never have to worry about having to seek help to fix a technical issue with their voice system, as they quite simply, should never experience one.
For this reason, the future of voice is most certainly in the cloud.