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What's Hot and What Could Suck About 2013 Communication Trends?

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Diane RoyerBy Diane Royer

So for the last four years I've had the privilege to collaborate with a cross section of thought leaders at Avaya and produce some very successful communication trends and prognostications. It's always interesting and fun to put on our future-vision glasses and project into the future with a sense of proclamation, hope and vision — along with a touch of some safe bets.

This year as I was ruminating over our multiple perspectives and reflecting back over the last several years, it dawned on me that just as interesting as the expected trends could be – it would be equally interesting to imagine what could potentially suck (or be "whack" — according to my kid's lingo) when things take a wrong turn. It's sort of like heading out on an exciting road trip and then having to deal with the headaches of several wrong turns, traffic jams and an unexpected mechanical breakdown. In my family we're a bit comical about how we deal with that: First we figure out who to blame, we state the obvious and then we get about the business of having fun and vowing never to make those same mistakes again.

In the world of communication trends, it can be a bit similar to my family road-trip adventures. We gather up all the expertise, project what we think will happen, and then when we make a few "wrong turns," we vow not to make those again and we get on to the timely business of the day ...

Here's a preview into our communication trends for 2013 with a juxtaposition of how what could be hot could potentially turn into what could be "whack" when it doesn't go well:

  1. Simplified Complexity Drives the Agenda vs. Overly Complex Apps Are Proprietary and Non-Starters. Flatten, consolidate and extend is becoming a communications and IT mantra again.
  2. Video Changes Business and Customer Expectations vs. Bad Quality Video Continues to Ruin Productivity. The proliferation of video, from private chats on smartphones to multi-participant videoconferences to video to the masses, is changing peoples' acceptance and expectations of being on camera.
  3. Real-Time Analytics Help Fine-Tune the Customer Experience vs. Data Dumps Bury Us. The convergence of advanced analytical capabilities and big data is creating new opportunities to learn what customers are saying they want – and how effectively an organization is responding.
  4. Businesses Face the Private or Public Cloud Decision vs. Lost in the Cloud of Confusion. A public cloud environment offers the potential to greatly lower costs but provides little room for customization, while a private cloud can be tailored nor but can also cost more.
  5. Communications Support Goes Proactive vs. Reactivity Destroys Support Assistance Value. Today's support model is still largely reactive, built on the idea that if something goes wrong someone picks up the phone and engages with the solution provider to fix it.
  6. Managed Services Hit an Inflection Point vs. Plain Old Services Continues to Miss the Boat. Rapid changes in business conditions are driving an even greater need for operational and financial flexibility.
  7. Mobile Muscles In vs. Pretend Mobile Is So Wimpy. Mobile solutions represent one of the fastest-rising elements of IT spending.

Diane Royer is senior marketing manager of Avaya Client Services. Her focus is directing thought leadership for Avaya Client Services and integrating services into Avaya solution launches. Diane’s more than 30 years of business experience includes telecommunications marketing, sales and field operations. She has also worked as a market researcher for a leading international firm and as a loan officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration . Follow her on Twitter @Royer_Edge .

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