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PGi 2020 Predictions: Enabling the modern workforce to better connect and collaborate

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By Mark Roberts, CMO, PGi

What's ahead in 2020: Enabling the modern workforce to better connect and collaborate

The year ahead will center on a single theme: Connection. More specifically, the year will focus on the technology that enables teams to collaborate from wherever they work. 

Because the modern workforce is marked by mobility, teams are more frequently working wherever is most convenient for them. While this approach has fundamentally changed the relationship between organizations and their workforces, the year ahead will see further growth of this trend and a reliance on technology to foster connection, collaboration and drive business results.

As technology continues to evolve, shrewd organizations will leverage existing technology in new ways, and, in the year ahead, they will further embrace the concept of hyper-connectivity. New or improved solutions over the next 12 months will focus on upgrading the collaborative experience.

AI and Data Rising

In the year ahead, look for organizations to further deploy advanced technologies such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Modern companies have employed these tools to support initiatives aimed at using data intelligently and automating manual processes.

From the customer point of view, these tools already power so-called "bots" to deliver more personalized experiences across channels and devices. For employees, they free up time, allowing teams to connect, ideate and get work done together which, in turn drives greater innovation.

As customers and the public at large increase their knowledge about technology, they feel more empowered. AI will further improve the customer experience by using natural-language processing to understand actual humans in automated channels. This will continue to enable customers to access help when desired and on the channel of their choice.

Elevating Communications

Organizations have the innate ability to determine the technologies that will have the most significant impact on businesses; they just need to act on it. This year, visionary companies will further deploy tools such as AI, mobile and live streaming to elevate communication and make collaborative digital interactions more intelligent, more seamless and more human.

Customer experience is the currency that matters, and customers want their experiences to be both seamless and tailored to their needs and preferences. Utilizing the power to transform cold interactions into relevant and authentic ones gives organizations the ability to deliver on that promise.

The reward is apparent for businesses that deliver. More than half (51%) of customers have switched companies because of a subpar experience, and estimates indicate that those unhappy customers cost U.S. businesses $537 billion a year, according to Vision Critical.

Collaborating and Working Wherever

Conversations concentrating on the workplace's continued digital transformation and the rise of the "digital worker" focus on speeds and feeds. Seamless communication and information-sharing yield heightened productivity and faster time to market, and new Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offerings are redefining what it means to connect wherever. You don't need expensive equipment and capex approvals to get a state of the art communications system deployed. The power of the cloud brings options to businesses of all sizes with better connectivity and collaboration features.

UCaaS that simplifies operations and technology infrastructure, enabling teams to connect across different devices while maintaining a consistent experience for every participant. It allows people to communicate using different methods based on what the situation demands, so teams can stop changing their expectations to accommodate the limitations of a particular solution.

Because employees and organizations are unique, there are countless ways for companies to use UCaaS to foster consistent user experiences. Different people engage with technology differently and view collaboration with their partners and colleagues through a slightly different lens, but most times, one approach isn't superior to another. Whether its chat, video meetings, direct calls or online workspaces, UCaaS offers multiple ways for people to connect and work wherever - and however.

The Best is Yet to Come

New technologies give organizations new opportunities.

Harnessing the latest technology gives teams the power to connect, collaborate and communicate based on their unique needs and lifestyles. It also affords organizations the ability to navigate the ever-expanding number of digital channels and touchpoints, while also creating contextual and enjoyable experiences for everyone.

For those companies not joining in the revolution, there is only one question. Why aren't you?

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About the Author

Mark Roberts, Chief Marketing Officer, PGi

Mark Roberts 

Mark Roberts serves as PGi's CMO responsible for all marketing operations worldwide, driving growth opportunities and building brand recognition for the company within the communications market.

A proven marketing leader, Mark has over 25 years of experience in the technology industry building brands, driving demand and transforming high-tech companies. Most recently, Mark served as CMO of ShoreTel, transforming the marketing function from a focus on products to becoming one of the leading companies in the UCaaS space. He has also held other senior marketing leadership positions with world-class, multinational, private and public companies, including Mitel, NexTraq, Polycom, 3Com and Intel.

Mark earned his Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Leicester.
Published Wednesday, November 13, 2019 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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