Today is World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) 2016, a day that celebrates the constant evolution of the communications industry. This celebratory occasion was first established on 17th May 1969 by ITU, the UN agency for information and communication technology.
WTISD aims to highlight the importance of communication and raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the internet and other communications technology can bring to society. This year’s theme is ‘ICT entrepreneurship for social impact’. It promotes technology as drivers of innovative and practical solutions in achieving sustainable development goals.
The communications industry has evolved rapidly over the last few decades and bigger changes are afoot. We are living in a world with a growing appetite for ‘on demand’ and communications is no exception. We want instantaneous connections at any time, via any device. Traditional telcos simply cannot meet these demands and are subsequently limiting the levels of innovation global companies can achieve. This is paving the way for cloud- telephony systems which enable people to communicate via internet-enabled software.
Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC) is fast becoming the face of future communications. This technology allows people to communicate using their browser with voice, messaging, and video chat applications. Indeed, the flexibility of offering telephony functionality via cloud technology is opening a world of opportunity for young innovators and start-ups all over the world – including developing countries. Organisations are no longer restricted by outdated telephony technology and legacy infrastructures. They can now use their full imagination and creativity to come up with new ways to communicate via web or mobile applications.
Cloud telephony and WebRTC add another facet to modern-day communications and are much better suited to today’s consumer and business demands. The internet is ultimately unlocking opportunities to create new services and companies that can change the way businesses engage with their customers on a global scale.The Rise of Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC)
Enterprise communications have certainly changed over the last decade. The working environment has become a lot more fluid. Perceptions are changing on flexible working hours forcing organisations to address their collaboration strategies.
Indeed, employees expect to connect with their colleagues or customers instantly, whether it’s via email, social media, video or voice, on any device, wherever they are. This has forced enterprises to extend the capabilities of their mobile collaboration initiatives to meet these demands. The result is the extensive growth of the fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) market and ultimately the cloud telecommunications market.
Despite being widely discussed in the 1990s and early 2000s, it’s only in recent years that the FMC market has taken off. This is largely down to the increase in video consumption on all types of telecommunications networks. This means FMC is more likely to be successful through cloud telephony software vendors than it was through the traditional voice operators.
One of the biggest reasons businesses choose to implement fixed-mobile convergance is the impact it can have on decision-making and output. Mobile professionals can make much more informed decisions if they have immediate access to their company’s overall communications platform. Customer queries can be answered faster and branch offices can collaborate more effectively.
Think about it – if customers and colleagues can reach employees or customers with a single number, no matter where they, they are never out of touch. Employees are increasingly on the move or working remotely, so this ensures a consistent relationship from start to finish. When you introduce WebRTC on top of FMC, employees really have a very powerful communication capability. You can then provide seamless video conferencing across any device with no software requirements.
Access to familiar features
A useful feature of FMC worth noting is that it enables workers to quickly access their familiar desktop phone features, like call transfer, from their mobile devices. If, for example, a call is missed, having one voicemail box means employees spend less time managing multiple answering machines.
Security needn’t be a concern as FMC is designed to extend the security and control of enterprise communication platforms to mobile devices.
Having all employees using the same communications platform regardless of device leads to significant productivity gains, especially when integrated with other core IT platforms such as CRM systems.
Finally – and often most importantly – fixed mobile convergence makes financial sense. By employing policies that route mobile through Cloud Telephony and Cloud Contact Centre systems, businesses can significantly reduce telecommunication costs. You gain access to the lowest-cost, negotiated-rate, fixed-line networks.
Over the next 10 years, tightly integrated fixed and mobile lines using cloud telephony technology will undoubtedly be the main characteristic of networks and services. As the millennial generation enters the workforce, organisations will be put under more and more pressure to adapt to the ‘always on’ flexible working that they have come to expect. This includes communicating across any mobile device at any time of the day.
Businesses will need to look for smarter, more cost-effective cloud telecommunications tools that ensures all of their communication channels are in sync. Fixed mobile convergence ultimately helps businesses facilitate timely responses to customers’ needs, centralise processes and save money – with no added stress.