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.

Comic
Fully Autonomous Cars: How’s It REALLY Going To Work?

Fully Autonomous Cars: How’s It REALLY Going To Work?

Pros and Cons and What the Experts Think Science fiction meets reality, and modern civilization is excitedly looking forward to the ubiquity of self-driving cars. However, an omnipresence of fully autonomous cars won’t happen as quickly as even some hopeful experts anticipate. While the autonomous car pros versus the cons race (See infographic discovered via…

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bottlenecking

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bottlenecking

By David Fletcher Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest. Clear attribution (Twitter example: via @cloudtweaks) to our original comic sources is greatly appreciated.

Recent Articles - Posted by
Fintech Systems, Advancements and Investments

Fintech Systems, Advancements and Investments

Fintech Growth According to a recent report, global investment in fintech companies including both venture-backed and non-venture-backed businesses reached $9.4 billion in the second quarter of 2016; investment in venture capital-backed fintech startups, however, fell by 49%. Nevertheless, the Pulse of Fintech, published jointly by KPMG International and CB Insights, suggests venture capital investment in…

How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud Enterprise

How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud Enterprise

Securing The Cloud Enterprise Cloud adoption is accelerating for most enterprises, and cloud computing is becoming an integral part of enterprise IT and security infrastructure. Based on current adoption trends, it’s clear that the vast majority of new applications purchased by organizations will be SaaS applications. The allure is evident, from cost savings to speed…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

Moving To The Cloud: A Smart Move Or Proceed With Caution?

Moving To The Cloud: A Smart Move Or Proceed With Caution?

Moving To The Cloud You hear it over and over again: The future of computing is in the cloud. Businesses should be moving to the cloud. If you’re not in the cloud, you’re behind the times. But trusting your essential data to a cloud may sound like a dubious proposition. Below are some of the…

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Education Tech and the Cloud Arguably one of society’s most important functions, teaching can still seem antiquated at times. Many schools still function similarly to how they did five or 10 years ago, which is surprising considering the amount of technical innovation we’ve seen in the past decade. Education is an industry ripe for innovation…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Off Premise Corporate Data Storage Cloud storage is a broad term. It can encompass anything from on premise solutions, to file storage, disaster recovery and off premise options. To narrow the scope, I’ve dedicated the focus of today’s discussion to the more popular cloud storage services—such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive—which are also known as hosted,…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

Data Science and Machine Learning Security breaches have been consistently rising in the past few years. Just In 2015, companies detected 38 percent more security breaches than in the previous year, according to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2016. Those breaches are a major expense — an average of $3.79 million per company,…

The Internet of Things Lifts Off To The Cloud

The Internet of Things Lifts Off To The Cloud

The Staggering Size And Potential Of The Internet of Things Here’s a quick statistic that will blow your mind and give you a glimpse into the future. When you break that down, it translates to 127 new devices online every second. In only a decade from now, every single vehicle on earth will be connected…

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Data-Driven Marketing There is an absolute endless amount of data that is being accumulated, dissected, analyzed with the important bits extracted and used for a number of purposes. With the amount of data in the world has already reached into multiple zettabytes annually. A Zettabyte is one million petabytes or one thousand exabytes. With data…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Computing And SMEs SMEs (Small/Medium Sized Enterprises) make up the bulk of businesses today. Most cloud based applications created today are geared toward the SME market. Accounting, Storage, Backup services are just a few of them. According to the European Commission, cloud based technology could help 80% of organisations reduce costs by 10-20%. This infographic provided…