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The Future is now: how 2020 has accelerated the channel landscape

2020 has been a quite a year. It’s required resilience from you, our partners, and your customers and we’ve seen technology adoption like never before. Whether to facilitate collaboration between employees working from home, discover new channels to engage with customers or identify different routes to market, businesses have adopted digital capabilities in new, exciting ways.


The channel has played a crucial role in keeping the country connected throughout a period where the landscape has evolved greatly and, as we look back on 2020, we can take stock of the trends we’ve seen and explore what the future may hold.


The all-IP push

We’ve seen first-hand how important technology has been in keeping businesses operational and the focus is now on all-IP. Providing tools with the reliable connectivity they need to truly add value is key and, as we move towards the 2025 switch-off, transitioning customers onto digital-first access solutions will futureproof them. They must set the foundations and only then can they start taking advantage of the numerous digital opportunities that exist.


The future is truly exciting and most of the use cases for superfast connectivity – namely 5G and full fibre (FTTP and SoGEA) – are still just figments of our imagination. In the next year, we’ll see those technologies really kick on and become more common within digital infrastructures so that organisations can drive evermore data-hungry efforts like VR and edge projects.


The channel needs to support this as many may still not fully grasp the need for the transition to all-IP. What’s more, while they may be aware of the 2025 switch-off, that date marks the end and exchanges will be taken offline prior to that; the countdown is truly on.


Voice and collaboration tools and office environment integration

2020 saw the mass adoption of voice and collaboration tools. As companies suddenly had to operate with decentralised workforces, such technology was paramount in keeping employees connected.


There are so many benefits to this range of technologies with one of them being integration. Integration into workflow processes to boost collaboration across multiple channels, as well as CRM systems and other applications to streamline the sales process.


More future facing, we’ll see that integration going much deeper into office environments. Imagine when setting up physical meetings, if the number of people attending suddenly exceeds the maximum number of seats in a designated room, the collaboration solution could automatically find a bigger space or turn the meeting virtual; perhaps a much-needed capability should the requirement for social distancing remain in place.


The future in 2020

In mid 2020, BT Group released its ‘The future in 2020’ research report which looked to uncover how emerging technology is viewed by UK plc. The findings revealed that there is still some way to go, with only VoIP currently existing in more than 40% of organisations, with other technologies – including AI, hybrid cloud, IoT and 5G – having much lower adoption rates.


The future of a Digital Britain is dependent on the uptake of such innovation, with it able to boost business performance to new levels, and the channel will have a vital role to play. You are your customers’ trusted advisors and there needs to be a level of education about how new solutions can be embraced and what impact they will have.


Ultimately, 2020 was a year of change . Now as we move into 2021, we are so excited to work alongside you to deliver this new digital era. 

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