Important Enterprise VoIP Trends to Watch in 2018

Mobile devices - a smartwatch, a mobile VoIP phone, a notebook, and headphones - lie on a desk.

Important Enterprise VoIP Trends to Watch in 2018

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions are becoming a standard solution for business communications in the past few years. A growing number of enterprises switch from landline telephones to VoIP platforms to benefit from cost savings, scalability, and flexibility. The VoIP industry is maturing and both on premise and cloud-based VoIP platforms provide advanced business features within their standard plans. Enterprise VoIP trends that will shape the industry in 2018 include continuing mobile integration and functionality for unified communications, implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) across VoIP solutions, as well as introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

Mobile Integration and Unified Communications

Businesses are getting increasingly mobile and so is the VoIP industry. A research by Techavio forecasts the global mobile VoIP (mVoIP) market to add CAGR of around 28 percent by 2020. Another report puts the number of mobile VoIP users at 1 billion by end-2017.

Let’s face the reality: a business cannot retain its competitiveness without adopting a sort Unified Communications (US) solution. Cloud-based US, or UC as a Service (UCaaS), is the preferred solution with some 70% of businesses saying they have deployed UC in the cloud or plan to do so, according to a survey by Information Week.

Global mobile VoIP market worldwide by region from 2014 to 2024

(in billion U.S. dollars)

A chart showing the size of the mobile VoIP market worldwide by region from 2014 to 2024 (in billion U.S. dollars). The market will grow to $46.5 billion in Europe and $23.5 billion in the US by 2024.

 

Source: Statista

Cost savings and productivity gains drive the enterprise VoIP trends in 2018, and you should not take this trend lightly. A soft phone, or VoIP on a mobile device, realizes cost savings of $1,727 per month in cell phone and long distance charges. Furthermore, mobile employees save 40 minutes each day and generate annual productivity gains of 3.5 days per year.

By adopting an UCaaS solution, you can also cut your web conferencing costs by up to 30 percent. Business can save further $1,700 per month in travel costs.

Another immediate advantage of UCaaS is the so-called “continuity”. It is the ability to begin a task or a conversation on one device and then transfer it across a variety of other devices and systems. This is a must have option in the context of interconnected and global business ecosystem.

Enterprise VoIP Trends: The Case for Artificial Intelligence

AI can boost your business in various ways, including through VoIP service enhancement. Automated adjustments of quality of service is one such area where AI can repair issues related to latency or network failures. Artificial intelligence is able to analyze voice patterns and email content in real-time and take actions depending on defined rules. Future enterprise VoIP trends will add generation of actionable insights based on data processed by AI in real time but this technology is still being tested.

Call-answering and call-transfer functionality of business VoIP systems will get smarter during the next years. You should add voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri to the equation. These smart assistants are becoming a viable technology for any enterprise to incorporate them into different business processes and procedures. Chatbots are already replacing corporate FAQ pages but AI-powered systems will take this functionality to a more advanced stage.

Plain Old Telephone Systems Slowly Disappear

A good number of telecom companies are replacing their landlines with fiber networks as well as wireless and VoIP infrastructure. Thus, businesses have no choice but to opt for wireless or VoIP services. In 2014, some 20 million businesses have used VoIP services. This year, the number will double to over 40 million business VoIP subscribers.

Plain old telephone systems, POTS, cannot meet the requirements of today’s business communications and hosted and in-house VoIP systems will gradually replace them. POTS simply cannot withstand the competition of 4G and 5G mobile networks. They offer much faster speeds and eliminate issues like echoes and packet losses. Faster and more reliable data transfer also makes streaming video over VoIP a preferred option for businesses.

Internet of Things Is Coming of Age

The gadgets making the global IoT network will outnumber mobile devices during 2018. A report by Siemens says some 26 billion IoT devices will be connected to each other in a couple of years. Managing and controlling office, local and regional IoT networks is one of the enterprise VoIP trends to watch very closely.

The office of the future will comprise lots of IoT devices, not only printers or scanners but a wide range of office appliances. VoIP platforms will gradually learn to manage them all. You can now check your VoIP voicemail remotely and perform other tasks on the go. A more advanced cloud VoIP platform, however, will provide functionality to perform much more tasks on the fly while managing literally all your office devices anytime and from any location.

All those enterprise VoIP trends combined will drive most of the VoIP innovations we are to see in 2018 and beyond.