Innoport is a unified messaging company, which provides a virtual PBX, fax, voice mail and find me/follow me service.
I asked, Harprit Singh, creator of Innoport to share with us his views of small business unified communication. There are several providers of virtual PBX type services. What’s the outlook of the market? Harprit Singh will enlighten us.
Unified messaging, unified communications, and virtual communications concepts have been around for quite some time, however, they have found little attention in the marketplace up until now. Several developments have taken place in recently that have finally ushered the era of unified communications.
However, I continue to believe that we still have a lot of work to do before the full potential of unified communications is realized and it will take several years before a handful of products and services, Innoport we believe being one of them, will truly revolutionize this industry.
The biggest hurdle to unified communications has been the lack of a committed vision by any single vendor to tackle the challenge of integrating disparate channels of communications in a way that is easily understood by the customer. Educating the marketplace on the benefits of unified communications is far from trivial and despite the best of efforts by smaller vendors, it has remained a challenge. It is only recently that deep pocketed companies like Microsoft and Cisco have started making some noise about unified communications and it is our hope that businesses will finally realize that unified communications is not only about cost savings and increased productivity but it indeed can be a strategic and competitive advantage if used judiciously.
Secondly, unified messaging and unified communications have always been loosely defined to the point that some vendors claiming to provide unified messaging or unified communications are really focused on one aspect of communications with little or no thought having gone into a smart way to tie them all together. For e.g., there are vendors who are focused only on the fax integration or voice mail or the virtual phone system market or IP PBX services without realizing that the promise of unified communications lies in the whole being greater than the sum of the parts being put together. Very few companies have that vision.
The ever-growing presence of the Internet is really the single most important reason that unified communications continues to gain momentum. It is not a leap anymore to realize that communications, be it a voice call, voicemail, fax, email, web conferencing, chat, video can all be packaged and unified. Couple this with the success of Voice Over IP in the consumer market place in recent years and its continued acceptance in the business arena allows even larger vendors to realize that you don’t need to be a telephone company with large switches to be a telecom related services vendor – thus a software company like Microsoft, a networking company like Cisco or a hosted unified communications service like Innoport can now provide various pieces missing from the telecom food chain, enhance it, and provide it to the customers in a seamless fashion.
Small businesses have a tremendous amount to gain from unified communications. Since the size of a small business is the biggest disadvantage when competing against large companies – unified communications attempts to close that gap and every bit gained from such technologies is helpful for small businesses to compete not only at a local level but at a global level. It’s no wonder small businesses are also getting unprecedented attention by large vendors with products and services better suited to them as they have finally realized the collective power of the small business market place – this can only be good news for small businesses.
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