As another year draws to a close, it seems as good a time as any to look to the future. There’s certainly plenty to look forward to in the telecoms channel. Change is afoot, and with change comes opportunity. Here are three things the sector should be aware of about the future of telephony in 2024 and beyond.
1.) The copper switch off is getting near
People have been talking about the PSTN (copper line) switch off for what seems like years, but the actual event is creeping ever closer. Many channel resellers will use the final countdown to 2025 as a way to promote agile alternatives to legacy copper-based telephony.
What seems clear to us is that the switch-off is a marker of the economy’s increasing preference for flexible wireless solutions; those with no need for complex internal or external cabling. However, this does mean businesses are putting a higher dependency on mobile services and Wi-Fi.
This brings a range of new opportunities to the channel, from security to integration to automation. These are areas where successful resellers will help customers find the most value from their systems.
2) The AI revolution gathers pace
AI has only just started making its mark on business communication, but the opportunities are potentially endless. To take one example, AI can enhance your telecoms offer by bringing hugely valuable analytics capabilities to unified communication (UC) systems. While the metrics and reporting currently available in contact centre platforms may be adequate for performance reporting, that’s only touching the surface of what’s possible. AI-powered analytics promise far greater qualitative insight into how services could be improved, allowing resellers to offer more value to customers.
This is especially apparent in systems that automatically ingest audio, running Natural Language Processing (NLP) on all calls to gain a deeper understanding of interactions and the challenges customers and agents face.
For the reseller, having the right AI portfolio is likely to become a huge differentiator in the next few years, providing base-wide security benefits, enhanced service quality, higher margins and, most importantly, more trusting customers that form longer-lasting relationships.
3) Companies are becoming digital-first
Digital-first businesses rely on digital technology to make them more efficient and customer-
focused. To do that they need bandwidth. Connectivity has become the great business enabler of the moment. Those businesses able to adopt cloud services, and run them efficiently via gigabit-capable connections, can adapt best to our technology-driven future.
How can the channel help in all this? Selling great connectivity is one way. But where the channel can really make a difference is by helping businesses make all those systems work together, integrating them via professional services and AI to provide a unique bird’s eye view of operational performance and success.