Cloud-based Communication: Trends for 2022 and Beyond
Communication has evolved so much in the past decade, and the pandemic spurred even more changes. Now it’s time to look forward to what’s next in communication. These five trends will shape how we connect with each other in 2022 and beyond.
5G Goes Mainstream
Most major cellular carriers are rolling out 5G technology, which promises to transmit data 50 times faster than it can travel over 4G. This means higher quality voice and data services, along with shorter download times.
5G also promises a much higher quality of service (QoS) than 4G networks. QoS is a necessity for VoIP technology. These upgrades include:
- 100% network availability
- Lower latency
- A reduction in jitter to 10-100ms
- Increased bandwidth for sensor devices
- Better throughput
5G’s most significant advantage is network latency. Network latency is the amount of time required to communicate over the network. High latency means it takes your device longer to share your actions over the network. This could result in low-quality or dropped voice and video calls, video buffering, or disconnections. Through efficient packet prioritization (not possible via 4G), 5G will improve the network latency problem.
The connectivity afforded by 5G will likely encourage even more widespread adoption of IoT-enabled devices. This means that your communication network might come to include not only phones, computers, and mobile devices, but also a host of other devices that are connected to the internet and feed information into your business.
The Growth of UCaaS & the Rise of Mobile Unified Communications
It is no secret that cloud-based communications are cheaper than maintaining an on-prem communication network. That’s why so many businesses are transitioning to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
Although the concept of Unified Communications (UC) has been around for a while, the “as a service” aspect is relatively new. With this model, your VoIP provider hosts your UC, including equipment maintenance, cybersecurity, and system upgrades.
UCaaS offers a few key advantages. First, because it’s cloud-based, UCaaS offers a more scalable platform that’s less likely to become obsolete as your company grows. It’s easy to add users or locations, or even move offices. UCaaS eliminates many of the “growing pains” associated with a conventional telephone system.
Another primary benefit of UCaaS is that it facilitates faster disaster recovery and business continuity. Built-in redundancies ensure that if one network goes down, another is available as a backup. Before choosing a VoIP provider, be sure to discuss uptime, disaster recovery, and network redundancies.
Finally, UCaaS can help optimize efficiency and productivity. It gives remote teams the ability to stay connected all the time, through their preferred devices and channels (e.g., calling, video conferencing, messaging, etc.)
The Rise of AI
Look around you; artificial intelligence (AI) already surrounds us in our everyday lives. AI can help make decisions, and the ability to mimic human behavior opens up so many possibilities. From a business perspective, AI can help eliminate the stress a human faces with routine tasks, increasing efficiency and creating more intelligent decision-making.
VoIP services are starting to implement AI into their service offerings. For example, customer service, the sales process, and threat prevention can all be at least partially automated through the help of artificial intelligence.
AI in customer service has helped in many ways. This includes improving the call center industry by offering self-help options for customers to provide quick solutions. Call agents can now focus on more complex customer issues with the help of AI. AI can also use biometrics to authenticate, identify, and access customer information.
Smarter VoIP assistants are developed with the help of AI. These virtual assistants can help automate accessible services like call routing to specific agents or sending certain calls straight to voicemail. Virtual VoIP assistants can help answer the simple questions, then transfer the conversation to an actual agent if it involves a more complex conversation. They can also gather information about clients and record conversations to help a new agent pick up where they left off, providing a better-personalized customer experience.
VoIP connects with the internet of things (IoT). VoIP devices have advanced beyond voice and video packets, and now it ensures to connect all internet-capable devices to simplify the exchange of data. Businesses can utilize VoIP and IoT together by creating smart offices. Smart offices can collect data from the office equipment then send the data to all team members remotely regardless of where they are located doing work.
Increased Adoption of VoIP in Academic Institutions
The pandemic spurred a sudden, widespread switch to remote work--and not just for employees. Students also went remote, which meant that academic institutions had to quickly find a means for educational delivery. VoIP provided a reliable backbone for interactive software use, making it the ideal choice for educational institutions.
The pandemic is almost behind us, but the benefits of VoIP in academia will last far into the future:
- For multi-site locations, VoIP can reduce costs and improve inter-site communication.
- VoIP facilitates fast, secure communication with large populations (e.g., text alerts), an important security feature.
- Collaboration is fundamental to learning, and VoIP promotes collaboration among students, educators, parents, and administrators.
Increased Security Issues
Cloud-based communication has many perks; however, it also has its risks, especially with cyber threats. According to the FBI, cyber attacks have increased 300% since the beginning of 2020.
Some security risks include malware, viruses, phishing, DoS (Denial of Service) attacks, eavesdropping, identity theft, etc. It’s essential to follow the security trends that a VoIP provider uses to ensure a protective system.
Weak security could have substantial financial consequences. It’s an excellent idea to steadily increase the level of protection within the system and grow it over time. There are always advancements that can be made to security.
If you choose to upgrade to a VoIP phone system, here are the top ways to enhance the security of the network:
- Using firewalls that work with VoIP
- Requiring two-way authentication to keep out unauthorized users of the VoIP network
- Updating computer operating systems frequently and routinely
- Ensuring layered security and VPNs are in place for mobile or wireless calls
Ready to learn more about cloud-based communication and VoIP? Our team would love to help.