We’ve missed the hustle and bustle of live events, but we saw that buzz return at UCX DTX this month. With over 5,000 attendees and speakers from the likes of the BBC, Waitrose and IBM, it’s one of Europe’s biggest unified communications conferences.
There was no shortage of panel talks and fireside chats advising CIOs and customer experience leaders on the latest trends and things to know.
Here are some of RingCentral’s highlights and our view on notable topics from this year’s event.
Insight, flexibility and co-innovation will help build a better beyond
Companies wanting to succeed in the hybrid future must adopt flexible approaches and effectively tap into insight. In a panel Developing your organisation’s ‘ways of working’ UC&C blueprint, when asked about using data to inform ‘ways of working’ strategies, Gareth Johns, Senior Director, Vertical Solutions at RingCentral, explained that:
“Rather than viewing data as something companies can use to ‘monitor’ employees, we should view data as meaningful information that helps create change for the better. There are a lot of examples out there.
Gareth continued, “AI that sits within communications tech provides plenty of insight, plays a major role in shaping the future of hybrid work, and helps improve productivity. For example, advanced meeting insights provide employees with summaries of meetings in multiple formats (video highlights, a short summary, a transcription etc), helping to reduce meeting fatigue. Analytics helps you better understand business communications across the organisation and make informed decisions based on insight.”
Sarah Burbedge, Head of Change at the BBC, spoke about the importance of experimenting, staying agile and not just looking at hybrid work on a short-term basis but in the long-term to “build a better beyond.”
Working with future-focused technology partners and co-innovating will also become vital for organisations. During Vodafone’s talk, Steve Williams from Vodafone Group and Sean Blackmore from RingCentral explained that companies that don’t ‘co-innovate’ with a future-focused partner risk being left behind. A big part of the discussion focused on why end-users should not only think of UC as just facilitating seamless communications, but also as the core underlying technology that has the potential to power other areas of the businesses.
Culture and collaboration remain front of mind
Plenty of sessions covered the importance of company culture and collaboration. Which is no surprise given how much businesses are focused on employee engagement today.
Tech leaders from Google, LEGO and Three, amongst others, highlighted the importance of culture and collaboration in the workplace. This came up in former F1 World Champion Jenson Button’s talk, where he said both are the “key to success.”
The driver called his time on the circuit a “collaboration”, explaining that teams win races rather than drivers and that great group culture can break down communication silos to guarantee great results. “Making sure everyone knows their worth and works in harmony is key,” Jenson told the audience.
There was also a lot of discussion about how to achieve this ‘harmony’ and succeed in a hybrid setting. This topic emerged during Glory Global’s fireside chat, where Alan Penkethman and Steve Mills shared how they transitioned to working from anywhere. Jamie Hemmings, Customer Success Manager at RingCentral, explained that:
“Glory Global achieved [working from anywhere] by having one solution, with an ability to easily scale across their entire business. No more silos and a cost saving of 20%.”
AI gets smarter (again)
As you would expect from a tech conference, there was plenty to be said about AI. But what gripped us was the new options for companies wanting to support and engage teams and customers.
Amir Hameed, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Solution Sales and Engineering, spoke to UC Today at the expo and explained that he expects ‘the proliferation of AI’ in the year ahead. We’re already seeing this happening with innovations that help employees brainstorm in a hybrid environment and other types that gather insights from meetings and reduce background noise.
Watch Amir’s full interview here:
Agents definitely are not robots
While contact centres use smart tech like conversational AI, many still have people at the end of the line to help customers.
Panellists for the session I am not a robot: Tools and tactics to empower agents and support your support teams talked about how companies could be investing more in their agents. This is a serious topic in the customer experience industry right now. Many contact centre leaders say the reason for high attrition is that agents simply aren’t getting the support they need. See more on reasons for turnover in our agent experience trends research.
Phil Quickenden from the London Borough of Camden explained why well-thought-out training is crucial for agents, especially those in the public sector. With the cost of living crisis, more people need specialised and sympathetic support from their councils. He explained that public sector organisations need to provide the right training to ensure agents know how to have these difficult and sensitive conversations.
“Giving agents the ability to work how they want” is also key to retention. Severine Hierso, Director of Product Marketing at RingCentral, explained that organisations could achieve flexibility with the right tools.
The panel agreed that leaders should ask their agents for feedback to get a true view of their needs.
More tips on becoming an agent-centric leader in this guide.
Overall, UCX DTX gave a great overview of what’s happening in the world of UC and customer experience. We’ll see you there next year!
There’s a whole load of time to kill before then. Download these resources if you’re looking for more insight on moving to hybrid work or improving the agent experience.
Originally published Oct 28, 2022