Year-End Highlights and Predictions for 2015

hartsook | December 31st, 2014

Highlights for Telnexus in 2014

  1. Secured Angel Round funding from Nat Goldhaber.
  2. Upgraded our IT staff and our Managed Service Provider systems.
  3. Ending 2014 with about 12 employees.
  4. In full production with 2600hz as our Cloud PBX partner.
  5. Established our Engineering Checklist to qualify new VoIP customers.
  6. Launched our Partner Program for Affiliates and Agents.
  7. Had our first public marketing event at the Small Business Expo in San Francisco.
  8. Strategic partnership established with Cisco Meraki as our preferred security appliance and access point vendor.
  9. Upgraded our billing system to use BlueOSS as our new telecom billing vendor.

Highlights for Telecom and IT in 2014

  1. Telecom is consolidating in developed countries. Comcast wants to buy TWC, AT&T is after Dish in the United States. Revenues are flat, and the S&P Telecom index is second only to energy as the worst performing stock sector index.
  2. There are at least 1.2 Billion smartphone subscriptions in 2014; smartphone penetration in the United States, Europe and Japan is over 50%.
  3. Smartphone and LTE network growth is a global phenomenon in every corner of the world driven by China Mobile, Bharti Airtel, América Móvil and many others.
  4. China Mobile is now the largest telecom by market capitalization, passing Verizon in July 2014.
  5. App developers go for iOS and Android, and leave Windows Phone behind.
  6. Microsoft pulled out of a death spiral after finally ending the Gates/Ballmer and Synosky regimes and curing themselves of a serious case of iPad envy. Windows for the enterprise is stabilized with Windows 8.1 and looks even better with Windows 10.
  7. Apple and Google fiercely compete head-to-head in smartphone OS’s. The iPhone is strong in North America, Europe and Japan, but Android has an 82% global market share.
  8. Net Neutrality dominates the political discussion in telecom in the United States and now influences emerging markets in South Asia and The Americas.
  9. Credit card, corporate and bank security is a mess, but the public doesn’t seem to care. People are experiencing “breech fatigue,” even after the Sony-North Korea fiasco.
  10. Cloud PBX seats are still priced in the $40+ range, and many additional features are available that can drive prices up to $60. Many competitors are chasing the still-undeveloped business VoIP market.

the future sign-croppedPredictions for IT and Telecom in 2015

  1. Businessman Consulting Glowing Crystal BallThe smartphone will be the communication hub for an increasing number of wearables and surfaces, including the car dashboard.
  2. The Internet of Things trend will thrive in home automation and the “quantified self.”
  3. Medical sensors will be introduced to support telemedicine and home care.
  4. The FAA will crack down on aerial drones in the USA
  5. The FCC will come out with a “blended” approach to Net Neutrality that includes USF fees on Internet service, programs for Internet subsidies for US residents, and non-discrimination rules on packet delivery.
  6. Windows Phone will recede from the USA market and go for the “next billion” in developing markets with the Lumia brand.
  7. Zero-cost licensing for cheap Windows tablets and laptops will encroach on low-cost markets and push out Android tablets
  8. Every person in the world will have the ability to get a smartphone by 2020. Smartphone communication apps will supplant and then replace traditional voice and SMS networks.
  9. Smart vehicle innovations will be disguised as “assist” features for a while. No autonomous car availability announcements until after 2015.
  10. WiFi calling by the carriers will increase, as well as Voice Over LTE (VoLTe), resulting in (finally) higher quality calls for many USA smartphone users.

