Nick Dicksee, CPaaS Specialist Lead at Avaya UK&I, explains how organisations can catapult themselves into the future of work with a simple and powerful framework designed to aid Total Experience.
Over the past year, the focus on Unified Communications has shifted from an area of increased interest to a necessity for business continuity.
While many organisations quickly adopted the technologies and applications required for basic remote working, it has taken a little longer for all of us to work out exactly how to truly enable a remote workforce.
The need for action on this is pressing. According to the Life and Work Beyond 2020 study, commissioned by Avaya, those who reported being happier in 2020 than in 2019 identified working from home as a key driver of that happiness. And nearly half (46%) prefer to work remotely or at least be given the option and tools to do. Conversely, 52% worry about going back to a fully in-office workday.
Avaya believes it can help organisations not only address the challenges of this new work-from-anywhere world, but actually come out of it better than ever. To see what its technology approach means for the future of work, and how it can help organisations address these trends, we spoke to Nick Dicksee, CPaaS Specialist Lead at Avaya UK&I.
What have organisations learned about UC over the past year?
The pandemic has advanced years of developing a work-from-anywhere culture into mere months but trying to adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach by just remote-enabling employees with a bunch of apps has proven to not be enough.
For example, one of the biggest issues that organisations report is employees struggling with the fatigue of managing too many separate apps. They’re constantly switching between their video conferencing, their messaging, their email, their task management, and more. All while figuring out new ways to do business. This isn’t sustainable, particularly since it’s clear that work-from-anywhere is here to stay.
How do organisations address that specific point around app overload?
This is why we have seen the rise of workstream collaboration, which replaces disparate communications tools with easy-to-navigate virtual workspaces built with today’s distributed work environment in mind.
It’s very exciting in that it’s driving a new conversation around remote employee and customer engagement.
How do workstream collaboration solutions differ from, say, a regular video conferencing solution?
I can’t speak to other solutions on the market, but I can certainly say that it’s what’s under the hood of our platform, Avaya Spaces, that sets it apart. We’ve leveraged the powerful framework of Avaya OneCloud CPaaS to enhance and simplify Avaya Spaces. This means we can provide sophisticated workstream collaboration capabilities within a unified, integrated, all-in-one solution, with zero business disruption. And because it’s built on CPaaS, it can help organisations to transform legacy communications into the new future of work.
Talk us through what exactly CPaaS is.
CPaaS is in the driver’s seat of the composable-enterprise vision. Organisations today are looking at Total Experience strategies, which reimagine customer and employee journeys to the point that any experience across any touchpoint is effortless. These strategies are made up of a myriad of composable solutions, which address specific use cases and experiences.
Take a look at Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), which delivers best-of-breed building blocks in the area of employee experience and work automation. And then look at Contact centre as a Service (CCaaS), which enables the creation of unforgettable multiexperiences for customers.
CPaaS is the facilitator for both these offerings – it’s the force multiplier that can truly enable a Total Experience strategy across the enterprise. It enables organisations to rapidly innovate to address a wide range of use cases. It catalyses the pace of innovation while working with monolithic on-premises or cloud communications infrastructure. It connects them with the latest API-driven cloud-based capabilities, that they can then use to compose new experiences.
What does the rise of CPaaS-enabled workstream collaboration mean for the future of work? What else is possible?
Forget about the future – we’re already enabling AI in the cloud through our CPaaS solutions. For example, going back to Avaya Spaces, we can quickly spool-up features like AI-powered background replacement and noise elimination. We can create virtual work environments, so it looks like workers are in an office or briefing centre and, at the same time, eliminate distractions like barking dogs.
And this is just the start. Going forward, AI will enable virtual cosmetics or fixing poor lighting and camera haze, for example. Presentations will be enhanced with AI for more engaging meeting experiences.
Cloud-driven AI could take on the form of a digital co-worker to help get work done. Searchable AI transcriptions will differentiate voices, producing accurate real-time closed captions and translation, generate meeting minutes, identify and create tasks from within meetings or conversation streams and list them for you and your team. Richer voice commands will be available, while anticipatory searching across multiple data sources will prioritise results based on activity. And if the AI is cloud-based, and not reliant on processing power in the device, it will work on nearly anything – old or new.
That’s all enabled through a framework like Avaya’s CPaaS platform.
About the Author
Nick Dicksee is CPaaS Specialist Lead at Avaya UK&I.