There was little doubt unified communications and contact center would come together, noted execs from Microsoft, Zoom, RingCentral and more at Enterprise Connect.

Moshe Beauford, Contributing Editor

March 26, 2024

3 Min Read
Unified communications/contact center (UC/CC) execs at Enterprise Connect 2024
A panel of key unified communications and contact center executives at Enterprise Connect 2024, March 25.

ENTERPRISE CONNECT — The biggest executives in unified communications − from Microsoft, Zoom, Cisco, RingCentral and more − took to the Enterprise Connect keynote stage in Orlando Monday to discuss the convergence of unified communications and contact centers — a move many of those execs see as "natural." 

While not a novel concept, the convergence of unified communications and contact center technology is something most analysts have said would eventually occur. 

In a conversation with Channel Futures at Enterprise Connect, forecasters at Cavell Group backed up the notion of UCaaS/CCaaS convergence gaining popularity. The company's research shows that more than 92% of service providers cited sales deals including both UCaaS and CCaaS. 

"Rather than just selling traditional UCaaS cloud communications services, we're increasingly seeing service providers sell a composite of UC and contact center because it allows that integrated experience across the enterprise," Patrick Watson, Cavell Group's head of research, told Channel Futures. 

As such, we have begun to see plenty of platforms in the unified communications space start to realize this vision, while vendors increasingly have enabled front-office and back-office users to gain access to the features and functionalities of unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) and contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) tools from a single pane of glass. 

Related:Enterprise Connect New Products: RingCentral, Zoom, Five9, Avaya, More

Panelists Mahendra Sekaran from Microsoft, Graeme Geddes from Zoom, Srinivasan Raghavan from RingCentral, Savinay Berry of Vonage, Lorrissa Horton from Webex by Cisco, Craig Youngs from Brigham Young University, Sinead Aylward from Johnson Controls International, Gary LaSasso from Amicus Therapeutics and Kevin Shatzkamer of Google discussed what modern UCaaS/CCaaS convergence might mean for an organization in the midst of realizing digital transformation (DX).

Unified Communications, Contact Center Execs Weigh in on Convergence 

Lorrissa Horton, senior vice president, general manager, and chief product officer of Cisco collaboration, said that from a vendor perspective, single-vendor solutions make sense. 

Cisco's Lorrissa Horton

"This is an area where we’re starting to see a lot of gains, and having artificial intelligence as a part of that common stack drives higher profits," the Cisco executive shared with event-goers. 

RingCentral's chief product officer, Srinivasan Raghavan, more than echoed this sentiment, telling a jam-packed room of Enterprise Connect 2024 attendees that this convergence makes sense from a customer perspective because "customers are asking for it." 

Related:Avaya, Zoom Launch Partner-Ripe AI Offer

RingCentral's Srinivasan Raghavan

With the sheer amount of data getting exchanged in that environment, Raghavan said agents in a contact center need access to information, with the RingCentral exec remarking that AI acts as that bridge that ensures that information gets to the agent's fingertips. 

Experts Say to Keep Humans in AI Loop

With so much buzz surrounding AI in the unified communications and contact center arena, many conversations increasingly are dominated by AI's potential to enhance various processes and workflows.

Barry Cooper, president of CX at NICE; Andy Dignan, COO at Five9; Danielle Joiner McPherson, director of global reservations, contact center operations at Delta Air Lines; Brett Weigl, SVP and GM, digital, AI, and journey analytics at Genesys; and Pasquale DeMaio, VP of customer experience services at AWS all took to the Enterprise Connect 2024 main stage to riff on why AI is hot right now; while cautioning about taking humans out of the loop of the AI process. 

Vendors from NICE to Five9 to AWS said they remain committed to keeping humans in the mix of AI, with nearly every executive saying that AI will not replace humans, but it will augment what they can do, especially in the contact center environment.

We saw this notion in action Monday as Zoom and Avaya introduced their own AI proposition that aims to enhance workflows on various levels via AI and telephony converging on many fronts. 

Read more about:

AgentsChannel Research

About the Author(s)

Moshe Beauford

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.

As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.

Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like