Service Management Trends 2019

What's next for Service Management technology?

Service Management Trends 2019

Communication is evolving. Trends like artificial intelligence, the demand for big data, and remote working are changing the way that businesses connect, both with employees and customers. In a complicated workplace environment, most organisations need to implement dozens of different tools and platforms to empower their teams. Unfortunately, keeping track of those assets can be difficult, even if you have a dedicated IT team on-site.

Service Management Software has emerged as the ultimate security and efficiency booster for today’s complex communication stacks. With service management tools from leading brands like Virsae and Swoop Datacom, business leaders will have a better overview of their end-to-end communication environment. This means that it’s easier to find and eliminate problems before they become too significant. It also means that rolling out updates, patches, and new software can be a lot simpler.

Service management software has evolved from a solution associated mostly with network strategies and IT, to a crucial component of the UC environment. The right tools can help you keep your business running at optimum performance on a daily basis, by showing you where the bottlenecks are in your performance. What’s more, service management software can even streamline the process of training and empowering new employees, so you end up with better customer satisfaction.

We spoke to the current leaders in the service management space, Virsae and Swoop Datacom, to get their thoughts on the changing SM landscape.

The Customer Trends That Shaped the Service Management Industry in 2018

Like many disruptive solutions in the communications market today, service management software is generally delivered over the cloud, giving teams the freedom to accelerate or reduce their support depending on their individual needs. The pay-as-you-go nature of service management equipment and its flexible structure makes it perfect for industries that need to frequently update or alter their strategy according to changing seasonal trends.

Over the last year, countless companies have begun to recognise the various benefits of service management software for themselves, Virsae and Swoop Datacom shared their opinions on the trends that have driven the industry forward.

John Bennett, CEO of Swoop Datacom:

John Bennett, Swoop Datacom

John Bennett, Swoop Datacom

According to the CEO of leading service management provider, Swoop Datacom, the communication industry today is facing a period of rapid evolution and “extreme competition.” In the last year, we’ve seen countless examples of vendor acquisition and consolidation. “Customers are looking to reduce costs with their process improvements, and product innovations. In response, vendors need to find more cost-efficient ways to make their offerings more attractive. The result has been an increase in collaboration between vendors and customers.”

According to Bennett, rather than creating new products from scratch, many businesses have begun to take the “if you can’t beat them, buy them” approach in service management. “This has provided customers with upgrade opportunities, better consolidation, and enhanced interoperability. The chance is particularly noticeable in the cloud platform where consolidation is creating new offerings, along with hybrid systems.”

Bennett and Swoop Datacom believe that 2018 is set to become a year that we look back on as an era of “comebacks”. John noted that we’re seeing various estate reclamation and refresh moves from vendors like Cisco, Avaya, and Mitel who are adapting to suit the ever-changing needs of their customers.

Ian McCarthy, Senior Director of UK and EMEA for Virsae:

Ian McCarthy of Virsae also believes that customer experience is a crucial concern for the service management environment right now. “Clients are looking much more closely at customer experience as an overall measure of success. While SLA adherence and uptime provide operational metrics when it comes to performance, clients also want to see difference where it matters – in the minds and hearts of customers.”

As customer experience continues to reign as the most crucial differentiator in any vertical, service management philosophies could offer a powerful solution for businesses that are striving to stay ahead of their client’s demands. “Service management philosophies that map directly to customer experience are finding favour with a growing number of clients.”

Virsae and McCarthy believe that while it’s important to keep an eye on things like your KPIs, the bigger issue will always be keeping customers happy. According to Ian, the shifting focus on CX places additional pressure on today’s service management vendors to provide “simpler answers to complex problems.” Clients will begin to look for more control and command functions to help with automating system diagnosis, checking and fixes for their enterprise.

The Technologies Creating the Biggest Opportunities for Service Management

Service Management is a new, but exciting concept for people in the communication environment. The idea of service management solutions is that they give companies more control over their complex communication network. What’s more, service management solutions can also reduce the risk that you’ll suffer from any highly disruptive problems in your business, because they’ll help you to pinpoint issues faster.

Of course, as more disruptive technologies enter the communications marketplace, service management tools will need to evolve to support an ever-changing technology stack.

John Bennett, CEO of Swoop Datacom:

According to the CEO of Swoop Datacom, John Bennett, the company is seeing centrally managed service providers obtain greater access to new opportunities this year. “To enable them to deliver more efficient and reliable services to their customers, service providers have been looking for a solution to simplify control and offer a greater awareness of the performance in their network.”

Swoop Datacom believe that their customers are looking for new opportunities that will help them to boost efficiency and improve the speed of their response. “As a result, central service management portals with outsourced professional management wrapped in are in demand. Simplifying the work involved in managing the service allows the service providers to concentrate on delivering reliable, efficient services to the customer.”

Ian McCarthy, Senior Director of UK and EMEA for Virsae:

Ian McCarthy, Virsae

Ian McCarthy, Virsae

According to Ian McCarthy, it’s the “Holy Trinity” of IoT, AI, and Cloud that leads the way for service management right now. “Ballooning numbers of internet connected devices are feeding a torrent of service management data into the cloud that needs to be captured and analysed to support business decision-making.”

Virsae believes that managing the workloads and data of modern companies means working with scalable cloud platforms and “advanced networking technologies to process data at the edge of the network before it is consolidated in the cloud.”

Ian McCarthy also believes that AI could help to lighten the load placed on service managers when it comes to things like maintaining domain knowledge, workflow, and dialog within the business. At the same time, AI will also assist with things like automating routine tasks and correlating information in real time. “At Virsae, we process billions of pieces of data in the cloud using data lake technology to store and run analytics so that we can deliver the insights our customers need.”

Beyond 2018: What’s Next for 2019?

Service Management Software is still a relatively new concept in the communication space. However, the chances are that the demand for this solution will continue to grow in the years ahead. In a world where communication is becoming more complex and diverse, business leaders will need a system that allows them to maintain complete control of their information stack. Service management software ensures that every company can always see what’s happening within their organisation. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any digital transformation strategy.

John Bennett, CEO of Swoop Datacom:

John Bennett of Swoop Datacom believes that companies will begin to see more companies embracing in-app and browser-based communication services in the year ahead. “Tools like Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, and WhatsApp Business will become more important.”

Swoop Datacom’s leadership team also feels that hybrid developments of UC based software will continue to appear at a rapid pace in the coming months, “We will see hardware variations as android based stacks with SIP overlays become more common, offering users greater access to applications from any device and a more consolidated availability of communications capabilities.”

“We believe that 2019 will see the use of more multi-vendor supported single-source platforms for service management and deployment.”

Ian McCarthy, Senior Director of UK and EMEA for Virsae:

After 2018, Virsae expects to see a greater adoption of trends like AI and automation. “These technologies are paving the way for self-healing systems, and the ability to correlate unrelated data sets so that companies can forecast service events and initiate proactive fixes.”

According to McCarthy, 2019 may be the year when we begin to see the presence of more artificial engineers in the communication space. These bots will be able to harvest system information and orchestrate repairs for fast-paced companies. “They’ll manage everything from single actions to autonomous IT deployments guided by user behaviour. Further advances will also recognise data patterns and conditions to initiate IT service management processes.”

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