Providers Are Infusing Collaboration Solutions With AI
With many collaboration tools already offering options to streamline communications, what does this innovation look like in practice?
Hamit points to current efforts in machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate key operations and make collaboration happen anytime, anywhere. And while he notes that “we have a long way to go when it comes to incorporation of AI into collaboration for employees,” he highlights three areas of potential benefit:
- Customer-facing chatbots. “We’re making a lot of advances in the use of machine learning and AI to automate conversations with consumers using chatbots,” says Hamit. “Done well, chatbots can field the routine, easy-to-handle interactions that free up staff to deal with more complex issues.”
- Augmented employee experience. There’s also a role for emerging AI-driven collaboration to augment the employee experience. According to Hamit, “we’re already seeing this to some degree with real-time language translation and transcribing.” More advanced algorithms could help improve accuracy and speed.
- Enhanced operational workflows. “Think about all the little mundane things we do throughout the day that add up to a lot of time,” says Hamit. “Now, imagine a future where you’re talking with someone about a meeting with various stakeholders and your virtual assistant is simultaneously looking for available time and setting up the meeting in the background. There’s a real opportunity here for AI to help us all work a little smarter.”
Collaboration Platforms Are Getting Easy to Use
Hamit also points to shifts within the collaboration industry itself that focus on simplicity and scalability for enterprises.
Collaboration platforms “are becoming increasingly easy and intuitive for the average user, even borderline simple. The UI/UX is no longer intimidating and challenging to navigate,” he says. “Even the platforms themselves are much more resilient and forgiving with the wide range of Internet connections and variables involved with a distributed workforce.”
Cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), meanwhile, is critical to helping companies meet the scalable needs of staff working from home full or part time. According to Hamit, “UCaaS will continue to gain momentum as organizations look for solutions that are easily scalable and better support the mobile work-from-anywhere user. Looking out further into the future, perhaps there’s a collaboration play for incorporating virtual/augmented reality for an even more immersive experience.”
Permanent remote work is changing the nature of collaboration. From AI-enabled chatbots and automated workflow to simplified and scalable UCaaS platforms, the next generation of on-demand collaboration platforms goes beyond basic communication to deliver comprehensive connected experiences.