Although it has been over two decades since Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) made a grand entrance into the telecommunications sector, the adoption of VoIP has only begun recently to see growth. Since the digitization of communications shows no signs of slowing down, organizations small or big are getting more and more dependent on VoIP technology because of the ways it adds value to an organization.
There was a time when the business phone systems were exclusive for big corporations that worked through hundreds of physical phones. Nowadays, enterprise VoIP has made reaching out to customers via internet voice calls highly accessible and cheap. Even small companies and big companies alike are getting into the trend of utilizing VoIP systems in their business operations.
VoIP systems have already gained immense popularity with applications like Skype, Google Hangout, Google Duo, and WeChat. Specific trends within the VoIP market have been intensifying over the past few years, including:
- the consolidation of online communication technologies
- the effect of the Internet of Things (IoT)
- an increase in mobility of virtual phone systems
- growing security concerns
- the slow death of traditional telephones.
With Google’s WebRTC, organizations and designers can improve their platforms with VoIP without applications and codes. Heading ahead to mid-2021, we have compiled a list of the 6 most essential VoIP trends to keep an eye on before the year ends.
Increasing Popularity of UCaaS
Communication technologies are consolidating to become single unified communications as a service (UCaaS) since such platforms give many more services than just voice calling capabilities. These mechanisms offer instant messaging and team collaboration features like screen sharing, video/web conferencing, faxing facilities, and many more.
It centralizes all online communications within one cloud-based platform for companies to manage their business effectively from anywhere with a secured internet connection. Hence, you must have a UCaaS platform to manage business data seamlessly while it is hot in the market.
AI Technology for VoIP
Auto-attendants are becoming a massive boom since they can speed up communications and optimize call handling, which is one of the main reasons you must have this in your enterprise VoIP solution. AI will be the next smartest and most sensitive digital voice assistant that will conduct real-time sentiment analysis to inform agents about the customer’s behavior on call.
Improving intelligent call routing, which is also skills-based, is another way AI can boost VoIP-based business phone systems. AI has other potential uses for voice software, too, such as applying Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to interpret voice or video calls in real-time.
5G for Mobile
5G has already been introduced for mobile phones which means, service providers will soon or have already started searching for ways to emerge the same in enterprise VoIP too. Currently, two of the most critical areas of concern for VoIP are call latency and quality of service, which are leading to frequent dropped calls. With 5G in virtual phone systems, it will lower latency, deliver increased throughput, get 100% network availability, and offer more bandwidth for sensor devices.
If 5G is integrated into business phone systems, then organizations will be able to connect customers in 1 millisecond as compared to ten milliseconds that 4G does. So, you can only imagine how productivity will increase across organizations by the end of 2021.
This significant increase in speed will bring drastic changes in VoIP calls –
- The quality of calls will be better; issues like jitters, packet loss, and disconnections will decrease significantly
- One can expect a higher number of mobile VoIP applications and even better ones to enter the marketplace
- As 4k and 8k video has become possible, web conferencing and VOIP video will see improvements. Sending video data will be faster, resulting in a quality viewing experience.
Looming Security Concerns
The virtual phone numbers give users an extra layer of privacy and security by providing them with separate business phone numbers, so they don’t have to give out personal phone numbers. However, like all other internet-enabled devices, VoIP systems are susceptible to cyber-attacks.
Thus, organizations will have to consider internet-based security plans while purchasing a VoIP solution for their business operations. Talking with various vendors will help know what measures and tactics to use to guard against phishing, system misconfiguration, network intrusion, stolen records/information, etc.
Organizations that are specially catering to highly regulated industries such as defense, healthcare, finance, pharmaceuticals must take proper measures in cyber-security while getting business VoIP systems.
Integrated In-app Communications
Modern multi-tasking employees strive to complete all the tasks assigned using only a handful of tools. Hence, alliance with cloud-based programs using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is on the rise due to the demand for multi-tasking apps. These APIs are used to connect customer relationship management (CRM) tools, enterprise resource planning (ERP), as well as a support center and help-desk programs.
Such integration of VoIP systems with apps and services will help small and medium-sized businesses tremendously to achieve their goals faster and efficiently. Employees, too, can benefit from these integrated in-app communications to meet their productivity goals.
With the rise of mobile phones, VoIP providers now offer mobile applications based on virtual phone numbers for both iOS and Android phones, along with desktop applications. This enables users to connect to their companies’ VoIP networks while traveling, or during situations when they can be present physically to manage impromptu tasks. However, organizations that issue mobile devices to their customers haven’t had the tools yet needed to track conversations with customers on mobile. For example, features like CRM integrations, call recording, and caller ID haven’t been available. Many vendors are now planning to address this by the end of 2021 and make it possible for companies to gain more insight into how their workforce is interacting with potential customers and clients via mobile devices.
In recent years, enterprise phone systems have thrived and it will continue to thrive in the future as the network speed increases. More and more VoIP-based applications and services are emerging to facilitate smart workplaces as well as smart homes.