Industry Solutions

7 VoIP Trends to Watch for in 2021

2020 certainly gave us a run for our money. Between businesses requiring major pivots in operations and most organizations shifting from primarily in-office to remote work, the way that businesses operate, and the way that teams communicate, collaborate, and continue day-to-day operations hinges on the technical capabilities of the world around us.

As normalcy begins to set in as vaccinations become more widespread, many of the ‘temporary’ changes and trends that began in 2020 because of lockdown procedures continue to dominate the market again this year. Between teams opting to work remotely more often, increased access to wifi and cloud applications/software, and a general change in the social aspects of working in an office, the way that we work will never be the same. Here are a few of the top VoIP trends that will be the focus of the market for 2021:

1. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

Woman using Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

Whether using primarily analog or VoIP phone systems, video conferencing or calling, and whether your staff were connected to clients (or patients, students, contacts), being able to communicate seamlessly has been the absolute key to normalizing day-to-day operations for organizations of every shape and size since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdowns in March of 2020.

As such a universal need for businesses, governments, educational and healthcare institutions, service-based operations among others, the integration and incorporation of UCaaS and VoIP phone systems, and applications such as Microsoft Teams has increased and will likely continue to grow, allowing these organizations to seamlessly continue their communication-based operations in a secure, remote environment for now and into the future.

2. 5G as the Gold Standard

5G gold standard cabling

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that all neighbourhoods, communities and cities have a maximum usage for bandwidth, regardless of the infrastructure. As we continue to shift into more home-office work spaces and as the use for network access continues to grow both in users and in time spent, the need for reliable, universal and, most importantly, fast internet connectivity grows with it.

5G networks, although a controversial topic in some forums, are anticipated to be one of the greatest innovations of it’s time, allowing upwards of 20 times the speed of 4G. Once in place, 5G networks will allow organizations to work and connect faster, incorporate necessary IoT Devices and develop their infrastructure for future growth.

3. AI-based VoIP Assistants

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has developed greatly over the years, with virtual assistants becoming not only more prominent in organizations for businesses to utilize (such as chatbots, automated marketing etc.), but also more prominent in private households for personal use as well. Phone or application-specific assistants such as Alexa, Google or Siri are trusted to place orders, organize schedules and keep users informed. By incorporating similar Ai-based virtual receptionists, organizations of every size and industry can free up employee time while still ensuring that required information is passed along from the client in an accurate manner.

These applications can be especially useful for remote or large-scale operations, as digital receptionists are mapped out and extension or call paths are no longer dropped or looped while allowing callers to navigate themselves through the call flows.

4. The Death of Analog & Landlines

Landline at end-of-life

With the extensive growth of wireless networks(and soon, 5G!) and VoIP capabilities, and the increased implementation of these technologies into organizations of every shape, size and industry has lead us to the final chapter for existing Analog and Legacy systems.

Between calling issues, lack of flexibility and the world’s new need for constant, reliable remote access, landlines and analog phone lines simply no longer fit the bill, and with new infrastructure being implemented to improve our wireless data communications, it’s time we left Analog in 2020.

5. Incorporating VoIP & WebRTC Applications

As organizations continue to navigate post-Covid workspaces and team-based dynamics and communication, the use of WebRTC (Web-based Real-time Communications) with VoIP and other online communications platforms have grown and will continue to be important throughout the next few years.

By integrating and incorporating these real-time media and notifications for web browser-based applications (ie. desktop notifications for emails, phone calls, messenger apps), organizations and businesses can help ensure that their teams are always up to date and informed about operations from any device.

Using WebRTC in combination with VoIP phone lines also allow users to receive calls through any device; whether via web browser or desktop/smartphone application, rather than requiring secondary phones or devices, and avoiding unnecessary phone line forwarding or use of plan minutes.

6. Virtual Classrooms & Utilizing VoIP in Education

People utilizing VoIP Virtual Classrooms

The immense learning curve for implementing, executing and managing virtual learning for elementary through post-secondary educational institutions created a complex challenge for educators and their technical teams, as complex collaboration solutions were required to allow proper, secure communication between students, faculty, and staff. With declining budgets, increased classroom sizes and already limited technical resources available, the need for an easy, universally accessible network solution became top priority to keep students’ day-to-day learning routines on par with an in-class experience.

By implementing Virtual Classrooms and incorporating or further utilizing their VoIP systems, educational institutions and their teams have been able to consolidate locations (including off-premises staff offices, separate educational centres or headquarters), better manage traffic during on-peak and off-peak hours and seasons (ie school start at 8am, or summer closures etc.), and allow staff to work remotely or from their own devices. Many educational institutions are also leveraging this change as a way to maximize on more limited budgets, and allow cutback on maintenance, hardware etc.

7. Increased Security Risks & Issues

Since the first stay-at-home orders in early 2020 until now, many organizations have prioritized their teams’ access to system networks and files, creating more room for error and vulnerability to malicious or financially-motivated cyber attacks. Numerous contributors, including data value, the cybersecurity skills gap, human error (accounts for a whopping 95% of breaches) and internal IT teams not following or enforcing best standards for an organizations’ network and/or users, increases the system’s vulnerability to an attack.

Nearly 70% of business leaders believe that these factors, as well as the effect incoming 5G networking will have on IoT devices, make their organizations and data more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, which is why the worldwide information security market is expected to exceed $170 Billion between now and 2022.

Be a Trendsetter, not a Follower

Telecom Metric Inc. is a 100% Canadian Voice Communications provider, offering some of the most secure voice communications to keep your voice data safe, secure, and accessible. We will work with you every step of the way to create a custom, scalable and secure business VoIP solution provider and the top choice for reliable voice communications. If your organization or business requires UCaaS, Virtual Receptionists, updating of analog phone lines to VoIP, incorporating WebRTC, creating infrastructure for digital classrooms or offices and/or ensuring your data is secure, contact us using the form below!

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