The Philosophy to Enable AI with Fuze
Before artificial intelligence, you need to establish a solid platform
With the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) hot topic almost everywhere, I wanted to get Fuze’s view on whether we were still talking about actionable insights or genuine artificial intelligence. I met with Eric Hanson, VP Product Marketing at Fuze to get his view on where the market was and what Fuze’s take was. Rather than zooming in on the Fuze portfolio and talking about what products and features Fuze could offer in the AI world, Eric spoke around the philosophy of Fuze, and how their platform is an AI enabler, rather than an AI provider.
Eric walked me through a typical sales cycle with Fuze, and explained how their approach differs to their competitors and even non-traditional players like Microsoft and Cisco.
“Fuze puts the user experience first”
“We’re different because we focus on usability and let the users call the shots every differing day. They dictate how they interact with their peers, not the technology”.
Getting into a consultancy phase before contract signature is key to getting to know your customer. Eric said, “Every customer is different. That’s why we aren’t just providing a SaaS platform, but the professional services too. We know it’s a real change for businesses and we have to help them overcome the challenges”.
Crossing the chasm
Eric likened the Fuze philosophy to the chasm referenced by Geoffrey Moore in his book, Crossing the Chasm. “Typically, customers need to migrate across the chasm from their legacy, on-premises estate with multiple boxes of iron to an agile, productive working environment”. Eric ran me through an example of an American retailer who is going through exactly this today. Fragmented voice strategies still exist despite the upward trajectory of UCaaS.
Refreshingly, businesses are coming around to UCaaS deployments being a business transformation project rather than an IT project.
“Our belief is that you need to get your fingernails dirty”.
Eric referred to Fuze’s own research into the future of work. Rather than solely relying on the work of industry analysts like Gartner, customer advisory boards and win-loss analysis, Fuze actively funds it’s own studies. This is where Eric says that Fuze finds out the hidden goals of CIOs, CTOs or even CEOs. With these studies centring on the future of the workforce and the future of the workplace, insight into whether things like AI are a reality are gleaned.
Fuze on AI
From Fuze’s point of view, the question isn’t “Is there a place for AI?”. The question is “Do we have a solid foundation to enable AI in the future?” As long as the platform is established to do innovative things, and the modalities are in one place that are actionable, Fuze are currently happy to leave the AI elements to a partner when the time is right.
With a solid platform full of core UCaaS features and benefits, Fuze continues to push the boundaries in empowering AI and business insight. Once the business track and technology track is aligned, Eric sees the future as technology leading the business. “You shouldn’t have to think about the next technology. The technology should have already satisfied the business need”.