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Which Vendors Will Bring the Best of Enterprise Connect?

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Chatbot interaction
Image: WrightStudio - stock.adobe.com

For the past few years, we’ve had a category in our Best of Enterprise Connect awards for “Most Innovative Use of AI.” With our industry—and indeed the culture—focused on AI as never before, it’ll be fascinating to see what kind of entries we get in that category for our Best of EC 2023 contest. But “AI” may not be the most interesting word in that category’s name; arguably, “use” is what’s really differentiating and compelling here. 

The tech world has spent the last several weeks fixated on ChatGPT, the tool from OpenAI that seems to have changed the conversation about AI (while also making itself a part of that conversation). This week’s big news was the report that Microsoft will invest $10 billion in OpenAI and access ChatGPT’s technology for its products. AI and large language models (LLMs) are the hot technology of the moment. 

But in the communications/collaboration world, technology for technology’s sake doesn’t always have a great history or track record, so there’s been a lot of discussion about what something like ChatGPT might actually be good for in, say, a contact center. This piece by the CEO of AI vendor Cognigy offers a great perspective on why ChatGPT and other LLM-based tools aren’t ready for frontline customer service just yet—but offers scenarios in which the current capabilities of ChatGPT and LLMs are already well suited, particularly in the role we’re used to seeing AI: Supporting and supplementing the abilities of more traditional customer service applications and agents. 

That’s what I hope to see when our Best of Enterprise Connect entries close at 5 p.m. Pacific time on Jan. 27: Not so much what AI can do, but what vendors have done with AI. 

Our other Best of EC categories will also reveal the state of the art in some cutting-edge technology areas. In addition to Most Innovative Use of AI, we’ll have awards in the categories of: 

  • Best Innovation in Customer Experience 
  • Best Innovation for Employee Experience Management 
  • Best Innovation for Accessibility 

We’ll naturally expect to see some overlap between the AI and customer experience categories, but as Beth Schultz of Metrigy recently wrote on our sister site, WorkSpace Connect, customer experience is another area where AI is likely to power some innovative capabilities. Especially since customer experience management is an emerging product category, I expect to see some exciting new developments in this area as well. 

Finally, I really hope we see some strong entries in the category of “Best Innovation for Accessibility.” Enterprise Connect 2023 will focus on accessibility, with a general session and breakout session on the topic. We believe fervently that enterprises can strengthen their own workforces—while doing the right thing—by being more proactive about using modern communications technology to make work more accessible for more people.  

So, I’m looking forward to another great crop of impressive innovation for communications, collaboration, hybrid work, customer experience, employee experience, and all the other elements of modern work that our industry is leading the way in supporting and enabling. 

And to see all the great innovations in enterprise communications/collaboration, I hope you’ll consider joining me for Enterprise Connect 2023. Click here for more information and here to register. See you in Orlando! 

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