Angelbeat has long predicted the decline of desktop handsets/telephones. Employees are increasingly using their own smartphone/tablet and bluetooth earpiece, configured with readily available unified communications software from Shoretel, Avaya, Cisco and virtually every major telecommunications supplier. (The BYOD revolution going well beyond the simple elimination of corporate-funded laptop purchases.)

So-called “softphones” have been around for many years. But even with an integrated voice/data communications infrastructure, they required a centralized, on-premise hardware, with hundreds if not thousands of manual wired connections (see picture). We have all heard a horror stories of a mouse biting through such wires, causing chaos in an organization’s voice communications.

Based on Angelbeat 2013 events, this is changing very quickly. Virtually every attendee tells me that they want to either virtualize their telephone platform (and treat it just like another software application), or they will hire a hosted or cloud-based service provider to do the same. No longer will telephone service be tied to hardware, not a single attendees wants to buy on-premise PBX or VoIP hardware.

The biggest concern here is QoS and confirming that there are no (unacceptable) 1/2 second delays in voice communications, but this is solvable with the right network design.