Each year unified commuinications services provider Avaya asks asks some of its leading thinkers to share their predictions for the important communications trends and developments in the coming months. Looking ahead to 2012, five of their top minds have offered insights into topics including social media, managed services and customer care. Here is a preview of the 12 Communications Trends for 2012:
1. Mobility raises the expectation of availability — the pervasiveness of mobile apps and devices, along with access to the breadth of business applications, will change consumer expectations of businesses and employers’ expectations of employees.
2. Contact centers test the value of voice — more companies will calculate where voice communications fit into their value stream, from pure cost to revenue generation.
3. Contextual data spans the last mile of personal productivity —“meta-information” will accompany voice, video, chat or text communications to provide context for the interaction.
4. Businesses advance from social media to social business — more businesses will question and demand quantification of the value of their social media activities.
5. Social media and customer care enter into an arranged marriage — promotions and customer service are the top two drivers of consumer engagement through social media, so businesses will need to build new linkages between their marketing, sales and customer care functions.
6. The SIP is raised again — early adopters have completed implementation of, and captured initial ROI from, SIP-enabled infrastructure; now they’ll begin deploying SIP-enabled applications to gain the next level of value.
Social interactions expose customer care’s flaws — businesses can’t fake who they are in a “social” setting, because social interactions ultimately expose “the real you.” Some businesses will discover they aren’t portraying an image they prefer, so they’ll be compelled to reinvent what customer centricity is all about.
8. IT support staffs converge, part two — in many companies, voice and data support teams converged with the advent of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony; with the deployment of unified communications applications, more companies will blend their applications teams as well.
9. Continuous connectivity drives communications support services — communications support services increasingly will involve proactive problem resolution via secure access links and live interaction when necessary via innovative Web environments.
10. “True” UC apps proliferate — IT departments will be compelled by business units and enterprise users to adopt more user-centric applications and devices.
11. UC managed services/outsourcing facilitates alignment between IT and business units — as business unit demands increase at an even faster clip, more IT departments will adopt managed services/outsourcing business models to keep pace. IT groups that resist will continue to struggle.
12. Clients take control of managed services — as IT departments better understand industry best practices around infrastructure management, they will become more discriminating about the services they purchase, their expectations for transparency into those services, and how they hold service providers accountable.
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