Here's Looking at 2014!

Happy New Year! 2014 looks set to be the year before the year of inflection for two key technologies that are shaping the future of business telephony. Through 2014 - as was the case in 2013 - sales of SIP trunks will continue to grow in direct contrast to the decline in ISDN channels ordered. According to the latest industry figures, sales of SIP trunks look set to overtake ISDN 30 channels during 2015. At the same time the transition to Smart Phones and Tablets as the devices of choice on which to make and take business telephone calls is well underway, thanks to the ever-growing tidal wave that is BYOD.

Whereas SIP trunks have been a classic "slow burner" and around long enough to now be viewed as a mature technology, BYOD is a much newer - not to mention faster growing - technology. Its rapid acceptance is down to user preference rather than business choice. That means that the challenge for 2014 is how vendors will wrap these portable devices in to the overall management structure – which includes reporting on their usage, recording calls made on them and ensuring that their use doesn’t expose the business in any manner – and to do so in a totally integrated manner with more conventional business telephony devices.

2014 also looks set to be the year when CPE and hosted/cloud telephony are finally viewed as complementary rather than competing technologies, with selection based on customer needs and choice rather than a "one-size-fits-all" approach. The spin-off from this will be the rise of the hybrid system; hosted/cloud based but with on-site gateways to offer total survivability in the event of primary trunk failure with local call processing and ISDN/SIP connectivity offering both back-up and call break-out.