As 2018 draws to a close, I feel incredibly grateful for the peaks but also that every year presents entrepreneurial challenges. With a strong growing team, the determination to exceed them gets smarter each time. We are already aware that 2019 holds a lot of Brexit uncertainty, with 1 in 3 businesses cutting jobs or relocating if the clarity of Brexit fails to materialize. My advice would be for businesses to consider flexibility and supplier scalability to ensure a promising future after Brexit. We are fortunate at Voip Unlimited to still be able to offer European Numbers, no matter the outcome. Adopting a cloud structure will help organizations to take advantage of new services and provide them with the agility to adapt rapidly to changes in policies and regulations. So, what do I think 2019 has in store?
Firstly, I believe 2019 will be particularly transformational in the evolution of VoIP. Over the past decade, VoIP has become standardized within businesses of all sizes and productions. From one-man-bands to international enterprises, the cost savings are repeatedly substantial. I believe 2019 will be the first real migration away from ISDN lines, in readiness for BT’s full retirement in 2022. Like analogue TV, copper is out and people want to make the switch while the market’s still competitive. With the global VoIP Market expected to reach £200 billion by 2020, we can expect ITSP’s to continually improve VoIP. For example, just this year alone we invested over a quarter of a million into sharpening our network. Just because our network was primarily built to be voice optimised, doesn’t mean we are blind to the continual improvements.
Secondly, with this year’s prevalence of security breaches of brands including Yahoo, Facebook’s data scandal (which left 87 million records breached) and the GDPR law enforcement, improved threat detection for Cybersecurity and DDoS attacks will become a necessity for organisations trading or communicating online. It’s important to highlight no matter the scale of the company, hackers will continue to target businesses. This is essentially due to the fact they are progressively more dependent on uninterrupted network services. In fact, most of our new Ethernet lines installed this year, came alongside a requirement for our DDoS Mitigation Service. I hope for the sake of honest businesses and for the defeat of online criminals, that this is looked upon as important as buildings and contents insurance for businesses going forward.
Lastly, remember the incredible influx of snow this year? It brought many businesses to a halt, and who’s to say this won’t happen again? So, another trend I’m confident will continue to inflate in 2019, is Cloud Telephony. I know, sounds familiar, but think about it, we expect technology to help us wherever we are and being on the move should no longer impact productivity. Statistics have shown that globally, 70% of people work remotely at least once a week. It may sound like I’m stating the obvious, but for remote working to be successful, an effective and reliable system of communication is necessary and with Voice still being the favoured route of communication, it’s not just about emails on your phone, Cloud Telephony is the real empowerment & frees businesses from the static legacy office-based phone system. When the snow hit Dorset and we were snowed in with red weather warnings all across BBC South Today, Voip Exchange, our Cloud Telephony product enabled my business to remain operational. My clients and Channel Partners still had all the help they needed, plus, go figure, the weather spiked demand for the Voip Exchange platform too!
I’m very proud to say that Voip Exchange helps thousands of causes, one we have been working particularly close with is The Brain Tumour Charity (TBCC). Their multiple offices have used Voip Exchange for a couple of years now, but I was especially touched how the scalability of the platform enabled the charity to cope with 79% increase in call volume this year. This was after politician Tessa Jowell sadly passed away in May and the publicity of how the charity helped with the politician’s condition, highlighted what was available to thousands more people caring for, or living with a brain tumour in the UK. They even opened a new Benefits Clinic for people to use the facilities & advice to get financial help, and over 12 months TBCC predict this to be around £420,000 in total, that’s around £5000 per family, what a phenomenal tangible effect on thousands of people.
Another area of pride for me this year has been our friends and connectivity clients Racing Point Force India Formula 1™ Team. They finished in the top 10 qualifying of the year and were able to face and overcome several challenges, having shown an incredible amount of determination and resilience in doing so. We look forward to a strong start in the 2019 season and will continue to give all our support possible, whether that be as a connectivity supplier or friendly extension of their technology department.
“Look after yourself the way you would with your business and get yourself ready to take a few days to relax over the festive break. Trust me when I say everyone comes back on a mission in January and so will you!”