Generative AI Watch: ‘RingSense’ by RingCentral is Well Positioned in a World That Both Embraces and Fears AI

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• RingSense marks the latest addition to RingCentral’s AI portfolio and arrives after a noticeable hiatus.

• RingSense closes a competitive gap with rivals who have recently responded to the emergence of ChatGPT with their own generative AI offers.

RingCentral recently launched an open beta of RingSense, a generative AI platform that leverages voice and natural language processing (NLP) to analyze business conversation data. The first iteration is RingSense for Sales, which dissects interactions between sales reps and customers or prospects across calls, emails, and video meetings. Users can assess rep and team performance, discover customer wants and needs, and more. Along with RingSense for Sales, RingCentral plans to release four additional, related offers: RingSense for Revenue Leaders, RingSense for Sales Enablement, RingSense for Customer Success, and RingSense for Marketing. Continue reading “Generative AI Watch: ‘RingSense’ by RingCentral is Well Positioned in a World That Both Embraces and Fears AI”

‘Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service’ Marks a Big Step Forward for Microsoft’s Contact Center AI Capabilities

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Microsoft is capitalizing on two key contact center trends: the pivot from a multi-channel orientation to an omni-channel orientation and the emergence of AI.

• Microsoft must rationalize its contact center portfolio and establish integration with Teams.

This month Microsoft launched a limited preview of ‘Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot’. The offer features Microsoft’s new Copilot generative AI and natural language processing (NLP) engine built natively into various Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and ERP apps. Employees in functions such as sales, customer service, marketing, operations, and supply chain leverage the Copilot capabilities in the apps to create content faster, complete complex tasks, and gain insights into their work.

Continue reading “‘Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service’ Marks a Big Step Forward for Microsoft’s Contact Center AI Capabilities”

Avaya is Making Bold Moves to Rebuild, but Differentiation Remains Key

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• The restructuring agreement is the beachhead of Avaya’s go-to-market strategy and brings significant benefits.

• Avaya faces challenges at multiple levels as it conducts its metamorphosis.

In August 2022 Alan Masarek was appointed CEO of Avaya, replacing Jim Chirico, who had led the company since 2018. Masarek has been charged with reversing disappointing financial results, rightsizing the company, and improving the cloud product portfolio.

Continue reading “Avaya is Making Bold Moves to Rebuild, but Differentiation Remains Key”

Cisco Live 2023: New Hybrid Work Collection Takes on the Return to Work with Mixed Success

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Cisco is launching the hybrid work collection in response to the migration of workers back to offices.

• The collection is well-positioned, but its contents are for the most part commonplace.

While the ‘Cisco Live 2023’ event was underway, Cisco quietly launched a hybrid work collection. The collection consists of design guides for renovating office workspaces, documentation for IT managers to deploy work from office solutions, and a three-piece hybrid work offer set consisting of a software offer (made up of collaboration, security, digital experience monitoring, and mobile device management all under a single agreement), a work-from-home offer (featuring three device ensembles plus networking expertise), and a work-from-office offer (assistance in building in-office workspaces that are both optimized for hybrid work as well as sustainable).

Continue reading “Cisco Live 2023: New Hybrid Work Collection Takes on the Return to Work with Mixed Success”

RingCentral DaaS is ‘Standard Issue’ but an Important Step for the Company

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• RingCentral DaaS is an acknowledgement that competing successfully requires a broad platform encompassing both software and hardware capabilities.

• If RingCentral keeps innovating on its current path, it should retain a presence among top players in the cloud-based collaboration market.

Earlier this month, RingCentral introduced a Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) offer labeled RingCentral DaaS. The offer aligns with recent device trends in the cloud-based collaboration market and makes RingCentral a more formidable player.

Continue reading “RingCentral DaaS is ‘Standard Issue’ but an Important Step for the Company”

Contact Center Customers Speak Volumes at Cisco

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Cisco is taking a more customer-focused approach to the contact center space than previously.

• Cisco has married feature-rich contact center offers with a robust internal ecosystem of support.

In early December 2022, several executives from Cisco’s contact center business updated analysts regarding its go-to-market strategy. The discussion made clear that Cisco is investing heavily in optimizing its contact center capabilities. The company has recalibrated its approach to positioning, partner channels, and customer adoption. The changes place Cisco on more solid ground than before.

Continue reading “Contact Center Customers Speak Volumes at Cisco”

Slack Reinforces Its Focus on Productivity with the Announcement of Slack Canvas

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Slack Canvas fulfills the truest potential of hybrid work tools – increasing productivity.

• Productivity has been a focal point at Slack, and that places it in an enviable position.

Slack has announced Slack Canvas, which is scheduled to launch in 2023. Slack Canvas supplements channels, which are the centerpiece of the Slack platform. Slack defines channels as repositories that centralize people, information, and tools, thus facilitating collaboration. Any channel can have a dedicated, customizable canvas associated with it. Canvases provide a permanent place to organize and store resources that can be shared with and updated by a team.

Continue reading “Slack Reinforces Its Focus on Productivity with the Announcement of Slack Canvas”

RingCentral’s ‘Customer Service Essentials’ Allows Smaller Businesses to Test the Contact Center Waters

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Customer Service Essentials reflects a growing propensity among vendors for combining contact center and unified communications capabilities in a single offer.

• Customer Service Essentials lets smaller businesses dip their toe in the contact center waters, but it is merely a pricing bundle at its core.

RingCentral recently launched Customer Service Essentials, a contact center offering targeted at the small office/home office (SOHO) and small business markets. Customer Service Essentials bundles RingCentral’s flagship ‘MVP (Message, Video, and Phone)’ offer and Live Reports, which provides real-time call center performance data.

Continue reading “RingCentral’s ‘Customer Service Essentials’ Allows Smaller Businesses to Test the Contact Center Waters”

UC&C Platforms Are Becoming Homogenized

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • Three forces are driving homogenization of UC&C platforms: common features, a continuous surfeit of bells and whistles, and interoperability between competing platforms.
  • The need for in-office and remote workers to communicate and collaborate – and thus demand for UC&C platforms – will remain robust in the hybrid world.

Unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) platforms are becoming homogenized. There are three forces driving this phenomenon: (1) a common set of features has emerged from the major players, including meetings, chat, calling, and events (some players have created an augmented core by also including contact centers and AI); (2) competitors are continually and rapidly complementing common features with a surfeit of bells and whistles (e.g., live reactions such as likes, enhanced lighting for video feeds, and polling); and (3) interoperability between platforms and cooperation between competitors are fast becoming the norm.

Continue reading “UC&C Platforms Are Becoming Homogenized”

8×8 and Genesys Announce an Integration, but There Is Much More Than Meets the Eye

Gregg Profile Photo
G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • The integration enables collaboration between contact center agents and subject matter experts throughout their organizations.
  • The announcement reinforces trends around coopetition, contact centers, and linkage between UCaaS and CCaaS.

8×8 and Genesys announced that 8×8’s ‘Work’ now features integration with Genesys’ ‘Cloud CX.’ 8×8 Work includes enterprise voice, video meetings, and team chat capabilities. Cloud CX is a contact center offer that works across phone, email, chat, text, and social channels. The integration will enable contact center agents to collaborate with subject matter experts across an organization. Agents will access subject matter experts through a company directory, while those experts can indicate their availability to respond to customer inquiries. Agents will access both offers through a single sign-on. Both offers can be downloaded from either vendor’s app store.

Continue reading “8×8 and Genesys Announce an Integration, but There Is Much More Than Meets the Eye”