Change is never easy to navigate, and as we move into the 2020s, digital transformation shows no sign of slowing down. If anything, it’s going to accelerate – and not just in terms of futuristic technologies like AI or blockchain.
Telecoms infrastructure will also shift significantly, meaning channel resellers must adapt and evolve their offering in order to meet customer expectations, retain old clients, and win new ones. Here’s some of the key areas to consider when it comes to getting your customers ready for the decade ahead.
From the death of ISDN to the 5G revolution
Few among us will have missed one of the major changes set to occur in the next decade: the 2025 ISDN switch off. Obviously, channel resellers with an existing ISDN base should be making plans to move customers over to the appropriate alternative.
But this is by no means the only significant shift. If the last ten years are anything to go by, mobile should evolve significantly too. After all, in 2010, the iPhone 3GS was the height of mobile sophistication – while most business people were shooting off messages on their BlackBerry Bold, complete with QWERTY keyboard.
So it’s not hard to imagine that, by the end of the 2020s, mobile devices will look very different. If you’re operating in the channel, you’ll need to stay abreast of key developments and ensure your customers have access to the right technology.
For example, 5G will soon become a widespread reality – but to access this next generation connectivity, businesses will need new 5G-compatible devices. The first of the big Mobile Network Operators has now launched its initial 5G offering, while 5G handsets are already on the market. It won’t be long before your customers are keen to take advantage.
The demand for data
Over the last decade, demand for data has grown significantly, as organisations move critical applications to the cloud. As a result, many businesses have already battled with their legacy connectivity solutions, becoming understandably frustrated by inadequate and inflexible connectivity.
This problem is only set to increase throughout the next decade. The appetite for high-speed, ultra-reliable data isn’t going to go away – and while 5G could lift some of the burden, businesses still need to invest carefully in their network solutions. That means channel resellers have to stay at the forefront of any developments in this space.
Software Defined Networking in a Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is the obvious example here. This layer two technology has been a hot topic of conversation recently, with many vendors touting it as the all-singing, all-dancing solution to any problems an enterprise might have with its WAN. While this is by no means the reality of the situation, it’s certainly a solution that can give IT decision makers more visibility over their network estates, helping them to optimise and potentially even make cost savings.
Of course, it’s not all about innovation. Sometimes, it will simply be a case of delivering best-in-class solutions to the customers that require them. Whether it’s Business Broadband, Ethernet, or a MPLS Wide Area Network (WAN), your customers need connectivity they can rely on to help them thrive over the next ten years – so you should always be ready to provide this.
Changing the way we work
Getting your customers ready for the next decade isn’t just a matter of advising them on the best, most innovative tech. Ways of working will continue to evolve, and your customers’ telecoms infrastructure will need to account for that.
Over the last decade, for example, remote working has exploded in popularity: one figure puts the increase at around 159%. That means you’ll likely need to ensure that your customers have the right infrastructure and applications to empower their employees to work effectively, no matter where they are in the world.
The need to provide 24/7 customer service is also a big concern for many businesses, especially in sectors like retail. Increasingly, organisations are keen to stay ahead of the competition by being available to provide support around the clock. To achieve this, many are turning to technologies like chatbots – and even if you’re not directly helping them implement AI, they’ll certainly need to ensure they have robust connectivity solutions in place to support this.
The countdown is on
Over the coming years, businesses will have plenty to think about and some serious strategic decisions to make. Getting the right infrastructure in place will be vital – and that’s where the opportunity for channel resellers is clear. Whether you’re supporting your old customers or trying to win new ones, you can play a key role in your customers’ success, keeping them connected with the world around them, whatever happens.