What trends have defined unified communications in 2019?

As 2019 draws to a close, we reflect on the most prevalent unified communications trends of the year and what to expect in 2020

As 2019 draws to a close (we can’t believe it either), it makes for a poignant time to reflect the progress made in unified communications (UC). This year, UC has enjoyed a number of trends, and perhaps some troughs, making for another exciting chapter in the UC diary. Thus, we’re rounding up our favourite trends that defined UC for the year.

Unified-Communications-as-a-Service

At the turn of the year, it was already safe to say that Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) would make a big impact on the field. It’s not even just UC; the technology industry as a whole is increasingly recognising benefits of cloud. However, back to UCaaS: firstly, UCaaS allows organisations to make huge cost savings. This is because investment in hardware is eliminated. Furthermore, the management and maintenance costs become the service provider’s responsibility.

As well as this, cloud offers greater scalability and flexibility, and with ease at that. In particular, cloud breeds an ad hoc culture, so you only pay for what you need, when you need it.

Artificial intelligence

Like cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the entire tech industry by storm, and UC is no exception. Particularly in the realm of customer experience, AI is driving satisfaction and loyalty. Now, organisations can hone in on AI to enhance the on-site experience and better personalisation. As well as this, AI- and robotic process automation-powered chatbots can help customers and organisations reach resolution quicker. Not only that, but chatbots are simply lots of fun to build and interact with!

Evolution of video

Video has long been a staple of UC, with communication tools such as video conferencing standing the test of time. However, this year in particular, we have witnessed a shift or evolution in how to use video. In particular, live video streaming is making waves across the UC field. It offers a more personal dimension and allows organisations to be innovative in their delivery and more interactive.

What to look out for in 2020

2020 and the new decade will surely bring lots of innovations and new ideas. However, one that spring to mind in particular is 5G.

Many predicted that 5G would be a thing of 2019, but so far, all announcements appear to be for the sake of land grabbing. In the UK, its availability is still limited, and its launch, albeit soft, hasn’t made the impact anticipated. Instead, everybody is shifting their attention to 2020. Next year, the number of overall devices with internet connectivity will be higher, driving increased demand for 5G.

As well as this, it is the next natural step for speed and efficiency in communications. Thus, the pressure and excitement is more underway now than it had been earlier at the turn of the year. In fact, many mobile networks globally are moving in on rolling it out, with a new promise and headline every other day. As onlookers, all we can do is sit tight and prepare to embrace this new age of connectivity.

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