3 Cloud Communications Predictions for 2016
What’s ahead for Cloud Communications in 2016? Enterprise adoption is expected to surge so here are some key issues that CIOs will want to factor into their IT plans for the coming year.
1. Enterprise collaboration will gain in popularity and importance
Cloud Communications solutions will offer greater integration of both back-office applications such as CRM and employee-productivity apps such as video conferencing. This will enable systems to seamlessly integrate with even the most complex business processes.
Perhaps that’s why 56% of enterprises and 66% of SMBs say they plan to implement or upgrade their communications solutions in the coming year, according to market watcher IDG.
Enterprises are turned on to solutions like Masergy’s Cloud Communications solutions, which support a robust ecosystem of third-party integrations and plug-ins to easily connect communications systems with leading CRM, ERP and office-productivity applications such as SalesForce.com, NetSuite and Zendesk. In addition, we’ve standardized our Web services API to simplify the integration of your key business applications. All that lets you work smarter with communications-enabled business processes.
2. WebRTC will have a significant impact on customer engagement
Want to transform an ordinary Web browser into a full-featured Cloud Communications portal? WebRTC is the answer. It’s an open framework for the Web that enables real-time communications natively with a standard browser. With WebRTC, end users simply open browsers to launch calls with voice, text, images, videos, content-sharing and other media.
WebRTC is gaining traction by offering three big benefits: agility, cost savings and persistence. Agility, because WebRTC lets businesses add communications features quickly. Savings, because WebRTC eliminates the need for on-premises equipment. And persistence, because WebRTC interactions are associated with particular individuals, meaning conversations can be both stored for future use and integrated with business applications and customer records.
In addition, WebRTC-powered communications are increasingly being offered to customers, partners and others outside the enterprise. For example, Amazon’s Mayday feature on selected Fire tablets lets customers connect with a company technical advisor by simply tapping a screen icon.
Masegy also offers WebRTC-powered solutions that extend communications beyond the enterprise. Our Virtual Meeting Room is a ubiquitous cloud video conferencing solution for global any-to-any video connections. And Masergy’s Visual Auto Attendant enables real-time customer interactions directly from any webpage, all while bypassing the Public Switched Telephone Network.
3. The Cloud Communications market will consolidate, reducing fragmentation
Choice is good, but too much choice can be overwhelming. So enterprises should welcome this trend. Consolidation among suppliers will make it easier for enterprise buyers to compare and contrast solutions and make a selection that meets their cost and capability requirements.
The industry is ripe for consolidation. NTT of Japan recently acquired Arkadin to enter the UCaaS market. Tropo, a cloud API platform provider, was acquired by Cisco. And iCore Networks, a UCaaS supplier, was recently acquired by Vonage.
What’s behind these and other consolidations? For one, the market is growing fast. Large technology providers can enter the market by simply buying a smaller supplier.
For another, it’s big; research and advisory firm Gartner estimates there are roughly 100 unified communications providers in North America, and more than 200 globally. The industry’s most successful mergers and acquisitions, Gartner adds, are conducted to either acquire new services or enter new geographical markets.
In addition, a growing number of user organizations are seeking unified communications solutions from just one supplier. These single-vendor solutions are increasingly viable as suppliers expand the capabilities of their solutions. Even in multi-vendor environments, many companies are seeking an “anchor” supplier for both a consistent user experience and lower TCO.
With more enterprise collaboration, powerful WebRTC capabilities, and greater industry consolidation, 2016 should be a great year for enterprise communications.
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