What has 2018 got in store?

What has 2018 got in store?

What is it that really drives what we do? It is the technological advances. Technology has moved on so rapidly. 10 years ago, who thought being able to connect with the office systems when working from home would be possible?

So, what are we to make of forecasts and predictions for 2018? Digital Transformation, customer led strategies and GDPR are dominating the boardroom. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and Artificial Intelligence are becoming an accepted area of technology. These technologies have moved on from gaming and are now being incorporated into business models and thinking.

Gartner make their living analysing markets. The company published their Top Ten Technology Trends for 2018 in October and placed firmly at the top of that list is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Foundation. David Cearley, Vice President and Gartner Fellow, explains. “The ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience will drive the payoff for digital initiatives through 2025. A recent Gartner survey showed that 59% of organisations are still gathering information to build their AI strategies, while the remainder have already made progress in piloting or adopting AI solutions. Although using AI correctly will result in a big digital business payoff, the promise and pitfalls of general AI where systems magically perform any intellectual task that a human can do and dynamically learn much as humans do is speculative at best”.

What will make or break 2018 is the provision of truly usable cloud products that work for a business. Hosted voice, fixed mobile convergence, Skype for Business, Office 365, we have been talking about all these converging technologies for some time now. What we will begin to see is a shift from just talking about them, to seeing resellers and end-users truly realising the business benefits that these technologies can bring.

Video will become a mainstream application and we will see exponential growth in this application for many reasons. The ease and associated cost of deployment for video services delivered in the Cloud will mean this becomes an application that can be consumed right from the Enterprise down to the SME.


Charles Aylwin Director of Channel at 8×8 says that as the demand for unified communication (UC) grows, the market that is not fully unified across multiple channels can be clunky and painful to use and will result in a poor working environment, and therefore poor job satisfaction.

On the other hand, a fully unified platform that is easy for all staff to use no matter what their age or experience can result in happy, efficient staff and a fully collaborative business.”

Hosted IP Telephony will continue to grow as it expands adoption beyond and throughout the SME segment. The companies who are successful in Hosted IP Telephony will now look to maintain their advantage through the launch and adoption of these new technologies.

What is noticeable is a huge market to address in the transformation to IP from legacy networks and services and we expect to see strong growth across all segments of the market.

With GDPR looming large on the horizon and as telecommunications evolves to unified communications, these solutions must facilitate GDPR compliance. Alongside regulatory changes in 2018, business analytics offerings will evolve to a new level.

These could extend to include ‘omni-channel’ customer interactions, enabling businesses to understand customer communications better than ever before.

So, hold tight, it is going to be a rollercoaster of a ride, but with the advances we are seeing, businesses really need to adopt and adapt these latest unified communications to stay ahead of the competition.

To find out how Alliance Communications can keep you one step ahead of the game, contact us on 01179 700 900 or email info@alliancecoms.com