News in the Channel - issue #16


Keeping pace with change

Richard Evans, CTO at Cinos, offers insights into the latest trends reshaping the industry and how channel businesses can seize opportunities for innovation and growth.

In the evolving landscape of unified communications (UC) and collaboration technologies, 2023 marked a year of resilience and innovation. Despite global economic uncertainties and supply chain disruptions, channel businesses showcased remarkable adaptability, embracing software-based solutions and prioritising flexibility. As we venture into 2024, let’s explore the trends which are shaping the industry and how channel businesses can stay ahead of the curve. Redefining engagement through AR Augmented reality (AR) has emerged as the standout player experiencing unexpected growth. Especially within the virtual and hybrid events sector, the adoption has caught industry observers off guard, in the best possible way. Despite initial expectations for a rapid return to in-person events, the transition has been slower than anticipated, with virtual and hybrid events experiencing a notable uptick. This surge in interest in immersive event technologies reflects a shifting mindset among consumers, with nearly half anticipating widespread use of the metaverse within the next decade. The unexpected rise of AR demonstrates the channel’s agility and innovation in responding to unforeseen challenges, offering a glimpse into the future of large-scale gatherings and fuelling demand for transformative solutions.

a staggering 6 million new users on Cisco Webex Calling, signals a seismic shift in traditional meeting dynamics. This popularity reflects a profound reimagining of team interactions, with businesses nationwide embracing these tools as indispensable pillars of daily operations. And according to Microsoft, the monthly active use of Microsoft Teams channels has gone up by nearly 200%. As remote working becomes the new norm, cloud-based communication platforms have emerged as the undisputed champions of 2023. This paradigm shift has fuelled demand for versatile, mid-range collaboration devices, as organisations pivot away from grand-scale meetings towards agile, personalised meeting spaces. This approach to fine tuning meeting spaces is better suited and more adaptable for lower numbers of staff who are now in the office at one given time. As a result of lower foot traffic in the office, there's been a discernible decline in high-end audio-visual equipment sales for conference rooms, emblematic of a strategic shift towards solutions tailored for the hybrid working model. The ebb and flow of the audio-visual market, as indicated by the Office for National Statistics, underscores the imperative for businesses to prioritise adaptability and accessibility in their communication strategies. Moreover, the rising popularity of cloud communications services like UC as a Service and Contact Centre as a Service shows a maturation in product offerings. Yet, amidst this, some early adopters of public cloud communication services have encountered hurdles concerning reliability and compliance, prompting a reassessment of their needs and a quest for holistic solutions that seamlessly address their evolving requirements. Strategies for the future There are some important lessons to be learned from the technologies and markets that fell short of their potential. With customers now embracing remote and

Richard Evans chief technology officer

Cloud-powered collaboration The ascent of

cloud-based collaboration solutions has

reshaped the way teams connect and collaborate. Notably, the robust growth of Zoom, with a revenue increase of 6.9% in 2023, alongside


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