By Marcus Leach

It has been another busy year in the world of business, complete with the ups and downs we have come to expect, but nevertheless a year that ends with seeds of positivity hoping to flourish in the new year.

And so, as another action-packed year comes to an end, we take a look ahead to 2013. In this new series, 2013 Trends: What can we expect, Fresh Business Thinking examines different industry sectors, and what can be expected from each.

Jay Motorwala, Founder of telecoms company Claritel, gives his predictions on what he believes will be the most significant telecoms industry development in 2013.

Within the telecoms industry, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the fastest growing buzzword of the here and now, explains Motorwala.

As we move into 2013, it will no longer be about companies having a telephone system with a simple dial tone, focus will shift ever more to the added features and communication enhancing prospects a VoIP telephone system can offer businesses on a daily basis.

A recent study has shown that as many as seven out of ten UK businesses will have adopted VoIP as their primary voice communication system by 2013. As a result, broadband IP telephony revenues will increase considerably — great news for small business providers like Claritel!

There are a few reasons why I believe there will be a sustained growth of VoIP uptake in 2013, most of which relate to the substantial cost savings available to businesses and the impressive flexibility VoIP provides. For instance, telephone operating costs can be cut significantly through the adoption of VoIP, which in itself has a relatively low outlay for essential equipment. Additionally, the costs to businesses for system updates and expansions, as well as for making long-distance calls are drastically reduced with the latest generation of VoIP technology.

Admittedly, VoIP as a whole still gets a pretty bad rap from the uninitiated, but in reality, VoIP telephony has moved a long way since the days of poor voice quality and office staff having to plug a headset into their desktop computer. The hosted VoIP telephone systems used by businesses are in fact now far more technologically advanced than the consumer based software that lies behind the likes of Skype. With an up to date VoIP system, businesses get access to a far more advanced communications package with immediate plug and play capability, disaster recovery and the option to instantly ‘go portable’ by utilising the UK’s existing 3G and expanding 4G networks.

2013 is likely to be the year in which VoIP goes completely ‘mainstream’, as decision makers at large and small companies who have yet to take on VoIP seek new ways to cut costs when communicating in our increasingly global marketplace, and the full-potential of the latest generation of VoIP spreads by word of mouth. In my opinion, VoIP is ready to meet this demand as it is an extremely scalable solution, offering unified mailing via a centralised mailbox and allows businesses to essentially open a virtual ‘local’ office anywhere in the world.

Get ready for VoIP to change how UK businesses communicate as much as smartphones have revolutionised consumer mobile communications.

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