It is a lengthy but interesting read. I am breaking it into two posts.
“Telecommunications is changing exponentially. For businesses to remain competitive, they must monitor the latest telecommunications developments and adapt their products and services to meet marketplace demands. This is particularly true for small and medium businesses (SMBs) with limited in-house IT resources. SMB phone service buyers can find significant cost savings and employee productivity gains when choosing suppliers and technologies.
Associated advances in technology, make telecommunications even more critical for SMBs. Global spending on cloud, mobile, social and big data technologies and solutions in 2016 will be $3.5 trillion, growing to more than $3.8 trillion by 2019, according to Gartner. The lion’s share of that—$1.45 trillion—is targeted at communications services.
SMBs need to consider four industry trends driving these changes to enable them to remain competitive in their industries:
1. IT and Telecommunications Convergence
In telecommunications, convergence describes the way distinct services are merged into single networks and devices and fueled by the Internet, such as smartphones that offer voice calls, web access, video, productivity applications and more. This makes Internet Protocol (IP) —the way information is relayed across networks—and the cloud storage and computing services the massive deluge of data have spawned, foundational for businesses today.
Of the current information and communications technologies (ICT) trends, the one with the most influence for its “increasing relevance and acceptance” for all enterprises is cloud computing, says a recent McKinsey report. That’s because the cloud enables the use of all web-based tools and applications, from smartphone apps to business basics, such as video conferencing.
Yet, the “cloud” is often misunderstood. Simply put, the cloud is third-party, off-site storage and processing of data, in massive, secure locations called “data centers.” The relevance for SMBs is that using these data centers avoids the large, continuing capital costs of building (and updating) their own storage and processing capabilities. Instead, SMBs can purchase, as a service, their data storage and processing, from a “cloud” provider, avoiding huge capital costs and ensuring access to the latest storage and processing technologies.
Even more importantly, the cloud’s massive storage and processing of data is the principal enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT), where ubiquitous, network-connected devices can not only intercommunicate but provide “anywhere/anytime” access to complex data and applications.
2. The Rise of the App Economy
In 2015, an estimated 180 billion applications were downloaded globally, notes Wired. But what originated as an IT catchphrase for smartphone tools has a much deeper meaning for business productivity. Business intelligence (BI) applications delivered through telecom systems, such as video conferencing and unified communications, help employees work collaboratively, increase their efficiency and optimize overall business processes. The potential payoffs are huge. At Call One, where I serve as executive chairman, data show using collaboration tools can improve business performance by 72%.
Thanks to BI, applications are growing in importance and have the biggest impact on a company’s telecommunications needs. Cloud-based voice over IP (VoIP) and associated applications let SMBs, not just their larger competitors, reap the benefits of applications that allow unified communications (UC) through virtually every business application imaginable.
Moreover, “not only do unified communications applications bring productivity improvements for mobile employees, they can also favorably change ways in which all employees communicate as well as reduce the necessity of travel.” And, with the right service partner, these solutions to complex business needs, can be implemented simply and cost-effectively.”
Make sure to return tomorrow..