[notification type=”alert-info” close=”false” ]Now, let’s score our predictions from last year. A perfect prediction gets a  10 , a total miss gets a  zero .[/notification]

Last Year’s Predictions for IT and Telecom in 2014

  1. The mobile handset industry will downshift into maintenance mode as vendors see users shift from Android back to iOS because their handset got obsoleted or was preloaded with too much junk by Samsung. Users don’t want features, they want simple functionality.
    Score: 7. Samsung has swooned with their Galaxy S5 launch and shipping too many Android handsets loaded with junk. Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are a hit, taking users back from Android in the United States.
  2. Various OTT (over the top) applications will continue to make cable companies and wireless companies envious, especially Google Hangouts, Skype and Telnexus-type telephony applications. Big telcos will continue to acquire smaller cloud-based service providers to add OTT services.
    Score: 6. The telcos are still envious and threatened by apps like Whatsapp, but they haven’t addressed the problem by through M&A.
  3. Driverless cars will debut, with pricing and availability announced. Driverless busses will make an appearance. Commercial aerial drones will also be shipping by the end of 2014.
    Score: 4. There were plenty of technical demonstrations, and some changes in the laws in Nevada, but availability was not announced for driverless cars, probably due to regulatory concerns. Drones, however, are thriving in an unregulated environment.
  4. Bitcoins will gain footing as a viable currency, and dozens of additional cryptocurrency platforms will proliferate. More US banks will accept and process cryptocurrencies.
    Score: 2. While Bitcoin has survived and you can use it more places, the buzz around cryptocurrency has disappeared along with the value of a bitcoin.
  5. Personal device consolidation will continue, allowing some consumers to not need the laptop or desktop at home.
    Score: 3. The need for a desktop or laptop at home continues, but the “phablet” sized phones have reduced the need for a tablet computer.
  6. Net neutrality as a political movement will die off because the big OTT content providers will pay, putting smaller content providers into a digital ghetto.
    Score: Big fat zero. Net Neutrality is more important than ever with President Barack Obama going to bat for the “Open Internet” proponents.
  7. Personal assistant services will become more intelligent and comprehensive. Google Now and Apple Siri will expand and do more proactive searching and information retrieval based on behind-the-scenes information collation.
    Score: 8. Google Now is smarter than ever and Apple Siri has continued to improve with more features and capabilities.
  8. Several Big Data trends will continue, including M2M (machine to machine) communication, sensor data collection, new forms of malware protection for all those sensors, and Big Data techniques to analyze all that data. Some of the sectors in sensors and big data:
    • Home monitoring and automation
    • Health and athletic performance monitoring
    • Traffic and weather predictions will be improved
      Score: 8. This trend is now renamed The Internet of Things. Big advances in healthcare and home automation in 2014. Google acquired Nest, a major home automation manufacturer. Not so much for weather, but Google Maps now incorporates crowdsourced traffic reports.
  9. U.S. tech companies will go to war in the courts with the U.S. security agencies because of the international blowback on the NSA snooping and data collection.
    Score: 3. U.S. tech companies haven’t fought back against the NSA and the blowback has made the world more suspicious of companies like Google and Facebook because their servers are sited in the United States. Chinese and Russian governments have used the NSA in political propaganda.
  10. Windows 8 won’t self-destruct, but Apple and Google will continue to encroach on Redmond’s dominance, especially in the home. Microsoft will listen more to users and continue to back off of the strategy of having IT force the Modern UI (aka Metro) upon enterprise users.
    Score: 10. Windows 8.1 fixed some problems, and Windows 10 is Microsoft’s capitulation on their efforts to make Windows beat the iPad.
  11. Microsoft won’t be in business trouble because they will continue to sell A LOT of Office 365 licenses, Azure will be a hit, and their Enterprise business will continue to thrive.
    Score: 10. Office 365 and Azure were so successful that Satya Nadella, the executive who ran those divisions took over as CEO from Steve Ballmer, and their stock is almost back to pre-2001 levels.
  12. Software Defined Networking (SDN) will start delivering services to the SME segment through the use of fiber-based Metro Area Networks. This will give well-positioned MSPs the ability to dramatically lower costs.
    Score: 1. SDN is still in the works, but hasn’t trickled down to the SME or even the enterprise level.
  13. By 2015 some ITSPs will develop true cloud-based PBX technology that will enable them to offer $7.50 per user per month pricing.
    Score: n/a. Seems likely with Switch.co coming out with $15 per seat pricing in 2014.

[notification type=”alert-info” close=”false” ]Prediction score: 46 out of a possible 120. Not terrible, but not great either. Best prediction on Microsoft and the worst on on Net Neutrality.[/notification]