The Top 7 Communication Trends of 2014 (Mid-Year Scorecard)

By

The Summer Solstice has come and gone. We have reached the second half of 2014. Now makes for a particularly good time to take a six-month review of 2014 communications trends projected in December 2013 and more importantly, where we are going. While the predictions may have been made many months ago, it seems that all have taken on more urgency now.

As the economy continues to improve, we believe that most of the trends were right on target, with some accelerating faster. Supporting the growth of the seven service trends are three dynamic forces: the private cloud, demand for OpEx solutions and desire for the latest applications.

Let’s take a look at the scorecard:

#1: Businesses extend deeper into the cloud… hit!

In the first half of 2014, businesses extended deeper into the cloud, with a real acceleration in private cloud. As mentioned by Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy, there has been a surge of five-to-one customer ratio of interest in private cloud solutions. The largest customers are now inclined to want private cloud because of all that it has to offer, particularly privacy and security. Relationships for private cloud are typically three to five years with a short onboarding period that used to make the public cloud the preferable option.

Customers requesting private or public cloud fall along the lines of security. Vertical market clients that are sensitive, such as healthcare (with HIPAA enforcement) and financial services (compliance with government regulations), are more likely to maintain their databases and systems in a private environment–sometimes onsite or in a data center.

Public cloud clients are typically smaller- to medium-sized businesses that do not want to invest in a private cloud environment. These clients tend to operate in industries that are more consumer-oriented and do not require as much security.

#2: Purse strings could be loosening… hit!

The whole economy has come out of the 2007-2009 market slowdown. We are seeing lots of IT organizations trying to recover what was lost in a short period of time. To overcome the technology gap made possible by years of dormancy, many are playing catch up with the cloud.

#3: Another major shift in IT focus – from products and services to outcomes… hit!

Leaders of IT organizations are shifting their model, with more focus on agents being effective than just having access and offering accretive value, just as we described in “Why IT Should Spend More Time Focusing on Passengers, and Less Time on the Locomotive.” By moving beyond the mundane functionality of managing daily patch releases, IT managers are serving as strategic sources tapped by the C-suite and marketing.

#4: Crowdsourcing emerges in the support services setting… hit again!

As the social media space continues to grow, companies are more likely to leverage the expertise of customer forums. Companies are now turning to their customers and user bases for crowdsourcing. Individuals are becoming sources that are trusted most, with only the best achieving “Expert” and “Super Genius” status.

#5: The midmarket will expect different treatment… hit!

As can be seen at Enterprise Connect and IAUG, mid-market companies are looking for solutions tailored to their businesses and their needs. Mid-market companies are not looking for scaled down or rebranded enterprise contact center solutions.

#6: Multimodal communications support reaches a tipping point… hit!

One of the more interesting trends is multimodal, also known to many as omnichannel. Lots of vendors are racing for a multimodal environment to support clients by email, knowledge-based articles, via voice over the Web or video. These are all great for customers, but it can become challenging to decide which channel is best to resolve a problem. For example, you can visually see that a cable should be in port four rather than having to describe it on the phone.

How do you make sure to choose or optimize the right channel while not overwhelming the customer? Ways to clearly identify the best communications channel are now paramount.

#7: The people you need when you need them… hit!

What’s interesting is that we were looking at this trend more than six months ago. More complex networks and IT solutions are requiring more than generalists to maintain and solve them. With fewer part-time IT people available, companies are having a difficult time quickly and easily finding resources to enable them to find the necessary experts in certain areas.

Companies are having mixed results getting tools and access to peer and dedicated resources. More time is being spent trying to get the necessary resources that leverage the right tools at the right time. Many are moving to off-site resources, no longer having to worry about having dedicated resources to deal with deployment of new applications and software.

So overall, we ended up going seven for seven, which is much better than expected! 

What trends did we miss?

What do you expect to be hot in 2015?




Edited by Maurice Nagle

Director of Services Marketing, Avaya

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Coding and Invention Made Fun

By: Special Guest    10/12/2018

SAM is a series of kits that integrates hardware and software with the Internet. Combining wireless building blocks composed of sensors and actors con…

Read More

Facebook Marketplace Now Leverages AI

By: Paula Bernier    10/3/2018

Artificial intelligence is changing the way businesses interact with customers. Facebook's announcement this week is just another example of how this …

Read More

Oct. 17 Webinar to Address Apache Spark Benefits, Tools

By: Paula Bernier    10/2/2018

In the upcoming webinar "Apache Spark: The New Enterprise Backbone for ETL, Batch and Real-time Streaming," industry experts will offer details on clo…

Read More

It's Black and White: Cybercriminals Are Spending 10x More Than Enterprises to Control, Disrupt and Steal

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/26/2018

In a stunning new report by Carbon Black, "Hacking, Escalating Attacks and The Role of Threat Hunting" the company revealed that 92% of UK companies s…

Read More

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More