18 Aug
2016

Will Cloud Communication Make Desk Phones Extinct?

Consider the fate of the fax machine. During the 1980s and ’90s, a fax machine was a standard tool of productivity and no organization would consider doing business without having a fax number. Fast forward a few years and the fax went the way of the cassette player, film photography and the Walkman. Technology never stands still, and now business communication is going through another evolution. The question now is about the use of the simple desk phone and whether it still has a future in the office environment.

 

Tools for a New Era

Cloud-based organizations like Dialpad and RingCentral have developed compelling new communications tools that make the regular desk phone seem antiquated. With built-in voice, instant messaging, texting, video and online meeting capabilities, the new generation of communications software offers the flexibility and range of options that modern businesses need. Moreover, millennial and Generation Z workers have grown up with these features and understand and rely on them to communicate effectively. 

 

The Ever-Changing Workforce

According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com:

  • 3.7 million employees work from home at least 50 percent of the time
  • 61 percent of employees bring their mobile phones to use at work
  • 20 to 25 percent of workers now telecommute frequently and those numbers are rapidly expanding
  • 89 percent think their phone should integrate with Salesforce, Google Apps for Work, Microsoft Office 365 and other cloud software

In spite of these numbers, two-thirds of organizations are still providing their workforce with desk phones at an average cost of $8.1 million dollars, according to research giant IDG. However, Dialpad CEO Scott Walker is seeing the migration away from desk phones first hand. He states: “Across our 25,000 customers, only 15% are currently using their desk phones, and we are seeing that number decline every month.”

 

RingCentral’s All-in-One Offering  

The adoption of cloud-based telecommunications software shows that technology can adapt to people’s lifestyles rather than the other way around. Companies like RingCentral offer features that make communication and remote work easier than ever before. One of the most useful aspects of the cloud-based service is that all of its features are included in a single system. RingCentral can combine all of an organization’s office locations as well as their mobile workforce, enabling them to collaborate and communicate from anywhere.

RingCentral can integrate workers’ own mobile and tablet devices into the system with features such as company caller ID, business SMS, cloud fax, conferencing, call-handling rules and user management of settings. Combine those features with seamless integration across other cloud apps, such as Salesforce, Google, Dropbox and Box, and the potential of the system starts to seem undeniable. 

Even though the simple desk phone may not disappear completely, it’s dominance over the workplace is undoubtedly eroding every day. With a new generation of employees who have grown up with sophisticated, multitasking tools and flexible working arrangements, the modern workforce has simply moved beyond what the desk phone is capable of delivering.

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