Clarity on Cloudy Voice


Hosted voice is one area of VoIP that’s booming. It isn’t just for SMB any more – enterprises are showing more interest. Nor is it a hobby or experiment for the service providers. It’s pretty clear, hosted is here to stay… the question is if that’s still true for premise equipment.

This year, Siemens-Enterprise joined the small club of premise equipment makers in the hosted market. Other members include Mitel and Interactive Intelligence. We also saw Verizon jump into hosted UC with Cisco gear, XO with Broadsoft. Last year, Cbeyond bought Aretta, Comcast bought NGT, and the list goes on… The vendors are getting bigger (and Leon is getting laaarger).
For NoJitter, I did a virtual panel of sorts with three hosted voice executives. Three very different companies.
8×8 has been at this the longest – about as long as hosted voice goes back, but the company is even older. It just published stellar quarterly results – yes, these guys are public. The company is primarily targeting SMB business accounts, but it is seeing its average company size heading north.
Fonality is a reborn company – transitioned from the Asterisk based PBX model to a hosted service provider. The company is private, but has some reasonable new backing and experienced management. Though hosted is their primary business, they still have premise equipment and have been known to offer a hybrid solution.
Thinking Phone Networks is coming from a different direction, these guys started with enterprise focus and started with channel emphasis. They popped on my radar after being recognized in a Gartner Magic Quadrant report on enterprise hosted UC.
All three of these companies develop their own software – in fact, they feel that is critical to ensure customer requirements.
The entire virtual panel is on NoJitter.

Dave Michels