Prasanth Yerrapragada, VP - Technology, Telebu

Prasanth envisions having a positive impact on the lives of people by building futuristic technology. He is passionate about agile and waterfall project management methodologies. Further, his role at Telubu is to provide thought leadership and technical consulting in outlining, executing, measuring, delivering and ensuring continuous improvement for product, resource utilization and setting up processes adhering to principles of lean methodology to boost productivity. Additionally, he is responsible for people development, product planning, change requests & management, dealing with service contracts and risk mitigation.

Since its inception back in the 90s, internet-based communication services, such as VoIP and video collaboration, have come a long way. The usage, total revenue and market share of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) have grown at an exponential rate and are expected to continue their upward trajectory. The Covid-19 pandemic led to several businesses switching to VoIP solutions from a regular phone line as people took to working from home. 

As per reports, the worldwide VoIP market is projected to touch nearly 102 billion USDtowards the end of 2026. In the current scenario, VoIP technology has come to play a central role in business operations, both externally and internally. The adoption of technology has received further boost with the emergence of mobile VoIP and global expansion of internet. 

5G: The Next Big Thing 

As the wait for 5G gets over, it is touted to be the next big thing for internet connectivity. The fifth-generation wireless network technology is anticipated to radically transform internet services. 

This is expected to be a gamechanger for the VoIP industry as users will then be able to experience improved quality of calls with the call jitters completely out of the way. Moreover, 5G will enable internet users to have fast internet browsing speeds, better network connections, and increased capacities, which are all crucial as VoIP will integrate video and other forms of communication going forward. 

5G benefits are highly likely to make more businesses inclined towards adopting VoIP as it offers superfast speed and reduced response times and does away with line glitches and packet loss during data transfer. This will result in faster connections and improved clarity in calls made or received along with offering increased capacity. 

Outlook for VoIP in 2021

Since in 2021, more people and businesses will likely adopt and come to increasingly depend on VoIP, it is important that we explore the trends that will shape the market: 

Increased AI Integration

AI and VoIP are apparently two of the most rapidly growing technologies in current times. When combined, these technologies can enhance a company’s customer service by analysing speech patterns and enabling real-time call translations which can prevent language-barriers. In addition, it’s predicted that AI technology will be able to gauge customer behaviour over phone calls in future. These valuable insights about the customers will empower companies to mould their strategies and approach in customer service basis the type of customer they are dealing with.   

AI also has the potential to make virtual assistants so advanced in their functionality that they will be able to help in daily mundane tasks such as routing or diverting calls to the voicemail. AI will also assist in the collection of customer data which will allow companies to provide personalised service to their customers. 

AI in VoIP will provide a better understanding of the issues and queries that users raise as well as suggest the probable resolutions with the aid of metrics such as call time and service ratings. Distilling this data, agents will be able to understand what the users need and solve their issues in minimal time. 

Rise in Demand for Unified Communications as a Service 

The cloud communication channels that are consolidated entirely into a single service are called Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). In a typical case scenario, these services leverage VoIP as a base technology but they offer much more than mere voice calls. Additional features can be combined and bundled together into a singular service platform and may offer video and web conferencing, instant messaging, faxing and team collaboration features. 

UCaaS provides multiple advantages. It saves on time and money both when establishing a communications network and when its operation is going on. In addition, it provides better security &data privacy as well as single login for all communication and collaboration products. Also, all the external & internal communications across channels gets integrated into one single platform. Lastly, instead of paying for 5 different products or services, we just need to pay for one.

VoIP and Blockchain 

WebRTC can enhance VoIP technology via its capability to provide real-time communications like instant calls and live video support. It also has the potential to make direct calls from web browsers and file-sharing a lot more seamless due to the combined technology, thus eliminating the requirement for additional widgets and plug-ins. Keeping phone lines open for the customers is key to business success. It’s predicted that in the foreseeable future, new blockchain technology will simplify the whole process of switching phone service providers or taking up a new number by extending a standardized access and routing option to all the operators.  

Rise of Unified Mobile Communications 

As the global pandemic struck, several businesses had to figure out ways to smoothly transition to remote work while sustaining employee engagement and productivity. Though many companies had already undertaken initiatives for the purpose, the crisis necessitated mobile business access, functionalities and success in 2020. Therefore, from a business perspective, mobility has given rise to new opportunities for optimizing efficiency and productivity, which is essential for businesses to stay agile in the evolving business landscape. 

VoIP & IoT

Internet of Things (IoT) and VoIP both work on the protocol called IP which makes it easier to integrate VoIP systems into the IoT gateway. IoT is connecting tons of daily-use appliances which can provide a better and smarter world. VoIP effectively reduces costs of telecommunications and offers such benefits to businesses that traditional telephone systems cannot. With the IoT, the entire value proposition of VoIP services can broaden and enables businesses to extract more functionality from their phone networks.

Summing Up 

VoIP can bring in tangible benefits to businesses. It is not just a cost-effective alternative to traditional phone systems and communication lines but can also optimize how business calls and transactions are handled. The popular belief is that VoIP is the future of business communication though its still evolving. But like any other technology, the success of VoIP strategy relies on the quality of services being utilised. Hence, 2021 looks to be a year of progress for the VoIP phone systems. A greater number of businesses will lean towards internet telephony to render them efficient and highly responsive. 

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