Real time. All the time

I’m not sure if we’ve just evolved to become less patient in recent years, or it’s a case of there being generally more options available to us today, and our expectations have been raised as a result.

But hopefully I’m not being too outspoken when I say that most of us, from a consumer point of view, seem to have a little Veruca Salt in us today and want everything ‘now’.  Real time.

Hopefully we still care ‘how’, but real time, and anything that makes us more efficient, is becoming more and more of a priority.  The answer, “I’ll do it as soon as possible,” has become the equivalent of a slap in the face. 

There’s technology which has specifically been built to cope with this demand.  As an example, Google Instant means that you rarely have to bother typing in a full phrase in order to get relevant results; the results start to appear as you’re typing.

Of course, there are disadvantages to the real time phenomenon – namely, spoilers.  If you’ve recorded the latest episode of your favourite TV programme because you know you’re going to be out when it airs, the only way not to discover the result of the inevitable cliff-hanger is to lock yourself in a shed and put oven gloves over your ears for 24 hours.

But think of everything else you’d miss if you did this (and here’s the analogy bit).  Locking yourself in a shed with oven gloves over your ears is the equivalent of not putting a proper telecoms plan in place for your business.

When we think of telecoms, we usually think of voice, and come up with the traditional image of a physical telephone line.  But today, telecoms has become an enabler for everybody and every thing in business and beyond (see Steve’s latest post, The Sky’s the Limit).

It really is the central nervous system that allows things to happen at the pace they do, and can stop things happening just as quick.

Telecoms has under its belt connectivity, and connectivity underpins absolutely everything – from your emails, internet, Cloud based applications… basically everything you use to stay in touch with your business.  Use Twitter?  That relies on telecoms.

Voice is now being transported around the network as data, taking advantage of massive advances in bandwidth speed.  Here’s a graph from a study by Ericsson which shows how much data, compared to voice, has grown in recent years.

If we take a look at the years along the bottom, there was a big explosion in the amount of data being used from 2009.  This just so happens to be the launch of 3G – mobile data – and the dramatic increase since then is no coincidence. Mobile data was a game changer, and it’s only going to get bigger as more businesses come to rely on it in this real time world.

Today, your tablet could be your deskphone.  If you adopt a unified communications technology strategy, you need never give out your mobile number again, at least for work purposes.  And no more, “I need to get back to the office to make a few calls”. You can do it there and then.

But telecoms isn’t all about communications.  As individuals, almost all of us are using ‘Cloud’ services of some kind, whether that’s Facebook (basically an application sitting in the Cloud) or email – Cloud is a very broad (and often confusing) term, and it’s actually been around for over a decade.  Equally, 91% of businesses with 100 – 250 employees believe that they will be using some Cloud services within the next 3 years according to a recent Gartner study. 

What’s that got to do with telecoms?  Whether it’s accessing data that’s stored in the Cloud or, more critically, running applications, connectivity is so important.  3 key words which you’ll hear a lot of TSG staff talking about – speed, capacity, and availability.  That’s what you need to consider when assessing your telecoms platform.

At TSG we’ve recognised how important it is to get your telecoms structure right so we’ve made some big investments in offering services that make sure each part of the technology environment work seamlessly together.

When you’re looking at your system, ask yourself how quickly can you respond to your customers, and how much do you rely on your connectivity to do so and keep you informed on a real time basis? 

Customer relationships have never been so important, nor have we ever been such a demanding bunch.  It’s all about building a data network that provides you with real time data for your customers, anytime, anywhere.

We live in connectivity times – don’t be that business that can’t hear anything through the oven gloves.