Maintel has looked into its crystal ball to predict three things that will happen for the first time in 2017.
1.IP will be the dominant source of business calls
2017 will be the year when we see 60% of business calls originate from VoIP (SIP), rather than from traditional fixed lines such as ISDN. OFCOM market reports show that in 2015 18.9bn minutes came from fixed lines and 17.9bn came from VOIP. This puts VoIP on-track to carry around 20bn minutes in 2016 and 22bn in 2017, which will be 60% of the market for business calls.
2.Wireless LANs will overtake traditional
Recent trends all show that business DSL is on track to overtake ISDN channels in 2017 – but what will mirror this change in landscape is a move from wired LANs to Wi-FI with the latter overtaking its more traditional sibling in terms of new install values in 2017.
3.Businesses will use all connectivity available
As software defined networks begin to roll out, we will see an increase in businesses using all the available connections to carry traffic. Rather than the traditional back-up circuits standing by ready to go live in the event of an issue, the network will constantly monitor all routes and select which is the fastest and most appropriate for the type of application traffic it needs to send. In 2017 we will say goodbye to active/passive and hello to using all connections as live traffic carrying bandwidth.
Consolidation will continue in the channel at all levels, but for differing reasons. The largest players will continue to absorb medium sized players in order to to gain customers and revenue streams. However, they will largely trim the back office headcounts in the acquired companies without adding value to their acquired customers. The remaining medium sized players will increase their ability to deliver end-to-end services, while offering customers the flexibility, agility and service attention that is not available from the increasingly ‘vanilla’ big players.
The delivery of unified communications (UC) and business apps directly from the cloud, by their respective OEMs will continue. Systems integrators (SIs) will increasingly shift their focus and the value of their offer to other products, such as security and managed Wi-Fi, and their business models will increasingly adapt to offer services integration from systems integration.
In contrast to the OEM’s direct delivery of their business applications Mobile Operators and SI’s will increasingly offer one stop provision of all end user devices (including video end points), connectivity (traditional fixed, internet, macro mobile and Wi-Fi), security and file sharing services ‘as a service’ and wrapped into one bill ¬ TEM will become ICTEM.
Specialist SIs will offer a variation of ’Platform as a Service’ in the form of PCI compliant contact centres, where the customer just adds agents (though bureau service companies may also step in here too to offer a complete outsourcing option).
Artificial intelligence allied to speech recognition will continue apace with some high profile Beta deployments in sectors we haven’t expected, giving rise to completely new services.