2011 predictions: O2 business development director Tim Sefton

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Telefónica O2 UK new business development director Tim Sefton on the role of unified communications for big business in 2011, in the light of continued focus on reducing operational expenditure

“Many people will start to feel the effect of the Government’s austerity measures. There are likely to be long periods of change and market instability: which present a very different challenge from a few years ago.

“Despite the obvious difficulties, there are also great opportunities to make major decisions about operational strategy. It’s an opportunity to become smarter, more agile, and better networked: clearly, emerging technology has a major role to play.

“We expect converged communications solutions will take a dramatic leap forward next year. O2 currently provides fixed services to over 20 per cent of its top corporate client base and we expect the converged market to evolve and develop still further in 2011.

“The ICT market in particular is a huge opportunity area for communications companies. Technology is making its way into the cloud and users are becoming savvier and systems more cost effective.

“While energy efficiencies have historically been a happy by-product of flexible working, in 2011 sustainability will move steadily up the agenda.

“Businesses now have to measure, manage and report on their energy consumption and emissions data in line with the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.

“However, with budgets still under ever increasing scrutiny, sustainability will only gain traction when boardrooms are given the technology to prove its commercial benefit. We expect an escalation in demand for technologies and services that monitor carbon footprint next year.”

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