Preparing for the future of communication

In the widening universe of communication services, contextual awareness will be increasingly important. The future of communication is all about context

Operator offerings and future communication solutions will need to be flexible enough to adapt to various contexts and operators will need to provide platforms for communication solutions, rather than individual communication services.

The Internet has induced multiple shifts in both society and technological development, especially in terms of how people communicate. This poses a potent challenge for telecom operators; weakening of consumer relationships and revenue decline in their telephony business.

The future will require solutions that can evolve from today’s services and better adapt to customer needs, whether they are global reach for an interoperable mass-market service or customizations required to solve a particular business problem in a specific context. Hence, the strategy needs to build on an understanding of the implication of these paradigm shifts and how they impact on a telecom operator’s goals with respect to brand, finance, competence and technology.

The fact that an individual has the ability to control the way he or she is represented in various communication scenarios should be seen as a shift in the balance of power. Each individual decides which service, in which context, and on which platform they want to communicate; each with a different digital persona.

These trends are most evident in the behaviour of younger people. In both their private lives and workplaces, they expect communication to be unlimited, flexible in usage and multifaceted in function. The work of connecting personas is today largely happening on the web. Future communication solutions will be required to interwork with multiple representations of a person or company role in a secure and seamless way.

One consequence of this shift of power toward the individual user is that the communication application logic (how to find and establish a connection to one particular digital persona) is not automatically tied to one representation of the physical person – for example, a particular phone number or e-mail address.

In-process oriented communication will add new communication enablers to services from the existing ICT industry. The greatest opportunities for telecom companies will likely come in two forms: the service-integrator role and the service-component provider role with simplicity, speed and performance as key aspects of the value proposition.

The greatest challenge is finding the right pace for change, in order to maintain and maximise profitable business sectors while transforming others. This pace will be different for every operator, depending on varying conditions. It is a decision that must be considered carefully yet without delay.

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