Connect with us

International Circuit

Top 10 Things to Watch in Communications

It’s that time of the year, looking into my digital crystal ball and making predictions about what will be “Hot” and “Not” in 2019.   Here’s a short list of things I’ll be watching for in 2019:

Illegal Robocalling – By far the most important issue that effects the average consumer, stemming the flood of illegal robocallers takes the top of the list.   With new rulings and mandates from the FCC and CRTC, implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN framework gives tools to the carriers to find the source of the illegal callers and prosecute them for their crimes.
Team Collaboration Adoption – what started as an internal collaboration tool to help develop video games, #Slack introduced businesses to a collaboration tool that obsoletes email and puts information in a common shared persistent location. Microsoft brought team collaboration to Office365 and millions of desktops as part of their existing subscriptions.  Many organizations are testing the waters and trying to migrate away from email to team collaboration.  I think 2019 will be the year to see the mass market make an earnest effort to adopt team collaboration and back away from email.
SD-WAN – the darling of the enterprise, SD-WAN gives businesses an opportunity to use consumer-grade broadband internet instead of expensive dedicated or MPLS wide area network circuits. IDC, Gartner, Frost and other analyst firms all expect SD-WAN to play a significant role in large enterprise and branch office solutions going forward.
5G Debut – the hype is about to hit the street with AT&T and Verizon battling to be the first to put 5G wireless technologies into live production deployments. Two big problems:  1) nobody has 5G-capable phones yet and 2) it’s not clear how the carriers are going to monetize 5G.   There needs to be a clear improvement in service or capability to encourage customers to upgrade equipment and/or pay more.   This is going to be interesting to follow.
CPaaS Consolidation – the community of CPaaS offerings has gone through a first round of acquisitions (Cisco bought Tropo, BICS buys TeleSign, Vonage buying Nexmo). There are a few of the remaining dominos have not fallen (CafeX, Plivo and Telestax).  Watch as service providers awaken to the need for a CPaaS platform as part of their service offering and take control of the technology through acquisitions.
IoT Communications – it’s a market that I follow with great interest and the applications for IoT in consumer and industrial applications continues to grow. Smart connected devices in the home and business offer great promise and the service providers recognized the opportunity to provide connectivity to these new devices.  Expect 2019 to include new wireless services from the carriers targeted toward connected devices – most will be via 4G LTE with 5G down the road.
UCaaS Migration to the Cloud – as enterprise users get more comfortable with deploying their applications in the cloud, expect to see the trend to continue with their Unified Communications services. Vendors like Zoom, 8×8 and others are pushing hard to replace legacy telephones with software-centric cloud services, supporting IP phones, soft clients and room systems.
uCPE Optimization – while working with the service providers on delivering virtual network functions for the edge of their networks on uCPE devices, I heard many complaints about bloated virtual network function software. It seems many of the software vendors tried squeezing their full-size software into the compact footprint of the uCPE, hogging up all the memory and CPU resources (aka “Bloatware”).   As uCPE takes off, expect the software vendors to put their software on a diet in 2019.
Chatbot Invasion – late last year I sat through a session explaining how chatbot services will replace the traditional IVR menu systems, helping customers get information or access to the appropriate live agent. I suffered through my first live session soon thereafter and was pleased with the experience, but have to admit that the constant referrals to their web page made me wonder “I could have Googled this much quicker”.   I also challenge the use of chat as being a more efficient use of the customer’s time.   Most of my chat session could have been much quicker voice conversations.  The future is clear, expect chatbots to invade your next customer support experience – they just need to be more helpful than annoying.
Video Adoption – for as long as humans have had mirrors, they’ve also held some sense of vanity about their looks. The introduction of the video camera on laptops and desktop workstations brought a new level of vanity to the workplace.   Two years ago, it was difficult to get someone to participate in a video call.  Thanks to Facetime, Skype and other video communications tools, I sense a change coming that makes office workers more willing to participate in video calls.   Will 2019 mark the end of the pajama home office attire?
Looking forward to another great year and wishing you a very Happy New Year! – Telecom Reseller

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2024 Communications Today

error: Content is protected !!