Cloud-based business applications are just beginning to make their mark in supply-chain management processes in general, and voice systems in particular, Phillips says. "What we're seeing is a lot of interest and early adoption in our space."
Cloud technology opens up opportunities for companies that had previously avoided voice because of the cost of entry, he says. The cloud offers a low entry point and simplifies requirements from the standpoint of information-technology infrastructure. It extends voice systems to small and medium-sized companies. Historically, Phillips says, top-tier businesses have been the primary adopters.
Voxware started out in the mid-market, but has extended its reach as larger companies show interest in cloud technology. As Phillips puts it, "cloud is becoming more of the norm within enterprise IT organizations."
The biggest barrier to adoption today is education. Many supply-chain managers haven't been as exposed to the cloud as individuals elsewhere in the organization. At the outset, they have expressed fears about security and stability. Upon deeper examination, however, they find that other activities within their companies have already adopted the cloud, in areas such as customer relationship management.
Phillips believes that concerns over security in the cloud have been successfully addressed. Much of the hesitation among companies stems from unfamiliarity with the concept, he said - "the common fear of the unknown." In reality, the risk of downtime in the cloud is no greater than with on-premises software. And the solution is the same: "You have to have a top-level service provider and backup strategies."
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Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, cloud supply chain, SaaS, voice technology, inventory management, warehouse management, WMS, inventory control, logistics management
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