I know I am two months late in getting in my end of 2011 recap blog, but it’s like they say . . . better late than never.
2011 was a busy, crazy, challenging and fun year around here. Constant change, learning new lessons daily and expanding into new territories – it was quite the year. What I saw in our market segment that has elements of both hosted software and telecom was incredible. First in the hosted (SaaS) software market: we saw a rapid adoption of hosted software of all kinds from CRM to back office functions and, of course, contact center software.
We know that pioneers like Salesforce.com and others helped legitimize the delivery model, which paved the way for companies like inContact to get a second look from companies otherwise tied to their premise equipment. More and more, large companies now require that when their decision makers go out to RFP that they include SaaS vendors in their RFPs along with premise options. This is due to the rapid growth and acceptance of cloud options that gained steam in 2009 during the economic recession when, frankly, customers needed to get outside of their boxy comfort zone due to budget cuts.
inContact and many other cloud solutions providers felt the positive impact of that period and it propelled the growth of the model overall such that when capital budgets are restored to their previous glory, companies large and small will still look to the cloud for at least some of their software or storage needs.
In the telecom sector, we saw a continuation of a massive push towards voice over IP (VoIP) technologies centered around the session initiation protocol (SIP) due to its flexibility, perceived or real cost savings, and speed to implementation. As a contact center or enterprise that needs to ramp quickly due to rapid growth, they no longer need to order legacy circuits that take 45 – 60 days to install with 12-24 month term contracts and a one-to-one ratio of talk path or channel to employee.
With VoIP and the widespread adoption worldwide, one can turn on additional call paths in days instead of months and, in a pinch, can get more calls over the same bandwidth pipe by using compression. Network options are available to customers who wish a quick and inexpensive transport over the open internet or those needing more security and a quality guarantee can use a private data network transport such as in an MPLS environment.
Yes, 2011 was quite the year for SaaS and SIP adoption and 2012 is shaping up to be much the same. I think we are in for another great year offering killer services on demand coupled with the flexibility of VoIP transport. I can’t wait to see it all unfold.