Tikal brings innovations to PBX space

Tikal Center, a provider of contact center solutions and telephony systems, is looking to bring long overdue innovations in the PBX space.
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According to recent analyst studies, the global hosted PBX market size is expected to grow from $4.7 billion in 2018 to $9.5 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.9 percent during the forecast period.

The main growth drivers of the worldwide hosted PBX market are an increasing need for enterprise mobility and the growing adoption of the cloud and UC. IT heads in all customer segments are looking at upgrading from traditional on premise PBX installations to cloud-based PBX applications as part of the strategy to lower CAPEX and TCO.

It is generally perceived that most PBX systems are still appliance-based devices providing commoditized functionality. A majority of the PBX systems in use are still appliance-based and deployed on premise. This is especially the case for SOHO and SMEs.

Tikal Center CEO Doron Dovrat said that the PBX systems market has remained stagnant for the past several years in terms of innovation. Most systems in use cover similar set of functionalities limited mainly to the management of voice communications. “This situation has created a unique market opportunity for our company,” Dovrat said.

Businesses prefer cloud-based communications solutions to traditional appliance-based models due to increasing need for enterprise mobility. For SMBs and SOHOs, cloud-based PBX brings enormous possibilities to innovate and provide improved customer service at highly affordable price.

“Businesses are looking for communications systems that can integrate with other business support systems and enhance workflow across their entire communications processes,” explained Dovrat.

With customer support emerging as a priority but a costly affair, businesses are also in need of a customer support system that suits their budget.

There is a demand for PBX systems that integrate seamlessly with other enterprise applications such as CRM, ERP, billing and human resources systems. Given the stagnation in the PBX market, there is a significant opportunity to bring innovation and expand the capacity of PBX offerings.

Tikal has built its next generation PBX system by incorporating features from its call center software into an advanced cloud-based PBX offering. Business customers of Tikal enjoy advanced telephony features at an affordable cost.

Apart from the expected PBX features, Tikal’s offering delivers advanced capabilities such as IVRs with credit card payment options, remote call pickup, database integration, video conferencing, location tracking, analytics and more.

These features are typically offered by high-end systems at premium rates. SOHO and SMB customers benefit largely from this scalable, cloud-based offering because they are able to raise their profile among their bigger competitors and deliver high-end customer service with minimum CAPEX.

There is a marked shift from legacy devices and appliance-based installations to cloud-based alternatives across many IT spaces. The PBX-as-a-Service (PBXaaS) model holds significant potential and can be offered in a variety of managed service scenarios and packages.

Businesses have realized multiple benefits from this model as it replaces the upfront CAPEX expenses with incremental OPEX in pay-as-you-grow models with modular functionality and higher quality of service options. This should be attractive across all customer segments, and especially, the SOHOs and SMEs.

A significant drawback of legacy hardware-based PBX systems is its inability to transform into a contact center and interface with social media, bots, or other cloud-based solutions in demand today.

As enterprises turn to big data analytics to improve customer experience, reporting and advanced contact center capabilities are becoming imperative. For this reason, enterprises of all sizes and in many vertical markets will be interested in abandoning their current appliance-based PBX device with limited functionality in favor of a cloud-based service offering that modernizes their communication infrastructure.

However, some organizations such as banks and financial service companies as well as government organizations are likely to maintain their PBX systems on premises and not rely on the public internet for their communication for security and compliance reasons. These organizations too will eventually make the transition from their appliances-based PBXs to the cloud, although in a private architecture environment.

Tikal has invested in this direction and its offerings include an advanced feature set built on secure cloud-based architecture, which enables the functionality to be delivered to customers in various service-based models, including private, hybrid and public.

Most next generation PBXs will reside in the cloud and will be more integrated into enterprise IT systems and telephony networks. They will include additional value-added services that will optimize and extend the current services.

The trend of moving from on-premise deployments to cloud-based services is happening across the unified communications space, especially with call and contact center systems. “We transitioned our main call center offering to the cloud about five years ago and this has been well received among our customers,” Dovrat said.

As businesses grow more competitive and the demand from the customers soars, the market is evolving further in terms of both technology and feature sets. Cloud has emerged as the major enabler in enterprise communications segment while social media has become a popular mode of communication, even for customer service purposes. Both cloud and social media act as the pillars of modern cloud-based contact centers, which is the future of this market.

Rajani Baburajan

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