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When the Voice of the Customer should prevail

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An interesting debate is arising as consequence of the rise of VoIP: one where the ‘voice’ of enterprises and their service providers are not always one and the same.

The move to VoIP and unified communications is a welcome one, as it brings enterprises more flexibility, advanced functionality and cost savings. Operators can now integrate voice into value added services, providing a range of new services to enterprises.  As an Enterprise VoIP leader, Colt offers a comprehensive portfolio of voice solutions and works closely with customers to help them migrate to business grade VoIP services, especially in multi-country environment where the potential benefits could be higher.

With more and more enterprises migrating to IP voice solutions, incumbents across Europe are looking to shut down their traditional telephony networks – and remove the associated running costs. BT is the most recent joiner in this debate as is calling on Ofcom, the UK regulator, to allow it to scrap its traditional telephony network.

Though the benefits promised by VoIP have led to widespread adoption among large and small businesses alike, many are still weary of the potential challenges of migrating to a new technology. For some businesses, SMEs in particular, migrating to VoIP would require additional investments given the range of (legacy) business applications that still rely on traditional telephony technology.

In this debate the voice of the customer should prevail. We believe that the timing of any technology replacement should be driven by the customer’s requirements and preferences – not a supplier’s. Over-The-Top players are certainly reshaping the telecommunications industry value chain, and finding the best fit within this new market is a strategic priority.

However, in our opinion this should not be done at the detriment of the customer. In fact, we currently have 10,000 enterprise customers who rely on our traditional telephony services across Europe. We will continue to support these services until our customers are ready to migrate to our leading VoIP product set, at which point we will support them in this journey.

We would however welcome a quicker technology move that would not affect customers or force them to migrate: a full transition to VoIP interconnect between carriers. This would make economic sense for the telecommunications industry and wouldn’t affect customers, who could even eventually benefit from the suppliers’ reduced cost base.

If you would like more information about how Colt can support your voice service requirements, please visit https://www.colt.net/voice-services/

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