How Cloud Computing Is Threatening Traditional Telco

How Cloud Computing Is Threatening Traditional Telco

The standard AT&T small business phone plan (unlimited local and long-distance calling) costs about $50 per month in most areas of the US. The plan comes with a basic set of features—e.g., call waiting, caller ID, and call forwarding—but does not include advanced features, such as voicemail transcription, voicemail and email mailbox integration. Neither does it include the ability to use your phone service anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

Unlimited calling for $50 per month certainly beats the era of $0.20 per minute long distance, but it’s nothing compared to what the cloud can offer. In fact, cloud computing is revolutionizing voice communications—and, in the process, mounting a direct challenge to the dominance of traditional telecommunications giants.

Consider VoIP companies such as RingCentral and Vonage. Vonage’s basic voice service costs $25.99 per month and includes all of the features of an AT&T service, plus free international landline calling to 60 countries—plus unlimited international mobile calling to 10 countries.

RingCentral’s cloud PBX service costs $40 per month for all the features of AT&T’s comparable plan, but it also includes unlimited extensions, a virtual receptionist, a dial-by-name directory, unlimited Internet fax, and the ability to access voice and messaging services from any VoIP-enabled phone with an Internet connection.

For the tech savvy and ambitious, the cloud offers even cheaper solutions. Using Skype, nearly anyone can purchase a US phone number (with unlimited incoming calls) for $6 per month with Skype Online Number, which includes the option of using a headset or a Skype-enabled standard phone. By combining Skype and Google Voice services, users can add free outgoing calls to all US and Canadian numbers with international calling rates as low as $0.02 per minute. Best of all, Skype (with Google Voice) allows users to make and receive calls, and access their voicemail on any Internet-connected computer or smartphone.

Beyond the SMB and consumer markets, telcos are also under assault on the enterprise front. Microsoft Lync, an enterprise-ready unified communications platform (and complete PBX replacement), is becoming increasingly popular in corporate America. In addition to handling traditional voice communications, Lync offers instant messaging, Web chat, video and audio conferencing, mobile app access, and integration with Microsoft Office. While Lync was originally an on-premises solution, companies such as snom technology AG and Chinook Communications have also recently begun offering services as a cloud-hosted solution for SMBs.

Given the competition that cloud-hosted voice services present, the only thing traditional telcos have going for them is inertia. They’re currently providing a substandard service at inflated prices—and relying on brand-recognition to keep them afloat. There’s a huge opportunity here for cloud service integrators who already provide IT services to sell their existing (and new) customers a cheaper, better service.

Unless AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner, and other telco providers learn to adapt, the day is fast approaching when IT departments, managed service providers, and SMB IT consultants will wrest control of voice communications from telecommunications companies and place it squarely in the hands of IT.

By Joseph Walker

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

Enterprise File Sharing Solution Businesses have varying file sharing needs. Large, multi-regional businesses need to synchronize folders across a large number of sites, whereas small businesses may only need to support a handful of users in a single site. Construction or advertising firms require sharing and collaboration with very large (several Gigabytes) files. Financial services…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

DDoS Attacks October 21st, 2016 went into the annals of Internet history for the large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that made popular Internet properties like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Box inaccessible to many users in the US. The DDoS attack happened in three waves targeting DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a total of about…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Hyperconverged Infrastructure In this article, we’ll explore three challenges that are associated with network deployment in a hyperconverged private cloud environment, and then we’ll consider several methods to overcome those challenges. The Main Challenge: Bring Your Own (Physical) Network Some of the main challenges of deploying a hyperconverged infrastructure software solution in a data center are the diverse physical…

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…