In the realm of business communications, technology is constantly changing. The advances we've seen in the last two decades have been substantial, shifting how businesses of all sizes operate and allowing small and mid-sized businesses in particularly to operate at levels above and beyond what smaller companies have been able to do in the past.
Hosted PBX features and small business VoIP in particular have changed a lot about how communications systems are setup in businesses – whether those functions are hosted or not. Here are seven of the key cloud communications trends you should be watching in the year to come and how they will likely affect your interactions with colleagues and clients alike.
1. Video Support Increasingly Becomes Important
It's only been two years since Amazon introduced one-way video support for its customer base. Already companies like Avaya have expanded to two way video support and it will become an increasingly important and expected component of customer service as mobile devices become the go-to resource for interaction with service providers.
2. Managed Services Will Be In Greater Demand
On premise PBX and small business communications systems are becoming a thing of the past as cloud hosted pbx features allow small businesses to grow beyond what older systems were capable at a fraction of the cost. Cloud apps, API integrations, round the clock auto attendant and forwarding features – these will become standard for businesses of all sizes.
3. Working via Mobile Device
Faster networks are enabling employees and operates alike to shift their work into the field. It's not uncommon to spend a day at the airport working on a smart phone or tablet. This will become increasingly common and cloud communications technologies are being designed to support it.
4. Decentralizing Will Replace Full Outsourcing
Instead of outsourcing the duties of a key employee group or individual, companies are starting to decentralize, hiring full time workers but allowing them to work remote in conjunction with their small business VoIP and communications systems. This reduces in-office costs but ensures a full time staff member – a marked improvement over third party hires.
5. Small Businesses Are Going Global
The cost of a global operation was insurmountable for most businesses even just 10-15 years ago. The cost of setting up an office, moving someone offshore, and building a brand in a different region of the world was too high for small and mid-sized companies to afford. Today, small businesses are reaching farther than ever before with cloud technology and hosted PBX is a part of that, driving down cost and improving access to potential clients and customers around the globe.
6. JOC Is Becoming The Way of Things
Gone are the days of a BYOD policy requiring certain devices and extra security protocols. Hosted PBX features allow small businesses to integrate almost any kind of mobile device, phone, or tablet within an increasingly agile and flexible network. This is only going to continue as our technology becomes a part of us and not a resource only accessible in the office.
7. More Direct Customer Service Offerings
With small business VoIP being smarter and more agile than ever before, it is now possible for businesses to connect their staff directly with customers, addressing questions as needed, rather than routing through offsite call centers or a costly receptionist. Auto attendant, combined with a range of cloud hosted features make customer service more receptive and agile than ever.
Technology will continue to advance in the years to come as cloud hosted services become a normal part of how every business operates. These businesses will become more agile and capable of keeping up with the future of the industry as a result.