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SignalWire 2020 Predictions: 5 Ways Cloud Communications Will Change the Business World in the Year Ahead

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Anthony Minessale, CEO of SignalWire

5 Ways Cloud Communications Will Change the Business World in the Year Ahead

Cloud communications systems are rapidly transforming the business world. These systems, which are increasingly affordable and easy for organizations to build and deploy, eliminate barriers, boost productivity and lower costs. While we still can't be sure exactly what the future holds for cloud communications systems, here are five solid predictions for the year 2020.

1. The end is near for price-gouging incumbents. Customers in the telecom market are like customers of any service. They prefer to do business with providers that deliver telecom services for a reasonable cost and don't wallop customers with insane markups at every opportunity. Customers will flock to providers that are willing to split the savings with their customers and give customers the opportunity to invest in what matters: next-generation tools that let them better communicate in the new world of cloud computing. In particular, providers will no longer be able to get away with squeezing small customers and making them pay higher rates in order to subsidize larger customers.

2. Telecom applications will soon work like consumer apps. Technology has advanced to the point where whatever we want-a burger, a new pair of shoes, a ride to the airport-we just tap a button on our smartphones and we get it almost instantly. So why are we still using business phones the same as we did back in the 1950s? Just as mobile apps do, business telephony must serve a world that is now in a hurry for everything. And it's getting there. Soon, telecommunications will be demystified to the point where anyone who wants to create an IP-based telephone network, for example, can instantly do so via an interface that is no more difficult to operate and personalize to their needs than, say, Gmail.

3. We are entering a new era of software-defined telecom. Traditional telecom hardware is rigid. If you want to solve a problem or add a new feature to your system, you can't do it easily. With software-defined telecom, however, you can easily build modules and features that meet the communications needs of your business-both today and in the future. In the new era ahead, software will enable programmers to command powerful communications tools with the simplest of interfaces. Today there are not a lot of future-facing telecom features that companies can implement quickly and easily. But that will change, as the age of software-defined telecom arrives and enables organizations and developers to be limited only by their imagination.

4. Robocalls are in the crosshairs. Illegal robocalls are clearly out of control. In 2019, 46% of all calls were spam and robocalls, according to First Orion Corporation. Both consumers and businesses are clamoring for a crackdown. This could be the year we see the release of open source software and protocols that put an end to those pesky robocalls once and for all. Expect to see the introduction of cloud-based technology that can effectively block robocalls and identify where they are coming from.

5. Telecom will be available in a true SaaS model. Some people think this has happened already, with the advent of unified communications as a service (UCaaS). But I would argue that we still have not yet mastered UC-the melding of communications tools like video/web conferencing, voice-over-IP, mobile messaging and presence technology. Ask yourself, is communication truly seamless today? Are my calendaring and messaging and videoconferencing applications all so perfectly aligned that I never have any problems? I'll bet your answer is no. But it won't be for long. I believe we'll soon see CPaaS and UCaaS converge into the holy grail, unified communications, through  the rise of software defined telecom that enables developers of all skill sets to rapidly build and deploy innovative and seamless telecom applications.

Any communications provider that hopes to survive and thrive in the years ahead will have to meet the large and ever-growing demands of businesses across the world and help solve the most intractable problems. That's a tall order. But 2020 must be a year in which the telecom industry starts to answer the call and meet the challenges ahead.


About the Author

Anthony Minessale, CEO of SignalWire

Anthony Minessale 

Creator of FreeSWITCH and a pioneer in the advanced communications industry. At SignalWire, Anthony is now bringing his vision of the next generation of communications to the mainstream and working together with some of the great minds and personalities of the industry.
Published Thursday, December 26, 2019 7:36 AM by David Marshall
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