The article below is a great article expressing how
many VoIP companies are good for the market as they compete to win
VoIP business, the ultimate winner is the Small to Medium sized VoIP
customer due to increased options and lower prices. Virtual VoIP
call centers offer great flexibility to the small to medium VoIP
business user that previously has only been available to the
Large Telecom Customers.
By David M
Call center software targeted at the
small-to-medium-sized business market is a fast-growing field right
now. It only makes sense, really. With VoIP and IP Telephony finally
coming into their own, it's only logical that communications
software companies are going to want to get in on the action. The
result of this is a glut of “all in one” call centers, all
guaranteed to meet your personal business needs better than the
rest: Contactual, CRM, VirtualOne, AMCAT, Fonality, BCMR Desktop...
the list goes on and on.
To some extent this isn't a bad thing. It
means small businesses have an unprecedented range of options in
telecommunications, which drives costs down. The obvious drawback is
that anytime you have such a wide range of programs and companies,
many of them are bound to be cheap imitations or downright ripoffs.
A little research will of course turn up the obvious frauds, but
with such a relatively young technology it can be hard to
The curious thing is what it indicates about
the small business world's approach toward VoIP in general. The
obvious demand for such products suggests that companies are finding
it hard to get the functionality they need out of VoIP without one
of these virtual call centers, and yet the promise of VoIP was that
it was supposed to free telecommunications from the monopolized
world of a few phone companies.
For all the rhetoric about freeing up
communications, all we're seeing is the exchange of physical PBX
technology for the virtual call center – exchanging the new shackles
for the old. Yes, VoIP is cheaper (most of the time), and, yes, it
can theoretically do a lot more, but how much of that power are
small businesses really seeing? Instead of being bound by the limits
of telephone technology, a company is now forced to work within the
artificial confines of the program it purchases.
In essence, the approach hasn't changed.
Although VoIP creates the possibility for a custom made platform
which is truly tailored to individual needs, it seems that most
companies would still rather buy a premade
In a few years, once the technologies settle
down and standardize, I suspect this will lead to a contraction in
the number of small-time platforms in favor of a few recognized
industry names, again essentially replicating the telecommunications
scene before the introduction of VoIP. But for now, it's an exciting
time to be in telecommunications.
David Roberts is a 10th level VoIP champion
and technology writer for voip-avaya.com, an online
resource for all things VoIP.