To support a remote workforce in the thick of COVID-19, team leaders are responding creatively and ensuring business continuity by speedy adoption of cloud-based communications and collaboration services. As some employees go back to the office and others work remotely, enterprise IT is now responsible for improving productivity for a distributed workforce by delivering technology solutions that strengthen collaboration.
To realize the full benefits of anytime-anywhere communications tools, organizations should consider AI-based speech technology — an underutilized tool that enables more productive communications, better user experience, and increased agility — which, in turn, can facilitate growth. I’ve listed three beneficial impacts of speech enhancement, speech recognition, and speech analytics, below.
1. Increase team understanding and productivity with speech enhancement
While enterprise IT has enabled instant access to audio- and videoconferencing, calls are often ineffective in noisy environments such as homes, open office spaces, meeting rooms, and customer support centers. Disruptions such as yelling kids, barking dogs, car horns, keyboard typing, HVAC systems, and background speech impair communications and discourage full participation. Speech quality will be unsatisfactory as more people jump on a call, causing the entire team’s productivity to suffer.
Speech enhancement software
allows people to hear better and be understood by colleagues on conference calls. It eliminates disruptive background noises and enhances speech. Room systems, laptop, and mobile device vendors can embed speech enhancement software in their emerging platforms, and individuals can also download the software to their existing devices. In addition, enterprise IT can deploy speech enhancement solutions with their UCC or UCaaS services as an add-on for individual users, meeting spaces, or in contact centers.
Built-in speech enhancement solutions improve the ease of use and in-app experience and provide access to rich analytics from speech streams. Speech enhancement on edge devices also improves audio transmission efficacy with less noise in speech streams, reducing the cost of enterprise storage for recordings. With speech enhancement, people waste less time on interruptions and spend more time on meaningful collaborations that produce real business results. Organizations of all sizes can realize significant cost savings by investing in better speech quality for all communications — VoIP calls, videoconference calls, and contact center communications.
2. Create ease and improve operational efficiencies with speech recognition
Employees spend several hours a day in virtual and physical meeting rooms. Accessing and controlling these experiences has become an intrinsic part of life. Unfortunately, some of these controls are cumbersome, causing frustration and resulting in the loss of valuable interaction time. Imagine if you could eliminate tasks related to supporting unified communications while providing users with more ease and greater efficiency when it comes to setting up, managing, and following up from calls and meetings.
Using speech recognition software
, especially noise-robust speech UIs, organizations can provide users with the ability to self-serve through simple voice commands that can control every aspect of the communications and collaboration experience. These include launching presentations, inviting new users to join a call, controlling voice volumes, and requesting automatic meeting transcription and recordings. With a speech recognition solution optimized for noise, the technology can be deployed in the loudest environments to eliminate tasks that take away from valuable communication time. And as voice-activated commands provide a touch-free experience, the risk of spreading disease decreases.
Wherever there’s an opportunity to automate, speech recognition can help. In addition to using speech recognition interfaces to automate tasks related to operating communications equipment, organizations can benefit from speech recognition used in contact centers. Commands identified during support calls can trigger access to needed resources, automatically pulling up records and information that will help agents serve customers faster. There are myriad ways speech recognition can create greater efficiencies, improve service-level agreements, and support business agility.
3. Gain insight and drive innovation with speech analytics
When it comes to conference calls, videoconferencing tools have taken center stage in recent years. But speech is the real hero in both audio- and videoconferencing, as it’s so crucial to understanding. Speech is rich with information that can help identify the speaker, pick up on emotions and intent, and provide information about the speaker’s environment. And it’s concise — it takes little bandwidth yet conveys so much that text cannot. It’s a great common denominator for capturing; archiving; searching; sharing; and mining and distributing ideas, insights, needs, and desires that no other stream or document format or database can match.
can reveal a great deal about what’s happening in a single conversation and even entire populations of conversations by analyzing the choice of words, intonation, communications channel properties, background noise, and speaker characteristics. Organizations can use speech analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of internal communications, as well as call center interactions. When paired with speech recognition and enhancement, speech analytics can be used during contact center call recordings to identify training needs, as well as industry trends, purchasing patterns, and problematic products or services.
Speech analytics provides valuable insights that can enhance internal operations as well as accelerate growth. It can help organizations enter new markets with in-demand products faster and easier, saving time and money on research.
With AI-based advancements, speech technology has become more accurate, accessible, and affordable. Organizations with the insight to see the potential to improve business communications technologies with AI-based speech technology innovations will reap the operational, organizational, and financial benefits.