Whether this is a disruption or a new industrial revolution, VoIP is here to stay. Global VoIP service is expected to reach $140 billion by 2021. That is up from $83 billion in 2015, according to Zion Research.
This change is largely due to changes in IT leaders’ planning intentions. According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant article, “By 2021, 90% of IT leaders will not purchase new premises-based UC infrastructure — up from 50% today — because future cloud UC [Unified Communications] offerings will be far ahead in terms of features, functions, portals, analytics and dashboards.”
Let’s take a look at the 2019 VoIP trends that are going to help lead us toward that change.
Out with the Old, In with the New
Virtual numbers were expected to reach 171 million worldwide by the end of 2018. That number is expected to keep growing as available landline options decrease.
While it may be 2023 before the average person gets access to 5G, network updates are rolling out to progress us towards that end. Advanced networks like 4.5G and 5G will offer small businesses more choices, says Ooma VP of Corporate Development Chris Burgy. In a PC Mag article, Burgy explains that these newer networks offer similar service to wired networks, with speeds over 100 Mbps. “We’ll see a big shift around internet connectivity from the wireless carriers deploying 4.5G or 5G connectivity, where suddenly this can become a primary internet connectivity for a business,” he says.
The increased QoS and advancements available with 5G also help in another way. VoiceNData explains, “Going forward, the launch of 5G has augmented the functionality of mobile app VoIP support system. Wide and multiple uses of mobile UC technology is going to be trending in approaching the year. Companies are likely to use the app-based Virtual Phone Numbers for doing business video calls, team meetings, and conferencing independently.”
By 2021, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will handle 15% of customer service interactions, according to a recent report from Gartner and Avaya. That is a 400% change from 2017. Over the next year, we will continue to see AI implemented by UC providers with varied applications.
AI can analyze VoIP conversations as they are happening, as well as use previous and current customer data to get a more holistic view of the situation. This technology even enhances the way that calls are routed, according to both service agent and customer behaviors. Avaya’s partner Afiniti is using this behavioral matching to improve contact center performance. T-Mobile credits Afiniti’s behavior matching software for $70 million in extra annual sales.
While this type of behavioral or sentiment analysis is incredible, it is not unique. Vonage is another provider using real-time sentiment analysis to help monitor customer interactions as they are happening. Another company, Utopia.AI, offers Sesame. This product is able to analyze the emotional state of callers through vocabulary, sentiment, and emotion. As an incredible bonus, Sesame is able to use voice biometric data to help verify phone calls and decrease identity theft.
Statista shows that the number of IoT (Internet of Things) devices will grow from 23.14 billion in 2018 to 30.73 billion in 2020, and 75.44 billion in 2025. This growing connectivity trend makes VoIP service even more accessible.
These devices increase productivity and offer seamless collaboration for mobile workforces.
IoT voice assistants also to add value to your UC system. Scott Yelton, head of product management for Windstream OfficeSuite UC explains in a recent blog post, “Virtual assistants are also showing promise as meeting transcription and scheduling apps with capabilities to listen for key words like “action item, take a note, priority, constraint” and create a follow up list for participants.”
These four trends will help VoIP companies facilitate better customer outcomes, easier team collaboration, and increased productivity.