A 2018 cloud computing study conducted by IDG Communications found that 77 percent of enterprises had at least one application or a portion of its infrastructure in the cloud. The study also revealed that telecommunications was one of the top three industries experiencing the greatest pressure from executive management to become 100 percent cloud-based.
The discussion of the cloud is still relevant in 2019, with some experts ranking cloud computing as the number one career skill for the year. As such, this year we expect to see enterprises and communication service providers (CSPs) significantly step up the game around telecom innovation by evolving existing capabilities with cloud-based offerings to better align with customers’ changing preferences.
As traditional leaders in the telecommunications space strive to understand and fulfill their customers’ more “digital” needs through the cloud, we’ll see more complex and targeted adoption of IP-based solutions that can deliver unique functionalities for both internal and customer-facing platforms.
Below are the three trends we anticipate will unfold with the evolution of telecom and cloud-based enterprise communications expected for 2019.
#1: Using AI to Achieve Network Optimization
The use of AI is already widespread in several industries such as in the financial sector to monitor fraud, or within the manufacturing industry to automate maintenance and decision making. 2019 will be the year CSPs and the telecom industry fully take advantage of AI as a method to improve security and achieve network optimization. For example, by leveraging AI and advanced algorithms, CSPs can predict network abnormalities and take the necessary actions to avoid downtime and the subsequent damage to its reputation.
Moreover, as AI, computational power and data storage becomes more readily available and affordable, enterprises and CSPs will be able to gather unprecedented amounts of information, which they can then analyze through algorithms to identify network patterns that influence decisions around security and future product/solution development.
VP of Product and Engineering,
In addition to achieving network optimization through security measures, CSPs will leverage AI to improve customer service in omnichannel sales through personalized AI-led bots that can offer tailored support.
#2: Consolidating CSPs as a result of XaaS
With cloud computing rising as one of the top tech skills, this year we’ll see the XaaS model create true disruption, specifically in the telecom industry. We are already seeing companies making their solutions and products available “as-a-service” to meet the evolving demands of customers and remain competitive (e.g. grocery stores continued adoption of app-based and online ordering capabilities to keep up with Amazon).
As such, we’ll see CSPs follow suit and join forces with other communications offerings that will improve their availability to remain relevant in the world of modern IT, IoT and development. And in order to avoid commoditization, CSPs will continue to adapt and offer improved features for their enterprise customers. However, in order to do this in a way that aligns with modern customers’ preferences, CSPs will partner and ultimately become XaaS companies.
By utilizing the “as-a-service” model, CSPs will deliver customizable offerings to enterprise customers, ultimately providing end users with compelling immersive experience. Lastly, as the “XaaS” era continues, we’ll also see the relationship between XaaS providers and carriers evolve. And because CSPs will still need to work with and rely on carriers to get access to the PSTN, we’ll likely see heightened competition between CSPs, which could result in improved service and affordable offerings for end-users.
#3: Embracing the Everyday API
As enterprises continue to take to the cloud, integrating voice and messaging capabilities into existing applications will become more efficient and therefore require less developer expertise. In 2018 we saw APIs become more standardized and productized because these application-ready modules became readily available via cloud platforms.
This accessibility will continue and enable CSPs to acquire and implement APIs in a plug-and-play manner, reducing costs and demand on the internal development teams, as well as reducing the time to market. As a result, we can expect to see enterprises and SMBs integrate voice and messaging offerings into existing applications though telecom APIs. CSPs will also leverage telecom APIs to automate and elevate existing telecom offerings.
The evolution of APIs into an “everyday” or user-friendly model will allow companies to have more control of IT departments, while also having the flexibility to innovate offerings, respond to customer needs, and quickly provide desired capabilities at lower cost.
With communications rapidly impacting departments of nearly every organization and industry today, in 2019 we can expect to witness serious industry disruption directly resulting from the integration of cloud-based telecom offerings. In addition, as “improving the customer experience” rises in priority among industries and decision makers, enterprises will begin to leverage the cloud’s capabilities through enhanced AI, the “as-a-service” model and user-friendly APIs to evolve existing offerings. These three trends and cloud capabilities will not only help to improve the end-user experience but will also improve the internal workflows and operations.