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This week, we present our second installment of Predictions 2020; a look at predictions
for the IT industry from the inside. We invited colleagues and industry friends to take a
stand on what the coming year will bring. What will be hot? What will be not? Here are
a few samples.

CPaaS Cranks Up
“I think this will be the year that CPaaS completely takes off as companies look to get
closer to their customers and trying to provide a higher level of service than their
competitors. Just looking at SMS alone demonstrates a higher ability to successfully
contact the customer, and SMS is just one aspect of CPaaS.”
– Drew Lydecker, President and Co-Founder, AVANT Communications

Trusted Advisors Reach New Heights
“This will be the biggest year over year growth year for the trusted advisor channel,
which has been growing. But I think this year we’re going to see growth of more than
50% in terms of overall revenue produced by the Trusted Advisor. There are a couple
of reasons why: They’re more sophisticated, there’s better marketing, and they’re armed
with better tools. But more importantly, the technology they represent is bigger and
better. They’ve got UCaaS, hosted contact center and cloud security. So, there’s more
to sell, and the customers are more primed to buy. I think it’s going to be an explosive
year.”
– Ian Kieninger, CEO and Co-Founder, AVANT Communications

Security Services to Exceed Security Hardware and Software
“In the dynamic environment of cybersecurity, threats and exposures change constantly.
This has led to the unimpeded growth of niche security products solving narrower and
narrower problems. For most organizations the nuances are lost: They are uncertain
how to improve and evolve their defenses, and they can’t find, afford, or retain the
security experts they need because of scarcity and wage-driven job hopping. As a
result, I predict that security services will grow in revenue at a faster pace than
hardware and software solutions by at least 25%.”
– Jack Danahy, SVP, Strategy & Security, AlertLogic

The Big Will Get Bigger
“I think we’re going to look back on 2019 and decide this was the year we put the final
nail in the coffin of premise-based PBXs. I know it’s not a very bold prediction; it’s just
the way we’re going to be doing business in 2020 and beyond. The actual bold
prediction is that one of the major UCaaS providers will be purchased in 2020 by either
a big carrier, a big cable company, or one of the big cloud or software providers. I think
Microsoft, Dell or Google will pick up one of the major UCaaS players.”
– Dave Dyson, CEO, Eclipse Telecom

Artificial Intelligence Kicks into High Gear
“I think artificial intelligence is going to, more and more, pervade every aspect of
technology. People are not going to buy artificial intelligence itself, but it will be
embedded into the various technologies we use, whether it’s call centers, whether its
within your WAN routing, or whether it’s actually within your inbox. That’s happening
because the amount of processing you can do today within the palm of your hand is
astronomical compared to what you could have done ten years ago. In the next decade
that’s going to multiply exponentially. So, you’re going to see dynamic intelligence
embedded everywhere.”
– Alex Danyluk, Chief Strategy Officer, AVANT Communications

Cloud Platforms in High Gear
“Cloud storage and management related platforms are really poised to accelerate over
the next few years. With GDPR (and now CCPA likely to gain popularity in the US),
companies will need to scramble to figure out a more efficient way to clear identity
information as requests are made. That opens up other concerns around data integrity
and security of how data is both stored and mined more efficiently. That should open
up huge opportunities for hyper-scalers and any IaaS provider to layer on additional
data management tools.”
– Forrest Knueppel, National Partner Manager, Fuze

The Public Cloud Continues to Shine
“Cloud is growing by about 20 percent and on-prem is shrinking so I think we’re going to
see a lot more growth in public cloud, mostly due to the ability to run containers and
micro-services. Docker and Kubernetes are both popular because of the portability of
applications, the ability to run different operating systems on a single host, and the
automated scale-up/scale down capabilities of containers. It just makes it the best way
to deploy an application in the cloud.
– Ben Ferguson, EVP/Network & Cloud Architect, Shamrock Consulting