“Voice over IP services (VoIP) have taken the business world by storm. After recognizing the benefits to budgets, job satisfaction and several other factors, more companies than ever are making the switch to internet telephony services. Anyone involved in the VoIP industry, whether providers or consumers, must pay attention to the ever-evolving technology. With that in mind, here are the VoIP trends of 2017 that will define the industry.
1. 5G Technology Begins to Emerge
Most people got excited when they learned their cell phone internet speeds were moving up to 4G. This means that the impending move to 5G technology will surely make waves. It’s important to note that 5G likely won’t be available before 2020, but providers will certainly get the conversation rolling in 2017.
While this may not affect the speed and reliability of VoIP in the office, it will certainly do great things for individuals who use internet telephone systems from their cell. With the number of telecommuters four times higher than in 1995 and 37 percent of Americans already using the technology to work, 5G will certainly revolutionize VoIP.
2. Security at the Forefront
Forbes listed security as one of the top three concerns businesses have for 2017. Unfortunately for VoIP users, internet telephony services are much easier to breach than traditional landlines. Of course, providers take this into account with built-in security measures. Some tech gurus have also predicted that “the cloud” could face more malicious attacks in 2017, so VoIP providers will have to start investing even more in security.
3. Mobile VoIP Skyrockets
5G technology will undoubtedly make it easier for employees to telecommute by using VoIP services, but that’s not the only thing that is set to increase the number of individuals using internet telephony services. In fact, it’s been predicted that the number of mobile VoIP users will surpass 1 billion during 2017.
This is a good thing for business owners who have yet to integrate VoIP into their business. This high demand will certainly bring new choices in the voice over IP industry. In essence, more competition will lead to improved services, expanded features and lower prices.
4. Potential Network Strain
The ever-increasing use of VoIP has a variety of benefits, but it’s obviously not the only technology floating around on the internet. The popular term “Internet of Things” (IoT) is essentially every device connected to other devices through networks.
Over 6 billion devices were expected to be on the IoT in 2016, but this number is expected to jump to 21 billion by 2020. This could create serious network strain over the next few years, so people should expect technological innovations geared towards reducing this strain and ensuring smooth connections. Of course, this will be essential for the continued success of VoIP in the business world.
5. Trend Towards Integration Continues
VoIP is one of the few enterprise solutions that most companies have jumped on — or at least considered — in the past few years. As more companies begin to use other enterprise software, though, budding entrepreneurs will be faced with the option of getting on the bandwagon or falling behind.
This is why VoIP vendors will most likely strive to integrate their services with customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other enterprise software systems. All of these can make a business far more efficient, and as business owners recognize the need for these solutions, VoIP providers will strive for an integrative approach.
Voice over IP services aren’t going anywhere. They provide a variety of benefits over legacy phone systems, and the trend towards VoIP could eventually render older solutions useless in the future. Of course, it’s essential to be prepared for whatever VoIP has in store over the coming years. And to professionals “in the know,” the aforementioned trends are pointing the way.”
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