Enterprise productivity and the customer experience are the subjects of many innovations triggered by new advances in the area of artificial intelligence (AI). And you don’t have to wait to cash in on the benefits. The future is now. Here’s how the latest AI-based technologies are working with cloud communications platforms like Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) and how to apply “what’s next” today.
AI in communications: what we can and cannot do
While AI technologies perform speech and text processing very well, complex tasks still have to be supported by humans. AI is not yet ready to replace all the contact center agents, but it’s ready to automate responses to customers and unified communications (UC) users. Today, it assists both agents and UC users, improving employee productivity and accelerating the customer service process.
Conversational AI: benefits with contact center as a service
AI is changing more than interactive voice response (IVR) technology. With advanced innovation, AI systems now have the ability to intelligently respond to customer questions, generating natural language responses based on the existing library of customer service answers. But even better, AI systems can also actively assist agents, supporting their live customer conversations as they happen in real-time. Data analytics engines integrate with real-time voice recognition technologies to predict what the customer wants and supplement live service by proactively providing relevant information to the agent’s desktop.
AI technology also offers the ability to:
Analyze the chatbot text conversation and provide references to a live agent when necessary
Produce outbound calls to customers using a virtual agent
Determine the topic in which the live agent should assist
Conversational AI: benefits with unified communications as a service
Combining unified communications technologies with AI is also a big benefit. Today, these efforts are focused on improving system usability, problem-solving, and data analysis. The combination of UC and AI helps people improve productivity by allowing machines to guide them, interpret data, and analyze information faster. Simple examples include keeping meeting participants informed with:
Meeting attendee lists
How to join a meeting
How to share documents or content
How to access features and make them work as desired
The biggest UC challenges have traditionally been problem-solving, and AI is effectively assisting UC users with:
Intuitive call recording and easy call transcription
Automated participant identification and intelligent speaker tracking
Advanced voice assistants
Automated user-profiles and permissions
Five steps to success with conversational AI
To start applying advanced AI-based technologies, you need to unite new tools, creating interoperability via one cohesive environment. These five steps are critical in creating the future today:
Move the contact center and communications systems to the cloud, adopting CCaaS and UCaaS technology platforms.
Support communications with a network service that can ensure global business continuity, delivering the same service level agreements (communications quality) across every location in your enterprise footprint.
Use software-defined networks to support communications so you can take advantage of the IT agility, performance optimization, and management efficiencies they deliver.
Consider an investment in the Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), which removes the complexity of integrating multiple cloud applications, making business process automation easier. iPaaS is a key element in making that “speak and it will be done” Alexa-style approach now applicable for the enterprise.
Start experimenting with emerging technologies and building the voice-centric enterprise. But start slowly, one technology and application at a time, to help reduce any unrecognized risk.