Enterprise Connect 2022, held in Orlando last week had some great announcements, especially in the contact center space. From a deeper dive by Zoom on last months’ Contact Center announcement, to some interesting statements from Vonage and Google, EC2022 is worth a recap. One thing all the vendors agreed on is that tomorrow’s contact center looks nothing like yesterday’s.
3 Main Themes of Enterprise Connect 2022
Across all the of the keynotes, three main themes came up in all of them.
- Contact Center Agents are NOT coming back to the office – Tod Famous, of Genesys, estimated that 80% of their customers are not bringing their agents back into the office. This point was reinforced by comments made by other vendors and customers, including Ford Motor Company. This trend will have a huge impact on agent attrition, on-boarding, and customer experience.
- AI and Automation are the new “must have” – Every 3rd word from keynote speakers and exhibit hall vendors was “AI” and “Automation”. Few vendors are getting this right yet, but the level of innovation and investment in AI will have major implications for customer and agent experiences for years to come. Contact centers have not seen this level of reinvention since the introduction of CTI.
- Agent Desktop Battle Heats Up – Every vendor sees themselves at the center of the UI-Verse, with an eco-system of partners orbiting around their UX. Even as they all speak about composable UI and services, it’s clear, their intentions are about owning the desktop. CRM vendors have doubled-down on UI ownership too, so it should be an interesting next 18 months. This topic needs its own, dedicated future blog for sure.
Google Taking a Play out of Amazon’s Playbook
One of the most surprising highlights from EC2022 was the announcement by Google. Google has partnered with the leading CCaaS providers, including Five9, Genesys, Twilio, and more through their CCAI services. It seems Google has used this opportunity to get schooled on the ins and outs of agent experience, agent augmentation, IVA applications, and more and is now offering a complete CCaaS stack.
It will remain to be seen if the other vendors now view Google as competitive. Several of the vendors are so dependent on the Google offering, they may not be able to escape their dependence on them. Of course, if Google doesn’t meet the market expectations, it may inadvertently seed a more rapid transition of premise to cloud for those other vendors.
Vonage Connecting the Digital and Physical World
Rory Reed, CEO of Vonage, spoke and shared his vision of combining the digital and physical world. He hesitated to call his vision “metaverse”, saying the metaverse is too abstract. Rory visualized a world where a customer interaction that starts online, could be continued as they walk into a retail shop.
Rory couldn’t comment much given the pending merger between Ericsson and Vonage, but he made it clear that the future of the contact center is connecting digital to brick and mortar. He emphasized that the combined companies are already building toward this vision. The future of communications is more meaningful conversations and engagement.
Zoom(ing) into the Contact Center
The Zoom keynote split their time demonstrating new devices, including a Scheduling Display equipped with green and red light indicators to show from a distance whether a meeting room is available, to digital signage, and talking about their UC and Contact Center solutions.
Their enterprise communication hardware and software seem aligned to a return to work model, with a heavy emphasize on improving employees in-office experience.
After the acquisition of Five9 was rejected by shareholders back in October 2021, Zoom has joined the CCaaS club, by announcing the launch of Zoom Contact Center. Zoom Contact Center is said to be video-first, a key differentiator in the growing market of CCaaS providers. Healthcare and financial services, are two key industries that depend on video and more high-touch interactions, and will likely be early adopters of Zoom’s contact center solution. With over 2 million paid subscribers of Zoom Phone, their potential in the contact center should not be underestimated.
Enterprise Connect 2022 was an exciting showcase of what’s instore for the industry as we continue emerging from the pandemic.