An all-star panel described why this is the case Tuesday at Enterprise Connect in Orlando.

Moshe Beauford, Contributing Editor

March 26, 2024

3 Min Read
Future of Collaboration Technology Panel at Enterprise Connect 2024
Left to right: MLB's Neil Boland, Experian's Monica Lim, Cross Country Healthcare's Forrest Schroth, AdventHealth's Carlos Quintero and Informa Tech's Eric Krapf at Enterprise Connect 2024, Orlando, March 26.

ENTERPRISE CONNECT — Day two of Enterprise Connect, the giant communications and collaboration conference in Orlando, Florida, featured a significant announcement by Enterprise Connect general manager/program co-chair Eric Krapf, who said it will hold an AI-centric conference for the first time later this year. (Informa Tech is the parent company of both Channel Futures and Enterprise Connect.)

Deemed Enterprise Connect AI, Krapf said the event will be Oct. 1-2, in Santa Clara, California. Krapf noted that since AI is moving at breakneck speed, this event will be a place for experts to come together to discuss all things artificial intelligence-related. 

Krapf also presented awards for "excellence in enterprise technology," with industry experts nominating big-name vendors. They judged the organizations based on innovation and more. Genesys took home the award for best innovation for customer experience (CX), while the best innovation for meetings and conferences honor went to Barco and Yealink. 

Vonage and Upwork took home the honor for best innovation for systems management, while the most innovative use of AI went to Cyara and Genesys, with RingCentral taking home the "Best of Enterprise Connect" award. 

Looking at the Future of Collaboration Technology

Related:Vonage, RingCentral, GoTo Unleash New CX, Contact Center Products

Customer experience experts Monica Lim from Experian; Carlos Quintero of AdventHealth; Forrest Schroth from Cross Country Healthcare; and Neil Boland, who serves as senior vice president, technology, and chief information security officer for Major League Baseball (MLB), had a surplus to share about the future of collaboration technology.

They believe that customer experience technology also plays a significant role in the future of collaboration technology, with Quintero sharing how his team of engineers at Avid Health, which boasts some 50 hospitals, is contemplating a more widespread rollout of Microsoft Copilot.

From Colorado to Florida, Quintero said his organization has more than 100,000 users and several hundred IT members who will leverage the AI-fueled assistant. 

"We have embraced AI in the form of Copilot, which sits at the center of our efforts. And we're looking to use Copilot studio, Copilot for web, Windows and beyond 365 to optimize what we do," Quintero said to a keen set of event-goers inquisitive about the future of collaboration technology.

Schroth said his company is using generative AI tools to cover shifts. It's also using the technology to pull off what some might consider nearly impossible feats.

Related:Cisco, RingCentral Execs Shine Light on UC/CC Platform Convergence

"We use it to run models to understand what makes a successful sale," the health care exec told attendees.

Data Governance and the Channel

Experian's Lim explained that generative AI and the hype surrounding it is "unpreceded," noting she had to form an AI council to establish governance that she feels is necessary.

"We needed to have checks and balances in place to ensure security and other areas," Lim said. 

Lim said in addition to putting governance measures in place, it remains pivotal to keep humans in the AI loop, echoing a sentiment repeatedly mentioned throughout the enterprise technology event.

"AI will not replace people or tasks; it is more about taking that person and upgrading them quickly," Lim argued.

From a management perspective, agent monitoring, training and identifying patterns are ways AI can be beneficial in the space, with most panelists agreeing that the future of collaboration technology might provide a lot of value to those who leverage it properly.

System integrators at ASA Solutions caution that channel partners have to be cognizant about security "because data is sensitive," Steve Gums, VP of operations and CTO, told Channel Futures, adding that one must "make sure your tools aren't accessible to the outside world."

Gums remarked that AI is an excellent tool that lends access to information stored away for years, such as "notes that got scribbled down years ago," he said. He believes that with so much at stake, the channel has to get this right to ensure the future of collaboration technology is a secure and safe place for everyone.

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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.

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