I just returned from our bi-annual conference for telecom and cloud professionals in Boston and I have to say, I have not been as excited to be in the industry as I am today. After many years of talking about the coming disruption of things like VoIP, SIP, and SDN we have finally reached a point where the chasm has been crossed and these technologies are either ready to or have already become the new standards. The very nature of our business is changing. The telecom guy who sold you your circuits and the VAR who sold you your hardware are quickly being rendered obsolete by the partners that understand business drivers and outcomes and how to bundle and manage the right technology partners to ensure customer success.

I just returned from our bi-annual conference for telecom and cloud professionals in Boston and I have to say, I have not been as excited to be in the industry as I am today. After many years of talking about the coming disruption of things like VoIP, SIP, and SDN we have finally reached a point where the chasm has been crossed and these technologies are either ready to or have already become the new standards. The very nature of our business is changing. The telecom guy who sold you your circuits and the VAR who sold you your hardware are quickly being rendered obsolete by the partners that understand business drivers and outcomes and how to bundle and manage the right technology partners to ensure customer success.

A couple of "Ready for Prime Time" technologies Eclipse is most excited about today: Hosted UCaaS- Voice over IP is the standard, hosted is dislodging premise based VoIP system on a large scale right now and the dam is not fully broken open yet. There are over 100 hosted voice providers in the marketplace today and all of them are growing rapidly. While quality voice services are table stakes, the best hosted players are moving the communications experience beyond voice and offering robust solution sets that integrate conferencing, video, collaboration, and mobile seamlessly putting the power of great communication the way you want to do it in the hands of the user. Eclipse tracks all of the major participants in the space and has implemented over 5,000 stations of hosted UCaaS in 2015 alone. We expect this to multiply in the coming years as traditional PBX's age out of service and the carriers decommission their copper networks. SIP- Part and parcel to the VoIP and hosted conversation is SIP. SIP was adopted as a standard quickly and now it makes sense to be folding into your environment today. The best SIP providers are providing a fast, flexible service in a vendor agnostic fashion that allows you to bring your own bandwidth while cutting the cost of traditional telco services dramatically. Speed to install and quick changes in capacity that can address seasonality or emergencies are just a few of the advantages of SIP that our clients are seeing today. The Hyper Connected Cloud(s)- As more and more clients adopt the cloud, the need to connect different clouds is becoming more important. A new breed of providers are changing the game by offering on demand, pay for what you need that day connectivity into or between multiple cloud providers like Google, Amazon AWS, Microsfot Azure, and many more. The days of having to build in expensive fiber connections to your chosen cloud providers are going to be replaced by consumption based bandwidth. SDN- Software Defined Networking at the client level is something I have been watching closely for years and it is finally here. SDN has been a standard in carrier grade networks for years and there are even a couple of great providers who have been offering it in the market successfully for a number of years, albeit at a premium price. MPLS has been a great solution for nearly two decades and has been declared dead numerous times, this time I think it's inexorable decline is inevitable. Appliance and network based SDN will be able to aggregate bandwidth and access methods resulting in a more available, higher bandwidth network for end users. The magic bullet of MPLS, inbound and outbound QoS is available in the next generation of products at an overall cost of ownership that will be at least half of today's networks. Same or better performance for half the cost will generally lead to rapid change in any business. The moral of the story is this, things are changing and they are changing for the better, it's key to have a partner like Eclipse who is staying in front of the trends and the change who can help you navigate the maze of new technologies and vendors. You do not need to rip out your entire environment today, but you do need to have a roadmap  that will get you from where you are today to the better business outcomes of tomorrow.

A couple of "Ready for Prime Time" technologies Eclipse is most excited about today:

Hosted UCaaS- Voice over IP is the standard, hosted is dislodging premise based VoIP system on a large scale right now and the dam is not fully broken open yet. There are over 100 hosted voice providers in the marketplace today and all of them are growing rapidly. While quality voice services are table stakes, the best hosted players are moving the communications experience beyond voice and offering robust solution sets that integrate conferencing, video, collaboration, and mobile seamlessly putting the power of great communication the way you want to do it in the hands of the user. Eclipse tracks all of the major participants in the space and has implemented over 5,000 stations of hosted UCaaS in 2015 alone. We expect this to multiply in the coming years as traditional PBX's age out of service and the carriers decommission their copper networks.

SIP- Part and parcel to the VoIP and hosted conversation is SIP. SIP was adopted as a standard quickly and now it makes sense to be folding into your environment today. The best SIP providers are providing a fast, flexible service in a vendor agnostic fashion that allows you to bring your own bandwidth while cutting the cost of traditional telco services dramatically. Speed to install and quick changes in capacity that can address seasonality or emergencies are just a few of the advantages of SIP that our clients are seeing today.

The Hyper Connected Cloud(s)- As more and more clients adopt the cloud, the need to connect different clouds is becoming more important. A new breed of providers are changing the game by offering on demand, pay for what you need that day connectivity into or between multiple cloud providers like Google, Amazon AWS, Microsfot Azure, and many more. The days of having to build in expensive fiber connections to your chosen cloud providers are going to be replaced by consumption based bandwidth.

SDN- Software Defined Networking at the client level is something I have been watching closely for years and it is finally here. SDN has been a standard in carrier grade networks for years and there are even a couple of great providers who have been offering it in the market successfully for a number of years, albeit at a premium price. MPLS has been a great solution for nearly two decades and has been declared dead numerous times, this time I think it's inexorable decline is inevitable. Appliance and network based SDN will be able to aggregate bandwidth and access methods resulting in a more available, higher bandwidth network for end users. The magic bullet of MPLS, inbound and outbound QoS is available in the next generation of products at an overall cost of ownership that will be at least half of today's networks. Same or better performance for half the cost will generally lead to rapid change in any business.

The moral of the story is this, things are changing and they are changing for the better, it's key to have a partner like Eclipse who is staying in front of the trends and the change who can help you navigate the maze of new technologies and vendors. You do not need to rip out your entire environment today, but you do need to have a roadmap  that will get you from where you are today to the better business outcomes of tomorrow.