As 2017 comes to an end, many businesses start looking at their year in review and evaluating possible changes for 2018. While the last year showed plenty of emerging innovations for business phone systems, we expect that some of those developments will continue to advance and take hold for the upcoming year. At the same time, some entirely new features will roll out to further enhance your phone system capabilities.
If you’re in the market for a new business phone system or just wondering what exciting things the industry will come up with next year, here are three major business phone system trends to watch out for in 2018:
1. Moving to the Cloud
We’ve already seen a trend in 2017 of companies moving their telecommunication infrastructure to the cloud, and all sources indicate that this movement is going to continue picking up steam.
With so many advantages, it’s easy to see why companies are opting for cloud-based telecommunications sources. Some of the main benefits include:
- Cheaper, more reliable bandwidth
- Improved services and features
- Reduced prices on traditionally expensive telecommunication hardware
- Higher expectations of up-time from end customers
- Growing demand for completely managed telecommunication services
The last year was a period of growth for cloud-based telecommunications systems, and those success stories will continue driving more companies to adopt the service in 2018.
As businesses begin evaluating their current phone systems, they’ll notice that the price to host telecommunications equipment in a cloud-based data center is only slightly more than their current on-premise system. And with the growing market, plenty of cost-effective pricing structures are available for almost any situation – including integrating a company’s existing phone system into the cloud.
It isn’t just the pricing and increased options that make cloud-based telecommunication systems desirable to businesses. The demand for phone systems entirely managed by outside companies is growing as well.
The majority of businesses already prefer to outsource the specialized services required for their data/networking world. If they don’t have experts on-hand, then they are just draining resources trying to control everything in-house. This trend will likely leak over to telecommunication systems, whether on-premise or cloud-based, as companies opt to have third parties manage everything the system encompasses.
Growing Mobility Options
Mobility will always be a priority for business-centric people on the go. And while ten years ago it was considered groundbreaking to have voicemails delivered directly to your email inbox, phone systems have tapped into even more advanced technology to provide the efficiency, convenience and professionalism that businesses crave.
Now, phone systems are developing mobile apps and browser plugins to streamline business phone calls and communications for companies. Their mobility features are so useful that most businesses turn to them for their disaster recovery plans and remote worker strategies.
Some trending mobility features include:
- Giving users the ability to make or take calls on the go as if they were in the office
- Instant messaging (IM) with coworkers company-wide
- Adjusting telephone settings on the fly
- Appointing landlines for phone calls
We expect to continue seeing the mobility trend grow in 2018, along with expanded integration options and capabilities that can provide clients with an all-in-one communications solution for their business.
For example, some Instant Messaging services that operate company-wide will start to integrate with popular mobile applications, like Microsoft’s Skype messaging and Apple’s iMessaging. The result is that you can use one service for all of your communication needs, conveniently located on one mobile device.
Other mobile communication apps are starting to integrate with CRM providers so that you can operate many of the features available on your desktop through your mobile devices, such as record lookup and click-to-dial.
As the mobility trend continues to advance in 2018, we expect to see more features roll out to make business communication even more streamlined in the upcoming year.
Engaging the End User
An old adage of customer service is that the customer is always right. And that includes the way they prefer to be contacted.
In the days of old – or, at least, about five years ago – customers had two options for being contacted by companies: phone and email. Now, as communications technology has advanced, their options have grown to include instant messaging, Web Chat, email, text messaging (SMS), Web-based Audio and VideoChat.
While these new communication technologies may have seemed like a fad just a few years ago, their longevity on the market has proven to contact centers that they are not just a passing trend. Modern contact centers are starting to wise up and incorporating some or all of these elements into their communication solutions.
This means more options for companies to figure out what new methods they should use to contact their clients and how to implement them. To assist companies with their communication solutions, contact centers balance the average agent’s ability to manage multiple communication channels and produce complete, centralized reports on activity or contact attempts between agent and client.
Like phone systems, contact center solutions are available both on-premise and in the cloud. And with their versatility and affordability, they are a phone system trend to watch in 2018 and beyond.
Digitcom has 26 years experience working with Ontario’s business community, helping to solve all their telephony challenges. If you are interested in running the most reliable phone system then contact us. We will help guide you through the planning, quoting, installation and continued support with 24/7 hour care and escalations for priority work. Call 1-866-667-8357 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.