Vertical Industry Communications: Higher Education: Page 3 of 3
Higher education communications is one of the best examples of communications linked to the processes within the value chain elements. There is little need for communications across the functional elements, say between researchers and transportation or athletics. The communications can easily be seen simply as a large collection of applications, and this is being borne out as those specialized applications become more readily available and become more and more functional to meet the college's or university's needs.
We are unlikely to see the PBX infrastructure disappear from higher education institutions, but it is unlikely to be the focus of new investment. Rather, the communications functions will continue to grow as extensions of email, such as we see with Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite, and of purpose-built applications. Many higher ed communications system users and their departments may continue to pay the monthly or annual fees for telephone numbers, devices, and carrier services. However, some departments have realized they have all the communications services they need through the combination of their process-based applications, email services, and (free) cloud-based tools for calling and conferencing. This is an embryonic trend in this sector.
Communications solution vendors and system integrators as well as IT and communications system architects will be well served to focus on the trend toward application-based communications within the higher ed value chain processes. Of course, we wish them all great success, especially if that success improves both the quality and the accessibility of a superb education for all.
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