What do UC service providers hope to achieve in 2018?
Henry Barton, VP Operations Strategy, VOSS
When compiling our annual predictions for the UC industry, we always have an eye on how we think the year ahead will impact our customers. With many (if not most) of the world's largest service providers using the VOSS UC management platform, we thought we would share our thoughts on the evolution of service provider requirements in 2018.
1. The rise of customer experience
At VOSS, we believe that 2018 will see service providers place an increased focus on end-user and customer-administrator UC management experience, and enhanced operational management. This will be supported by:
- Deep analysis of service adoption, call usage, UC service configuration, and transaction history
- Service provider and customer-level UC service reporting to assess UC service health, and to optimize service offerings
- The introduction of mass automation of MACD functions to optimize service settings
2. The battle for differentiation
In 2018, service providers will be under more pressure than ever to differentiate their UC offerings from both traditional service provider competitors, and from emerging competitors. The service providers that are able to offer the most innovative and customer-centric packages will win the greatest market share.
3. Flow-through provisioning
In 2018, there will be a greater emphasis on flow-through UC provisioning from customer HR, directory and ticketing systems, directly into UC domain management, combined with integrated management with billing and telecoms expense management systems (a.k.a zero-touch provisioning).
4. An increase in complex UC management requirements
As enterprises request combined hybrid public-cloud, private-cloud and on-premise UC platform support and multi-vendor solutions, e.g. Cisco Spark and Microsoft Office360, combined with Cisco HCS, Microsoft Skype for Business and Teams, and Broadsoft, the demand for robust UC management will be of paramount importance. Also, the demand for extended solution integration with contact center platforms and other third-party applications, e.g. recording systems, auto attendants, operator consoles, will fuel complexity and drive the need for comprehensive UC management.
5. Process automation
We see 2018 as the year for increased levels of UC management process automation, with multi-step provisioning activities being combined into multi-stage workflow steps. This will simplify UC deployment lifecycles while handling all the underlying configuration requirements.
6. Global, distributed UC management
In 2018, expect an increased focus on global distributed UC management as a result of major service providers scaling-up, and to meet demands from global multi-nationals and distributed regional enterprises.
7. Intuitive GUIs
Finally, we foresee enhanced and more intuitive graphical user interfaces being required, to simplify customer experiences and to integrate into e-commerce and service provider portals.
Contact VOSS to find out more! We look forward to working with our customers to achieve their UC management goals, in 2018.