Happy New Year!!!
Finally, 2020 is behind us. While we have been heads down trying to work through the challenges and restrictions from Covid, technology continued to forge ahead. What are the top telecommunication trends to watch this year? This post will look at Remote work, 5G, Bot Technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) as we look forward to 2021.
Remote work: the new normal
Remote working didn’t just start in 2020. I was dialing into the mainframe from home back in the 80’s. Sure, with the dialup connection speeds back then, it was probably quicker to drive into work, but we didn’t have high expectations back then. The work from home model has ebbed and flowed since then. With the Covid precautions and connection speeds almost as fast as at the office, remote working is definitely one of the top business trends that came out of 2020.
Covid aside, remote work provides a huge business benefit as well. Building out infrastructure and office space to meet your business needs now and in the future can be a big initial constraint and a long term cost commitment. Growth is important but can be hampered by the costs of growth. With remote working, this problem is instantly solved.
The traditional worker working 9-5 every day at a cubicle is no longer necessary for productivity. Powerful laptops and smartphones, Cloud Computing and Hosted Telecom solutions have made remote work easier than ever.
This is a fast emerging small business trend, even companies who earlier did not have a remote work policy are now forced to operate remotely. It is a management challenge to keep employees focused and productive but a challenge that must be met. We can expect businesses and employees to prefer remote work owing to its benefits.
5G Technology Hits the Scene
The Coronavirus pandemic may be weighing heavily on the economy but 5G development is still speeding along. The major US carriers – Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile – continue to add new 5G phones and expand their networks.
In practice, you may not see a 5G network for a while, especially if you live somewhere more rural than urban. Even if 5G is already in your area, coverage zones may be small and the reception may be iffy – the carriers say they’re constantly improving their network capacity.
5G is an inevitability, the same way that 4G replaced 3G before it. Eventually, it will come to us all.
Bots to the rescue
As fewer people visit business premises due to the world pandemic, alternative sales channels need to be implemented. Phone, text, email, contact-us forms and even video connections are all solutions that have come to the forefront these past few months. This translates to higher call volumes or tickets for businesses as customers seek help through these virtual channels.
With all these numerous channels and touchpoints, customers can now reach a business anytime they want and a prompt response is expected. But for a small business, this can be difficult, no one can watch all their channels 24×7.
During off hours and times of heavy communication traffic, chatbots and voice bots can be utilized to deflect frequently asked questions. This helps both the business as well as customers — customers get an immediate response and agents can free themselves from repetitive queries.
Bot technology supporting consumer interactions will undoubtedly continue to grow. It capabilities are at least worth looking into with a focus on how they can help your business provide the best customer service possible.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things has moved beyond the novelty of your refrigerator telling you you’re out of milk. Small businesses can use Internet connected Smart Locks to manage Access Control to physical spaces. Internet cameras can cheaply monitor cameras can cheaply monitor, record and store in the cloud spaces and activities in high definition. Scanners reading RFID tags attached to products can record events such as sales, returns, inventory audits, etc. IoT sensors connected to equipment can warn small businesses of an impending breakdown so that they can schedule a technician ahead of time to reduce downtime. Small businesses can reduce consumption by investing in IoT lighting and temperature controls They are designed to lower energy consumption and can result in substantial savings.
This is just of short list of the trends we see going into 2021. While no one can predict with certainty what 2021 will bring, it is safe to say that cost savings, efficiency and productivity will be the trend drivers to pay attention to
Have a safe and prosperous 2021.
Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.
John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or his team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise based solution.