In the case of 8x8 they've gotten social, adding social networking information to their Virtual Office Pro 2.0. Basically, for $50.00 a month a combination of features, all running on the 8x8 hosted PBX is being offered to small business. This comes at a time when everyone Fonality and others are gearing up to get more into the cloud and hosted PBX market. It's a crowded space and one that's going to get much more crowded I predict as more and more service providers enter, or reenter the game using solutions from the likes of Broadsoft. This also means that the incumbents who have made billions off of legacy PSTN will begin to see their Centrex business slowly erode at a time where their data business is growing. While the incumbents may be losing traditional minutes, they're picking up the bytes by the truckload. But they're not alone. The cable MSO's are not sitting idle, and as more and more deployments of fiber and Docsis 3.0 technology gets pushed to the edge that means fatter and faster pipe is being made available. Watch for a bigger push from the cable MSOs into small and medium size business in 2011.
This increased capacity and the need to always be connected to the hosted PBX also brings with it opportunity in the mobile space and that's where CounterPath is king. Over the past few months I've been using their Bria for iOS app on a combination of iPads, iPhones and my iPod touch connected to a combination of hosted VOIP services ranging from client Aretta Communications which runs an amazing Asterisk based solution, to Junction Networks OnSip, a wonderful platform built using all Open Source technology, Gizmo/GoogleVoice and Call Centric in SIP trunking mode. My experience has been on par with their Mac and Windows clients so today they brought out Bria for Android to provide both WiFi and 3G/4G calling to the rapidly growing Android user base.
The move by CounterPath is important as the Android devices provide true multi-tasking capability, while the Apple device offer a slimmed down flavor of that. True multi-tasking means always running, and by having a combination of apps running on say the HTC EVO or the new Samsung Galaxy Tab is a sure fire way to be increasing worker productivity.
When you look at what these two announcements mean, on can connect the dots. The business of business is moving away from the central core and to the edge, and smart, nimble and agile companies see that. 8x8 and CounterPath are both smart, nimble and agile. Their leadership teams see the future and are getting their today.