24 October 2017
A snapshot of the disruptive tech trends that are driving transformation
The world of business communications is undergoing huge change, driven by a range of simultaneous tech disruptions across multiple solution stacks. Keeping pace with change is a growing challenge, so here’s a quick look at the trends that are at the heart of transformation and prompting organisations to redefine their priorities and their approach.
Heading for the cloud
The transition from UC to UCaaS is gathering pace, and while top cloud service providers are reporting significant growth, providers of premises-based solutions are having to consolidate and reposition. However, some large companies are still sceptical about moving their comms to the cloud, and there are also valid reasons for staying with an on-premise solution in certain scenarios.
What’s inescapable though, is that the advantages and economics of cloud-delivered services will continue to improve and drive take-up. More than ever, CTOs need to assess when to make the move to cloud and how best to optimise system features, maintain regulatory compliance, mitigate security risks and get the most out of their budget.
Taking the voice out of comms
Contact centre statistics continue to show that voice is the communication method of choice for most customers. But unified communications continue to feed us other capabilities like instant messaging, collaboration, click-to-dial, mobile interoperability and video. These days, for an increasing number of companies, voice is becoming less of a priority.
Many solutions offer business communications without voice or with only limited support for voice. Amazon and Google, for example, operate perfectly well without publicly listed contact numbers. It’s a trend that’s also driven by consumers who increasingly choose non-voice options like text or email to communicate with businesses.
Putting the customer experience first
The quality of the customer experience is now a key business differentiator – and the reason that cloud contact centres are currently enjoying significant growth. With the ability to handle all forms of inbound and outbound customer contact, data collection and distribution, today’s multi-media customer engagement centre looks after all components of the customer experience.
Contact centre technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, with features such as interactive voice response, virtual agents, call recording and automatic call distributors now commonplace. New technologies are being introduced all the time to help improve customer service and reduce cost, including artificial intelligence, machine learning and webRTC.
Embracing messaging apps in the enterprise
For sure, messaging apps have gained widespread popularity, but their role within a business comms strategy is continuing to evolve. The tech has moved on from traditional UC instant messaging. Team collaboration benefits and the ability to work across operational boundaries are significantly improved with today’s messaging apps.
CTOs need to decide whether messaging apps support overall business strategies, work out how to measure their effectiveness, and how they can meet compliance and security requirements. With the inevitable increase in messaging apps in the enterprise, CTOs must also decide how best to implement solutions and whether they are used in conjunction with or instead of existing UC applications.
Microsoft Teams will soon be replacing the cloud version of Skype for Business, as the company looks to drive smarter collaboration in the workplace. The launch of a new infrastructure that supports enterprise-grade voice, video and meetings will bring big advantages for organisations moving to Teams.
Microsoft is also promising better meetings with Teams in the future, thanks to the addition of artificial intelligence. Machine learning, cognitive services, and speech recognition are being built-in to improve the meeting experience, and make it easier to set up appointments and receive follow-ups after the meeting has concluded.
Planning for mobile-first
Big advances in mobile tech, better business feature-sets and improved connectivity mean that an increasing number of organisations are now considering using a single mobile solution to take care of all their business comms. Providers offer solutions with wireless phones that incorporate PBX features, and combined wired and wireless services with a single number service.
In evaluating the mobile conundrum, CTOs must consider whether network coverage and phone capabilities meet enterprise needs. They must also establish the best way to manage mobile devices and how to address specific requirements such as supporting contact centre operations.
Multinational enterprise comms have always relied on local network services to give them cost advantages or for business continuity purposes. But today, international companies can access bespoke converged global networks that are agile, scalable and supported by the highest quality of service.
In the past network carriers with inflexible, off-the-shelf solutions have been unable to deliver. But companies like G3 are able to offer an alternative approach using a unique core routing and provisioning platform that connects with the world’s top carriers to provide intelligent, best-fit network solutions that come with guaranteed quality of service, managed latency and an end-to-end SLA.
Enabling the future
Business comms tech has moved from being a set of discrete products to a group of inter-connected services. And the companies that deliver those services have changed too. The channel has reoriented and reskilled to offer CTOs additional consultancy value before the sale, as well as making significant contributions throughout the implementation process, with systems integration and with user adoption services.
With change and disruptive influences rife, a solution’s future is as important as its current capabilities. So, IT partners need the ability to future-proof and deliver regular upgrades. What’s more, at a time when digital transformation is the imperative, every tech purchase should be enabling significant new business benefit.
If you’d like to know a bit more about our bespoke solutions, feel free to contact us!