Voice virtualization is a stable, tried-and-true technology, but hasn't been adopted by a huge amount of network virtualization users. That's likely because, since the technology has become available, it's taken a moment for organizations to understand that voice data is also data, and should be treated similarly to how the organization treats other data. Once you begin to see voice communications in that light, you'll see the vast potential for virtualizing voice to create value.
So, what is it, and how could it impact both your customers' experiences and the operations and bottom line of your business?
The History of Voice Virtualization
In the world of data, server consolidation has been a trend for a long time. But voice virtualization came later, when innovators began to understand that voice applications could no longer be housed in a separate box. Voice has always been a separate entity, a proprietary anomaly with its own processor and circuit cards. Eventually, voice manufacturers realized there wasn't any reason to leave voice applications behind in the data consolidation process, and voice virtualization was born.
One partnership in particular illustrates the value of voice: the partnership between Mitel, a telephony expert, and VMware, a leader in virtualization, which has brought the virtualization of voice to the forefront of the high-functioning data center in recent years. Today, mission-critical voice applications are treated with all the same care as other data — and virtualized to solve the problem of the outlier — thanks in large part to these types of innovative couplings.
What are the Benefits?
The many benefits to network virtualization also apply to the virtualization of voice. A consolidated virtual server uses less power and can eliminate on-premise server management, helps with redundancy and with disaster recovery, and allows voice to be part of the same data best practices and processes you apply to the rest of your information, so you don't have a difficult-to-manage outlier holding your business back.
You'll experience reduced capital and operating expenses, greater agility and business continuity and of course, strengthened data security.
But how does it help your customers?
When you're able to improve agility and disaster recovery, you can promise your customers a higher level of personal data security, as well. They'll know that all of their information is protected regardless of the medium you gather it from.
Voice virtualization, and virtualization in general, helps cut downtime and increase uptime, meaning your customers' information can always be easily accessed by your agents, and that your customers will come to see your organization as a purveyor and pillar of reliability, helping to boost retention.
Choosing a Solution
All solutions operate under the same general data processing rules, but you have three options when it comes to server consolidation and server location. You can house the server on your own premises. You can hire out the space to a co-location spot. Or you can choose a completely cloud-based solution, where you don't own the data center at all. How do you choose what's best for your business?
First, look for a vendor who doesn't force you to purchase proprietary hardware. Your vendor should not require proprietary components that need to be upgraded whenever new hardware is released.
Avoiding that can afford you at least some of the flexibility that should also be a driving factor in your choice. Flexibility is important because your business is always growing and adapting. The fact that on-premise virtualization might make sense for your business needs today shouldn't mean that you are required to reinvest five years down the road when those needs change. You'll need to be able to make changes to your environment, meaning you won't want to be locked into a platform.
Considering bringing voice applications into the data fold is a leap, but one that companies serious about maintaining better customer retention rates and improving operational efficiencies should be making in order to stay both current and agile.
Interested in learning more about virtualizing voice for your organization?
Originally published on 02/23/2016