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The channel is changing. ‘Digital transformation’ is no longer just a buzzword, and clients are now demanding cloud-first technologies within their business.

But Vapour has been cloud-first since our inception in 2013. In fact, our company is built on four cornerstones of cloud-first excellence – voice, video, networks and storage. It’s all we know.

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Tech predictions for 2020 – what’s in store?

While nobody has a crystal ball, the channel is already buzzing with thoughts and opinions of what could lie in store next year. So with 2020 now only a couple of weeks away, we asked our CEO Tim Mercer for his key tech predictions... 

1. 5G. The technology is a game changer in terms of backup services, and how the channel initialises and supports projects on the whole, thanks to speed. And everyone will be talking about how they’re benefitting from 5G, from the biggest tech giants to consumers on an individual level. However, I understand there are some serious concerns over the WiFi being transmitted around schools and homes with children, certainly in some overseas countries. So, to avoid prolonged exposure to radiation, I’d like schools to be hard wired, especially in primary education.

2. Healthcare innovations. This is a topic close to my heart and an area that Vapour is involved in. However, we’re going to see drastic developments in automated health apps in 2020, as some of the world’s most cutting-edge technology is deployed by disruptors keen to instigate change in this environment. When the results can be independently tested and verified in line with regulator standards, that’s when momentum will come – probably within private health first, but I’d love to see the NHS benefit too.

3. Cyber security. It’s probably one of the most talked-about topics in the tech space, but I still believe there are a significant number of SMEs without adequate protection in place. Add to this the fact that threats are evolving, and this subject isn’t going to quieten down any time soon.

4. Cloud computing adoption. Linked in part to point 3, I think we’ll see a faster and more notable migration to cloud computing. The security benefits of a considered cloud adoption are being increasingly acknowledged, as are the flexibility, scalability and fiscal advantages which are especially important during a time of economic flux. I think this point will be applicable for businesses of varying sizes too. Larger organisations that have previously sat tight with legacy systems are becoming too shackled with the inefficiencies and smaller businesses are becoming more ambitious and determined to do things properly. Add to this the fact that so many technology giants are concentrating on cloud-first futures and there can be no disputing the direction of travel.

5. SDWAN and AI will not dent the landscape at all! The world of tech is moving at pace and opportunities in the channel are shifting rapidly. But despite all the chatter, I don’t believe 2020 will be about things like AI and IoT. AI adoption is increasing quickly, but I think we’re ten years away from IoT having mainstream relevance, especially in more traditional businesses who may be intrigued by the potential, but who struggle to understand where the data can add value.

6. The era of collaboration. For the last four years our business has been built on the basis of strategic partnerships within the channel, rather than us pursuing end user contracts ourselves. This model isn’t for everyone, but I predict that this ‘David supporting Goliath’ approach – as I’ve seen it referenced in the space – will become far more common in 2020. The power of collaboration has hit the headlines a lot in recent weeks – not least because of the Avaya and RingCentral move – and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of some significant moves in the channel.

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