What you missed at Enterprise Connect 2023

The highlights

  • Enterprise cloud communications solution Bandwidth Maestro™ wins Overall Best of Enterprise Connect.
  • Business leaders can drive office attendance by creating magnets, not mandates. 
  • Get the most from AI by thinking of it as your coworker, not your waiter.
  • 911 is a mandate, but it’s not automatically included in your cloud communications solution. 
  • Your UCaaS solutions are getting smarter. Microsoft Teams, Cisco, and RingCentral are bringing AI/ML into the user experience.

Maestro wins Best of Enterprise Connect

This year is all about interoperability and orchestration—and now, enterprise IT leaders can compose communications flows across the stack. Maestro, announced on day 1 of Enterprise Connect 2023, won overall Best of EC.

A first-of-its-kind cloud communications platform, Maestro allows CIOs to integrate best-in-class voice apps across cloud unified communications, contact center, and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms.

This means IT leaders can easily customize their global communications workflows and add state-of-the-art CX and AI capabilities such as conversational AI, ML-based fraud detection, and text-to-speech/speech-to-text tools—all interoperable and consumable by software. Maestro is expected to be available in Q3, 2023. 

How to maximize your data’s value 

One topic you can’t avoid, especially at Enterprise Connect 2023, is generative AI & Large Language Models (LLMs), a type of ML model. In Monday morning’s opening session, leaders from Microsoft, Cisco, RingCentral, Zoom, and more talked about the impact of AI/ML on employees and customers. 

Deemed the most disruptive change to the industry since cloud communications, businesses are starting to use AI to extract value from data. Then, they’re making organizational insights extracted this way accessible to knowledge & front-line workers to empower productivity.

Over time, AI tools will gain omnipresent knowledge for your company. You can weave together discrete information scattered across the company, gain high-level views, and orchestrate task augmentation and workflows–all to free you from the application/data silos you’re working within. 

Contact center AI/ML use cases

Customer experience (CX) use cases are often more prevalent when thinking about leveraging AI/ML in the workplace. Customers want more human interactions, while businesses want more satisfied (and loyal) customers. 

Within the contact center, enterprises can combine ML tools and conversational AI for unique insights, and this now takes minutes (not months) to implement.

Within CCaaS & CC, leaders like Cisco are building solutions to help you improve CX like: 

  • Conversation summaries to offer agents a real-time knowledge database.
  • Topic analysis to understand why customers are calling in, and identify opportunities for automation.
  • Sentiment analysis to assess how customers feel by analyzing customer responses and tone of voice.

Today’s tools make it easier for enterprises to be human, personalized, and efficient. 

Unified communications AI/ML use cases

There are just as many ways intelligent technologies can add value to your internal workflows and communications. Over time and as these tools evolve, AI/ML can free employees from repetitive tasks, creating space for a collaborative culture. 

To achieve this, Microsoft’s Yan Le wants you to “Think of AI/ML as your peer, or coworker—not a waiter. They’re eating at the table with you, not taking your order. Figure out how to build a collaborative relationship with intelligent tools, and you can get things done faster.”

When using AI/ML for your internal communications, tools like Microsoft’s Copilot make it easy. Within Teams, Copilot can summarize key meeting discussion points, including who said what and the results of your conversations. You can also use AI within internal communications settings to suggest post-meeting action items, assign doers, create meeting agenda templates, and even transcribe meetings. 

The new Microsoft Teams

Speaking of Microsoft Teams–beginning March 27th, Microsoft released a new era of the popular UCaaS platform. Microsoft Teams was unveiled at Enterprise Connect six years ago–and this year they’ve added functionality, a new user interface, and there’s the promise of Copilot.

The modern workplace is flexible, not hybrid

To welcome people back to the office, Cisco Webex’s Lorissa Horton wants IT leaders to focus on “creating magnets, not mandates.” 

Everyone wants to know how to make a richer collaborative workforce for employees. And with global workforces, your ability to create a flexible workplace is step one. Monday’s opening panel recommended “making the office a destination for collaboration so people want to go there.”  

You can use AI to build flexible experiences that allow employees to focus on being together, rather than multitasking, taking notes, and trying to focus in a distracting environment. The bottom line: your workspace should be as flexible as your workforce.

Emergency calling needs are evolving

RAY BAUM’s Act and Kari’s Law are in effect in the US, but businesses are still struggling to achieve emergency calling compliance. It doesn’t matter what your 911 stack looks like, as long as workplace emergency calls reach the right public safety answering point with the right location information. 

While the definition of a dispatchable address varies from state to state, the emerging best practice is to ensure that your employees or end-users are compliant by updating UC and CC software with accurate dispatchable location information—or even making it possible for users to self-provision. 

If you have a hybrid communications stack or workplace, you may need a hybrid approach to fully solve for 911. However, don’t assume that your cloud communications provider will come with built-in emergency calling. Whatever provider you choose, you should make sure to provision employee location information and work with your legal & tech teams to ensure compliance.