We’ve been talking about the growth of telecommunications networks for a long time now, and how explosively our technologies are taking over the traditional telecom landscape. But a recent prediction form Strategy Analytics really underscores just how popular our solutions are becoming- and just how quickly they’re supplanting the old guard. The news comes out of a recent statement from Strategy Analytics’ executive director of enterprise research, Andrew Brown, who stated that the switch to a hosted unified communications system makes the most sense in our increasingly collaborative workplaces. Brown stated that collaboration “…frequently involves people from different organizations on mobile and non-mobile devices….” and that these new networks further enable the sorts of device-agnostic and location-independent organizational philosophies being adopted en-masse these days. Yet Brown backed up his statements with more than just forward-thinking platitudes, and brought in some hard data to support his assertions. These telecom networks accrued $7.4 billion in revenue over the last year, providing 12% year-over-year growth. At this rate, Brown argues that adoption of these telecom solutions will reach a tipping point soon, and that within two years these remote solutions will earn more annual income than traditional on-premise solutions.
Not everyone quite agrees with Brown’s ambitious predictions. While every research firm and publication out there has noted the dramatic rise in adoption of remote solutions, some experts argue we aren’t going to see a total-takeover of existing traditional systems. And while we love the rosy picture that Brown paints, when it comes down to it we agree a little more with the more grounded notion that we’re going to see an increasingly diverse telecom landscape, one that incorporates more of a hybrid model wherein some business challenges are solved by remotely hosted solutions, some problems are solved by on-premise solutions, and some problems are solved by hybrid solutions. In fact, we’d even argue that you could break down our increasingly diverse networking landscape further, and argue that some remote solutions will be private, some will be public, and some will be hybrid. We’re already seeing this in the world of the Cloud, where the public cloud, the private cloud and hybrid clouds are all being adopted by organizations interested in getting the best of all worlds. Forrester agrees with us on this point, and argues that “…old, new and hybrid models will coexist for a time.” Forrester sees hosted collaborative solutions growing at a 15% compound annual growth rate up until about 2019. Whether Forrester’s predictions or Strategic Analytics’ predictions are on-the-nose is irrelevant- what matters is the fact we have a clear consensus among industry insiders that these sorts of remote-hosted solutions and modern telecommunication networks are rising rapidly. While it will likely be some time before they ever fully overtake existing traditional communication structures, it’s clear that these new solutions are going to be the dominant answer to the telecom and networking question very, very soon.
Since When Has Change Happened All At Once?
If you look around your organization right now, and if you think about other organizations you’re close with, you’ll quickly realize that just about everyone utilizes some sort of pieced-together solution to meet their communication needs. Aside from organizations that are brand new and have implemented a full suite of modern unified communications features all at once, when it comes down to it most organizations operate with a functionally hodge-podge telecom systems that incorporates both old and new features and functionality. In other words- don’t let far-reaching predictions or personal ideals of the “perfect” system get in the way of making the changes and adopting the upgrades you’d like in order to create a telecommunication system to the one you have now. The solutions we provide may be on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you need to jump in head-first if you don’t feel ready for that right now. Switching one or two elements of your phone system at a time can be a viable option (albeit usually more expensive), letting you get your feet wet and enjoy the benefits of modern solutions without changing more than you feel comfortable switching up right now. Our telecom future is probably going to be a little messy. Reading Forrester’s recent survey of organizations that made the switch to hosted VoIP one thing is certain- while few organizations tossed out their whole existing communication system in favor of a new one, all of the organizations polled preferred to work with a single provider to cover all of their telecommunication needs. Which means turning your organization’s communication lines inside-out all at once isn’t as important as finding the right partners to help you make the transition to the precise communication system you want, at a pace you can handle.