• Chris Newell

Evolution of Communications

The landscape of office communications is changing at a rapid pace. It appears the days of buying a PBX and Key System are becoming obsolete, in its place are platforms that allow for communication in several ways all tied into a single source.

Many businesses are moving away from old, technologically disparate communication solutions to Unified Communications as a Service. This is enabling the workforce to be more productive and connected than ever.

Communication platforms have evolved over time and have accelerated greatly. Here are some of those highlights:

1960 – 1990:

- Computer Networking and communications between computers became possible

- Email became a new way to communicate

- Cell phones were introduced (remember those brick-like cell phones we used to carry around in bags?)

- Large PBX’s were developed (if you wanted redundancy, just buy two)

- Audio conferencing became more widely used during this time period, and we all learned (or thought we did) how to mute our phones

1990 – 2000:

- Instant messenger was developed and grew to be one of the most prominent ways to communicate within businesses, friends, and family around the world

- Video conferencing was in its infancy stages during this time period, which will explode in the 2000s to present

- The first smart device was made, (who remembers IBM’s Simon?)

- Firewalls became a vital part of businesses securing their network environments

- Texting was released, (remember 15 cents per text?)

- Online conferencing and web share were launched

- Cordless phones were released (no more 20-foot-long, tangled cords!)

2000– 2010

- Software as a Service was born, which lead the way to productized cloud platforms, including Unified Communications (UCaaS), Contact Center (CCaaS), Infrastructure (IaaS), etc.

- The first iPhone was released

- Web conferencing was launched, allowing businesses to hold live meetings across the web (remember the first jittery meetings like this?)

- Skype was launched

- MPLS was pushed to the client edge, allowing for stronger traffic shaping, and quality of service

- Social Media platforms became prominent, and businesses started using these platforms for marketing and business growth

2010 – 2015

- UCaaS was further developed with the increase of cloud adoption

- Cloud file sharing (such as google drive) and collaboration were launched

- O365 was released and Skype was purchased by Microsoft

- Providers fine-tuned the online conference by combining HD video, online business meetings, webinars, and mobile capabilities into a single collaborative solution without expensive video conferencing infrastructure

- SD WAN was productized and released to the mainstream

2015 – Present

- Most of these services and forms of communication listed above are now consolidated into one single provider or have seamless integration with many other applications. This has enabled users to consume communications on multiple platforms, shift easily between them and create increased collaboration and productivity across business segments

Considering how quickly we have moved from the first computer networking to today’s version of interconnected communications, can you imagine where we will be in the next 10 years?

Special thanks to John Witcher who assisted in writing, and editing this blog post.

© Chris Newell and, 2019

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