What a wacky, weird and wonderful year 2016 has been!
Evolution to Cloud – where does it stand?
Our clients in government, enterprise, 9-1-1 and SMB marketplace have interest in cloud, and some have even migrated some of their environments to cloud vendor solutions.
But when you actually analyze the migrations, the actual deployments have primarily been primarily in storage, messaging and desktop space, with less interest in collaboration and VoIP application areas.
We have seen more and more organizations investing and moving to cloud-based contact centre, with primary focus due to being able to move to omni-channel environments as a primary driver.
The challenge for most customer organizations has been their lack of ability to identify real and accurate capex and opex costs in moving to cloud, as well as the skills required by organizations to deploy and managed cloud-based solutions.
Once clients migrate to cloud platforms, we have seen a real big gap related to vendor performance and overall automated tools and management practices to enable customers to successfully managing cloud-based vendor solutions.
Our view of the ICT industry from our clients’ feedback
On the industry side, whether IT or telecom oriented; we see all vendors whether manufacturer, carrier or VARs struggling to identify what products, platforms and services they should all be moving to in order to continue to grow revenue and profitability.
It seems like many of them see that crossing into new areas, i.e. IT VARS moving to telecom, or telecom carriers and VARs moving in IT services such as colos areas as the best way to grow and succeed.
One of the challenges with this approach is that we believe they are not investing in the human capital to either hire or train their teams to have them develop the expertise to be able to design, deploy and support the solutions they are proposing to sell.
Where has the technology money gone
During 2016 many of our FOX clients did not spend much money on technology upgrades or new investments due to variety of concerns and fears with the industry, and lack of ability to prove value for investments.
They did spend extensive amount of time analyzing, researching and planning on how and where they are planning to invest in new technologies in 2017 – 2020. Many of these projects are focused on replacing their legacy Nortel or Windows environments, or even aging desktop, laptop and mobile devices and associated applications (since they have been hanging on to things for so long).
Some clients are looking to replace like for like environments moving from digital to VoIP or from laptops to tablets. Very few are looking to identify and deploy solutions that will have the ability to transform their organizations. Part of this is from lack of vision from both the clients and the industry, and also from lack of ability to measure, analyze and prove how these investments will transform their organizations.
This is where we at FOX GROUP are particularly adept at developing accurate next-generation total cost of ownership technology investment forecasts that stand the test of time for transformational technology investments whether cloud, hybrid or premise based, and we have the track record to prove it!
Changing expectations of customers; Industry…. be prepared, the rules are changing!
This leads me to my last major observation for 2016…clients plan on spending more on communications oriented technologies in the future, but they will have significantly higher expectations from the vendors. They are also expecting vendors to be able to clearly show and prove that they have the insight, expertise and are able to show real value for the technology investments they are recommending.
Our clients in sectors such as health care, NG9-1-1 and community health services will all be looking to spend to improve service and reduce human cost.
And oh my gosh, are you ready for this, all of them will be expecting vendors to be to identify and prove in advance that they will be able to design, install and deliver their solutions on time and on budget, prior to getting their order.
From my perspective at FOX GROUP, 2017 is looking to be a transformation time for the UC and next generations technology areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and other emerging areas for both vendors and customers, whether government, enterprise or non-profit.
The winners will be the customers who select and manage the appropriate technology and vendors to leverage the appropriate technologies, people and management practices to not only succeed, but to transform their organizations faster and better than their competitors.
We wish everyone a joyous and happy new year with health, happiness and prosperity in 2017 and beyond!
As always, do not hesitate to contact me if we can be assistance in your technology analysis projects in the future.
Roberta J. Fox, Chief Innovation Officer, FOX GROUP E: Roberta.Fox@foxgroup.ca | T: +1.289.648.1981
FOX GROUP Technology | NG9-1-1 Tech Advisors | FOX ePROcurement
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