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Flowroute 2020 Predictions: The Year of Global Collaboration and Enhanced Customer Experience

VMblog Predictions 2020 

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

By Dan Hastings, director of enterprise solutions for Flowroute, now part of Intrado

The Year of Global Collaboration and Enhanced Customer Experience

In looking back, 2019 was a fast-paced and transformative year for the enterprise communications space. The cloud adoption movement continued to gain traction within enterprise communications as customer demands on data usage, real-time voice and text services increased. Communication service providers (CSPs) also raced to integrate cloud-based offerings to meet these heightened customer demands.

In looking forward to 2020, we anticipate the coming year to be just as exciting and transformative as the previous year. With customers' constantly changing preferences guiding and shaping the industry, we predict that advancements and technologies that facilitate global collaboration and enhanced customer experiences will flourish. Outlined below are three enterprise communication predictions that we believe will influence key trends in 2020. 

1.       A growing global remote workforce will increase demand for voice and calling features.  

Nearly 70 percent of the global workforce works remotely at least once a week, according to a study by IWG. As the global remote workforce continues to grow in numbers in 2020, the traditional workplace and office tools will evolve as well. In 2019, we saw the rising popularity of well-known collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype and Slack being used in the workplace. With these tools' numerous benefits - such as real-time access to large files, straightforward, large-scale deployments and requiring little to no maintenance - both businesses and employees reaped the benefits from the adoption and use of such tools in 2019.  

The longevity of the remote business ecosystem will rely largely on the enterprise adoption of global cloud-based collaboration tools. To cater to such a shift in the workplace, business decision makers will need to provide quality and real-time voice and messaging services that enable collaboration among their employees and customers, regardless of location. In the coming year, the market demand for voice and calling capabilities will enhance adoption of enterprise collaboration tools with innovative providers introducing new features. In addition, we anticipate businesses that fail to adopt expansive collaboration tools will struggle to scale operations and truly compete in the global economy, and thus be left behind.

2.       The cloud will continue to play a pivotal role in global enterprise communications.

As businesses look to sharpen strategies and gain market share in 2020, many will turn to partnering with cloud-based CSPs that offer global cloud-based services. These partnerships will help enterprises reach new customers and deliver enhanced user experiences. Flowroute, for example, offers the most expansive number of international direct inward dialing (DID) numbers on the marketplace - more than 160. We forecast that other providers will likely follow suit as they try to support businesses in gaining influence and larger market ownership of the emerging global cloud communications industry.

As a result of the global enterprise tech advancements made in 2019, we anticipate CSPs will form strategic partnerships with cloud providers that offer international numbers in order to help customers collaborate in the global business network. However, by the end of 2020, we anticipate seeing this movement mature and become less of a "trend" and more of a necessity for CSPs to compete and gain international customers, as well as to maintain a global workforce.

3.       More businesses and contact centers will invest in telecom APIs to enhance omnichannel communications.

In the competitive, customer-driven telecom landscape, customer service always remains top of mind. In 2020, we foresee customers will demand access to various touch points (i.e. apps or websites) to interact with their favorite brand to buy a product.

In response, decision makers must evaluate every point of service their business offers to ensure each medium or communication platform offers a high standard of customer service and a cohesive, yet tailored user experience. Going forward, businesses will invest in cloud-based communications tools to ensure their various touch points (i.e. texting, website message portals, emails and third-party apps) work together to create a holistic experience for consumers. In order to provide customers with this consistent and unified brand experience, we predict more businesses and their contact centers will turn to cloud-based tools such as telecom APIs and WebRTC to enhance their omnichannel communications.

The past decade demonstrated just how quickly customer preferences and behaviors can drive business offerings and inform decision making. Take for example the growth of Amazon and how global brick and mortar stores have shifted their business models to facilitate online browsing, shopping and communication. In 2020, this evolution will continue, and global companies will leverage advancements in the telecom market to provide better experiences to existing and new customers.  

Businesses and CSPs that integrate cloud-based voice and calling features to enhance global omnichannel customer communication strategies will see ROI on their IT investments and position themselves to gain market share in their respective industries. 

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About the Author

Dan Hastings 

Daniel (Dan) Hastings is the director of enterprise solutions for Flowroute, now part of Intrado. He has more than two decades of management experience in the global IT and communications industries. Dan has a track record of transforming business relationships, building global teams and translating customer needs into technical solutions. In his current role, he manages diverse global and technical enterprise customer and vendor relationships.

Published Monday, January 27, 2020 7:15 AM by David Marshall
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