With 2018 already a memory, it’s time to look to what to expect from the technology landscape in 2019.
Adoption of Team Collaboration Tools such as Slack and Trello were initially designed for internal discussions and collaborations to develop things like video games. These tools reduced the volume of unnecessary internal emails and puts information into a shared environment. More and more organisations are looking to migrate from an email only environment into something more collaborative and this trend will continue throughout 2019 as more and more cloud-based platforms come to market.
5G or not 5G
With UK networks starting to talk about 5G, and manufacturers trying to put 5G technologies into their live deployments, there are a couple of stumbling blocks that may cause issues and delay:
- No 5G capable devices have hit the market yet
- There are no details on the monetisation of 5G or if it has even been considered?
There will need to be a marked improvement in both quality and service when compared to the 4G rollout for users to consider paying more on their contracts and / or upgrading their devices. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) Consolidation
These offerings have made the headlines with Cisco and Vonage both making big acquisitions. With a few companies still in the game it will be interesting to see service providers realise the need for a CPaaS platform within their service offering and to see if they take control of this technology through acquisition.
Software-defined Networking (SD-WAN)
SD-WAN gives businesses the opportunity to use consumer grade broadband as opposed to (what can be) expensive MPLS or dedicated Wide Area Network (WAN) circuits. Analyst firms like Gartner or Frost are expecting SD-WAN to play a massive role across the branch office and large enterprise arenas throughout 2019.
Optimisation of Universal Customer Premises Equipment (uCPE)
There have been complaints about how software vendors have bloated their virtual network functions, designed for network edge uCPE devices. They have done this by attempting to squeeze full-size software into the footprint of the uCPE, thus hogging up all their memory and CPU resource. As uCPE takes off in the enterprise market, we expect that vendors will take note and action on this as 2019 continues.
The development of webcams on laptops and desktop devices has been an interesting area to follow over the past few years. While the functionality has been quite widely available, trying to get people to participate on a video call has been extremely hard work. However, with the development of communication tools that focus on video (FaceTime, Hangouts, Skype etc); along with UC developers incorporating video conferencing into their solutions; 2019 will be the year where more and more business users will communicate via video.
Age of the Chatbot?
The evolution of the customer experience and making the journey as simple and painless as possible continues. It is predicted that chatbot services will replace tradition IVR (Interactive Voice Response) menu systems, helping customers to get information or access to the appropriate live agent. While there are challenges around chat usage being an efficient use of the customer’s time, the future looks like chatbots will be invading the customer support experience in 2019.
The applications for IoT in consumer and industrial applications continues to grow. More devices than ever are SMART connected for use at home and in the workplace. This offers huge promise and is being recognised by the service providers to provide the right connectivity to these devices. 2019 will see new wireless services targeted at connected devices – most will be through 4G in the short term with 5G capability further down the line.
Unified Communications into the Cloud
The trend of moving services into the cloud isn’t new, but a continuation. Enterprise users are becoming increasingly more comfortable with cloud deployments of their business applications. There is expected to be a big push towards moving the UC (Unified Communications) element to the cloud over the coming months; with suppliers like Mitel, 8×8 and Gamma all pushing to replace legacy phones with software-centric services supporting IP phones, Soft clients, Mobile Apps and conferencing solutions. This push coupled with the fact that BT will be shutting down their ISDN infrastructure in the coming years may see more and more organisations considering IP telephony for their business.
Do any of these trends impact on your business, or would you like to find out more?
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This is an article from: Insight & Innovation: Issue 1 – click here to read the whole newsletter.