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RingCentral 2020 Predictions: UCaaS Market Embraces AI; Data Becomes the New Currency

VMblog Predictions 2020 

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

By Zane Long, SVP of Global Channel Sales, RingCentral

UCaaS Market Embraces AI; Data Becomes the New Currency

The year 2020 promises to be another year of transformation for the Unified Communications market. As the shift to the cloud accelerates, what are the next major trends that UC providers need to be aware of? For the upcoming year, I see the market embracing AI and utilizing data patterns to create more value for the organization: 

Data is the New UCaaS Currency 

Data has become the new currency and in 2020, enterprises will want to analyze data from their UCaaS platforms, similarly to other areas of the business. There is real value in understanding how an organization's employees prefer to communicate - for example, what time of day are employees most productive? How are engagement levels trending? This insight will help organizations define their approach to internal communications and get the most value out of their interactions.  

UCaaS Embraces AI

UCaaS providers believe that in 2020, enterprises will turn to AI to improve communication processes and streamline productivity across the organization. For instance, AI can help businesses automate tasks like scheduling or setting up conference calls, or proactively add tasks to a to-do list. An AI-powered assistant within a UC platform can proactively complete busy work, giving workers more time to focus on the creative and interactive aspects of their jobs. Additionally, AI can help call centers analyze large amounts of data and provide solutions in real time, reducing the lead time to provide value back to the customer. 

Chatbots Take Over the Call Center

There is no doubt that AI chatbots are transforming, and will continue to transform, the customer experience, especially in consumer-facing and services industries, like retail. Customers now expect that they're questions get answered almost immediately and in today's competitive landscape, retailers are looking for new ways to be readily available to their customers at all times. According to research by Salesforce, 53% of service organizations will use chatbots within 18 months-a 136% growth rate. Interacting with an AI chatbot is now the norm, as 40% of customers say they don't mind whether a human or a chatbot answers their questions-as long as they get an answer fast. We expect this trend to continue in 2020 as more retailers will turn to AI chat bots in order to serve their customers 24/7, while freeing up their service agents for more resource-intensive tasks. 

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About the Author

Zane Long 

Zane Long is the Senior Vice President of Global Channel at RingCentral where he is responsible for the global growth of RingCentral's channel partner program working with key global partners, such as CDW, Intelisys/Scansource, SHI and PCM.

During his three years at RingCentral, Long has led the team in successfully growing the channel program to what is now an over $200M business for RingCentral. Long has created and led leading global partner programs for almost 20 years. Prior to joining RingCentral, he held senior roles at Genband (Ribbon), Cbeyond and Level 3.

Zane has been recognized by his peers and the partner community for industry awards such as; CRN Top Ten Channel Executive of the Year Finalist in 2012/2017, CRN Channel Chief 2013/2016/2017/2018 and Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award Winner 2013/2017.

Published Friday, January 24, 2020 7:15 AM by David Marshall
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