GoTo Research: Increasingly Connected and Convergent UCC
With AI adoption hastening across all sectors
Recent findings from leading tech research firm Ovum Research conducted on behalf of GoTo, found that their sample of 2100 IT buyers and leaders considered communications and collaboration tools to be ‘business critical’ investments. But in such a rapidly changing landscape, it’s a challenge for buyers to assess the trends and potential effectively.
We caught up with Mark Strassman, LogMeIn’s Senior Vice President and General Manager for Unified Communications & Collaboration, to discuss the implications of the research, and the tech changes which will be informing strategic decision-making in the period ahead:
“Organisations’ communications and collaboration strategies have been getting increasingly complex over the years, which has until now necessitated a growing variety of business communications tools to meet those needs. Now, many organisations have reached the point where they no longer want their employees to waste time by switching between different modes of communication. This is why in April 2019 we released GoToConnect, a fully unified platform that offers professional web, audio and video conferencing, business presence, VoIP calling, SMS/text messaging, visual voicemail and more all in one application, giving users a single, seamless experience.”
Investing in the future of UCC
And enterprises recognise that this new experience will require new investment. Strassman continued, “Our survey found that 76% of businesses are planning to increase their spending on UCC deployments in the future. This is largely to accommodate the needs of the modern workforce, which is increasingly working remotely or flexibly as well as demanding more advanced – and more updated – UCC tools. Additionally, 66% of CIOs acknowledged that UCC is critical to business success.”
One reason that investment and advances in UCC are of such great interest to CIOs is the potential competitive advantage inherent in AI technology. The Ovum research found that 39% of businesses are already leveraging AI today in some capacity, with an additional 49% having evaluated and identified use-cases and rollout plans.
The top three target areas for implementing AI in UCC are:
- Personal digital assistants (59%)
- Improved analytics for informed decision-making (59%)
- Intelligent, automated transcription services (54%)
With the technology increasingly in use already for automating routine admin tasks like reminders and transcriptions, freeing users to focus on more creative and productive activities.
Millennial needs inform investment and adoption
Some of the research findings focused in particular on the millennial generation, those presently aged 22-37, and making their way through the hierarchies of business – and want tools which reflect their preferred ways of getting work done, in a flexible and collaborative way. But as Strassman pointed out, “It’s particularly critical for younger employees to understand AI because they use collaboration tools more frequently than their older colleagues, according to another survey we recently conducted. This means younger employees who don’t understand AI risk wasting more time while using UCC tools as AI continues to get incorporated.”
It sounds like we won’t have to worry about understanding AI for too much longer though, as the machines become increasingly good at understanding us instead. Strassman anticipates a world where, “AI-powered UCC tools will be even sharper at picking up on participants’ moods and other subtle and nonverbal cues, and able to provide more detailed analyses and follow up recommendations.
“Additionally, we anticipate AI meeting assistants becoming even more helpful and functionable, such as with automated transcripts that are more accurate and efficient as well as post-meeting recaps that are more thorough and analytical”
The future is intelligent – and in response to user demand, we can expect ever more deeply integrated smart layers to continue to smooth the convergence of the tools we use in business, to communicate, collaborate and connect.