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Telecom Trends: The Future is Calling

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It’s time to follow-up on my earlier post on my talk at IT expo. At that session, I was asked to talk through the trends in telecommunications that are shaping where we are, and where we are heading.

In my last post, I went through some key trends from the past. This time, let’s look at current trends and where they are taking us.

First, you can’t even start a conversation about trends without quickly moving to discuss the mobility revolution. It’s not just that everyone is getting a cell phone, it’s the implications of continuous connectivity.

As new generations enter the work force, the expectations for communications are changing. This generation expects always-on information.

As they went through high-school and college, they had the luxury of being able to look down at anytime and know what’s happening in the world, who’s available to chat, and what their entire circle of friends is up to at that moment in time.

They now bring this expectation to work and demand a continuous connection to their work communications, their key data, their co-workers and more. This moves all of us toward delivering an experience that enables the mobile device with the same work experience as is available at the desk.

The interest in open integration is trend number two. Integrating communications and business systems isn’t new. It’s been around for a long time in call centers. What we see today is renewed interest in improved technologies, such as presence, Web 2.0, and unified communications, as well as the economic push that drives for increasing productivity.

Bring your information into your communication processes and you get smarter workers. Workers who have the information they need at their fingertips while they are talking to the caller. Workers who know who else is available to help them at a moment’s notice. The result? Workers who get things done quicker and make your customers happier.

The third trend that is shaping where we are going in telecommunications comes from the clouds. It’s the increasing trend businesses have to consolidate their infrastructure and make key business services accessible anywhere in their network – or even anywhere on the Internet.

This trend is driven, again, by both the enabling technology and the business claimant. Technologies such as improved networking and virtualization make it possible for companies to create highly available, highly concentrated data centers that are connected via high performance networks.

Organizations can now build their own “private cloud” if you will. This, in turn, allows them to respond to ongoing business pressures, including consolidating resources, reducing equipment, and reducing space.

This pressure was apparent in an article I noted this morning discussing how the state of California has announced a new initiative to reduce its data center footprint by 50 percent. This is a goal that many private businesses share as well.

It’s shaping up to be an interesting era in communications. Whether the organization is large or small, optimizing results is now squarely on everyone’s mind and we are seeing that today’s forward-thinking IT teams are looking to new solutions and architecture to give employees the communications tools they need to meet the challenge.