Market musings

Business Communication in 2018 And Beyond

by Sasha Viasasha
December 8, 2017

The smartphone revolutionized business communication by mobilizing the most critical business functions, and allowing innovators to make the world their office. But the evolution is far from over. The smartphone is just coming into its own as a tool that not only replaces the hardware and wires of yesterday’s office phone system, but also much of the administrative functions of the back office.  

Exciting changes are coming to networks, applications and the user interface that will again transform our relationship to technology, each other, and the world. And again, the smartphone is at the center of it, but it will begin to take on a more unobtrusive role, working more quietly behind the scenes to empower human intelligence (HI) and support work.

Cities, cars, people and things

In 2018, we’ll be communicating more and more with machines and things as the IoT network edge matures and integrates with the cloud. Communicating H2M (human to machine) will require us humans to learn and understand the way machines are processing language. Human to human (H2H) conversations will be increasingly important in our digital age, requiring soft skills like empathy and negotiation.

Perhaps the most interesting conversations will be humans to machines to humans (H2M2H). As Gartner's Jake Sorofman wrote,

"Human beings are defining parameters and they're defining budgets, they're defining goals and leaving the machines to figure out the right match.” 

This can grow increasingly complex as several systems interface between human and machine dialogues. Increasingly, AI will be joining our conversations with each other, as cities, governments, people and companies and cars exchange information.  

Smartphones will be the keys to this connected world and it will be hard to operate a business or navigate your daily chores without one. For example, new SYNC Connect technology allows you use an app on your phone to unlock your car doors, start up your engine, adjust the internal controls remotely and sync up voice calls on phone to your car so you can keep the conversation going on the road. 

Cutting the cord

From streaming video to Bluetooth earpieces, users have an enormous appetite for leaner, lighter and more mobile tech. As landline networks age, they are being replaced with an all-IP broadband architecture that brings together voice, video and text.

A global communication infrastructure is emerging, driven by the demand for wireless technologies and mobility. The new last mile in telecom isn’t hardwired into a structure, but follows the user wherever they go.

While Wi-Fi has freed up laptops to move about the country, fast internet speeds nearly always require a hard wire coming into the business, such as a DSL line, fiber optic cable or a T1 line. Wi-Fi tends to have a short range and slower speeds. However, the days of wired internet may be going the way of the ancient twisted copper pairs. Companies like Google and Elon Musk's SpaceX investigate Gigabit speeds blanketing the Earth with internet via sattelite

Equivalent speeds over cellular networks will be coming online as 5G is rolled out to more locations in 2018.

The speed of information

Our current moment is defined by the speed at which information can travel. Digitization is converting analog information into 1’s and 0’s that can be shot back and forth around the world at the speed of light. As the rate of innovation—and competition—accelerates businesses are shedding stationary, geo-bounded and analog processes. The appetite for digital is enormous, especially amongst millennials and emerging markets. The bitcoin run is fueled in part by enthusiasm for digital over analog, and speed over caution. However it turns out, digital drives efficiency and adoption, and is transforming every aspect of business and society.

From touch to voice

From the first iPhone on, the touchscreen essentially has been THE user interface: typing, swiping, clicking and tapping are how we way navigate the digital world. That’s changing. As voice search and voice UX become more mature, people are increasingly becoming comfortable with using their voices to navigate, command applications, and locate information.

Data from Deloitte research shows that more millennials are talking on the phone—on their smartphone, of course. After a four-year decline, voice calls are on the rise again. Perhaps it’s because of new technology like HD Voice, which offers crisper and cleaner sound, or cool new accessories like Bluetooth headsets that can optimize the voice experience on noisy streets, or because voice is just an easier hands-free experience. 

An advanced voice UX

The voice experience is the next frontier for developers and designers. As a conversational interface, it's ideal for collaboration, ideation and communication, allowing a great deal of information to flow and for feedback and backchannel to occur instantly. However, capturing the best insights of a phone call has proved an elusive goal until now. Searchable voice data, voice-to-text capture and the ability to clip and save snippets of voice communication can help users pin down those ‘aha’ moments that sometimes prove all too fleeting. 

Simplifying communications

The best technology connects people with people, and puts the information they need at their fingertips. Communication on the go is driving demand for an intuitive, responsive interface that people love to use, with features designed for the way we work and live. Spoke Phone is a virtual phone system designed to get employees talking on their own mobile phones. Spoke's intelligent assistant answers calls and routes to the right people no matter where they are.

Spoke simplifies call transfers, enables team calling, and allows customer to reach you on a DDI with local numbers in 56 countries. Live presence shows you when coworkers are available to talk, and call context combines the low pressure of texting with the problem resolution power of a phone call. We’re working on other cool features, too, including a feature that lets you record and transcribe follow up notes at the end of a call.

Ready see how Spoke Phone can work for you? Contact us to get your own interactive demo, and see how our business phone system is empowering growing businesses that are going places fast.