(As written in LEAD Magazine’s feature article on the 2017 IT Tech Firms to Watch in 2017 by Louie Hollmeyer)
In our world at Advanced Technology Consulting (ATC), we see NEXT-GEN technologies quickly reshaping the telecom and IT landscape. Here are a few NEXT-GEN technologies we are watching and implementing on behalf of our clients.
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
UCaaS, or in some circles simply referred to as hosted VoIP, gives both SMBs and enterprises the ability to greatly enhance communication with their customers and vendors by always providing the most up-to-date tools to stay in contact with their clients, whether by voice, video, chat or instant message. UCaaS allows interaction in just about any way imaginable. It can even incorporate contact center capabilities and create omni-channel customer experiences. UCaaS also has the added benefit of little-to-no upfront costs, the potential for reduced monthly operating costs, scalable provisioning and the ability to only pay for exactly what you need.
Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)
SD-WAN is a new network architecture that allows multi-location companies to replace expensive legacy networks with lower-cost broadband and 4G alternatives, while still delivering a secure, private and reliable network for voice communications and other real-time applications. It can also create redundancy and auto-failover environments without the work associated with legacy services. In addition, it can replace expensive and cumbersome routers and firewalls, allowing companies to reduce CapEx and monthly recurring costs significantly. It has built-in application acceleration and WAN optimization as well. Since legacy services are more of a hub-and-spoke approach to network architecture, they are not well suited for cloud-based applications like Office 365.
Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
NFV is poised to transform the world of networking. The technology is part of a larger shift from legacy hardware-based networks to those based on software, which will give network architects and administrators a new way to design, deploy and manage network capabilities. Companies can add, remove, configure and modify network services in real time. Thus, innovative new services can be deployed over the network via software updates rather than requiring the ordering and ship-ping of network appliances to branch offices and remote locations. NFV can lower both capital and operating expenses. Capital expenses are reduced because an enterprise no longer needs to purchase specialized hardware. Operating expenses drop as companies no longer require real estate, support personnel, electricity costs and equipment maintenance fees.