The major telecom companies that are still offering landline service in addition to cloud-based voice over IP (VoIP) have shifted their focus to working with large brands versus small-to-midsize businesses. This provides certain VoIP providers with a prime opportunity. This David-vs-Goliath dynamic persists even though surveys and statistics indicate the SMB market is one that’s thriving, lucrative and continues to grow.
Survey Says . . .
McKinsey estimates this SMB market is worth $28 billion globally and growing 20% annually. Gartner predicts even greater increases. By 2017, they forecast the cloud service market will grow to $244 billion.
Recent reports from the analyst community point to exponential growth for the VoIP market, particularly when targeted at SMBs. The global consulting firm AMI Partners, which assesses changes in the SMB landscape noted that this market’s hosted voice services will grow at a 55% CAGR [compound annual growth rate] over the next three years.
So why are SMBs underserved?
This results from the perceived disproportionate customer service SMBs require and how that relates to the economics. It’s understandable that SMBs involve a more frequent degree of ‘touch.’ And how this works better for the smaller VoIP providers [than the telecoms], because they are more customer-focused.
Another telecom report noted: “Unfortunately market dynamics, economics and inflexible legacy technology architecture has been working against them and driving a non-viable cost of SMB acquisition” for the major telecoms.
An SMB acquisition involves a good number of decision-makers, who in turn need to invest an extensive amount of time to turn a sale. This makes the engagement a more complex type of transaction while adding management costs along the way. They see them as involving too many moving parts.
These factors support why major telecoms focus on larger enterprises versus the smaller business operator with less than 250 employees.
The Cloud is the Game Changer
Industry analysts point to SaaS-based cloud business models as an SMB boon. With widespread cloud technology adoption, SMBs have become even more viable, and one of the key reasons the smaller VoIP providers are doing so well with this market.
While the “cloud” is often misunderstood, in simplest terms, it is a third-party, off-site storage for massive amounts of data, held in secure locations called “data centers.” The relevance for SMBs is that working with these data centers avoids the costly capital expenses associated with building (and updating) their own storage and processing containers. Instead, SMBs can subscribe to a “cloud” provider, avoiding these unnecessary costs, while insuring them access to the latest storage and processing technologies available in the market.
Since a VoIP service like Telzio is 100-percent Cloud-based, they are a perfect fit for SMBs that are looking to move from legacy infrastructures to the stealth mode of a cloud-based VoIP service.
According to Telzio’s chief executive officer, Peter Rank Schrøder, “our VoIP firm has server clusters in multiple data centers all over the world, and since they are all located within the same cloud service provider (except for our failover systems), they do also have much faster and stable connectivity. This, combined with a rock solid homegrown software architecture, is the main reason why Telzio can provide superior call quality.”
Call Centers in the Clouds
SMBs that include call centers as part of their business engagement model with their customers can benefit greatly by using the Telzio cloud-based VoIP services. It is not only a sound business proposition – since call centers in general represent increased sales opportunities – but by working with a VoIP provider like Telzio, a small firm can get a full call center up and running in short order, at minimal cost.
Call center operations such as travel and booking agencies that employ numerous agents see a sizable cost benefit from Telzio’s free unlimited users.
With Telzio, every agent can have an extension and make calls for the price of one phone number. Rather than charging per user like the large telecoms, Telzio offers month-to-month plans depending on usage, where all features and users are included
Small Business, Big Enterprise
At the end of the day, a hosted VoIP service like Telzio is the best of both worlds. While SMBs need a phone solution that is easy to use and comes with low start-up costs – to stay competitive – they also want to be able to take advantage of the packages and features enjoyed by the larger brands
So those which offers flexibility, cost-savings, customer service support and technologically advanced features, it’s easy to understand why a cloud-based telephone solution offered by a VoIP provider is a far better fit for an SMB than working with a large telecom.
Ron is part of the marketing team at Telzio, covering everything from tips and tech for growing businesses to customer success stories for the Telzio blog. Previously a Director of Advertising and Public Relations at Marriott International, Ron has published several books including the award-winning graphic novel Facebucks.