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No Jitter Roll: UCaaS Web Option, Low-Code AI Tools

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This week we share announcements around UCaaS, low-code AI tools, AI-augmented quality management (QM), and a series of Microsoft Teams-certified desk phones.
 
8x8 Unveils Web Access for Integrated Communications App
8x8 this week revealed several portfolio enhancements it said are aimed at meeting the needs of a hybrid workforce. For example, the company has introduced a browser version of its Work offering, which integrates voice, team chat, and video meetings in a desktop or smartphone app. Work for Web, in beta, allows access to these same capabilities of Work from any device via the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers, 8x8 said. General availability for Work for Web will be announced at a later date.
 
Additional communications and collaboration updates include mobile browser access to 8x8 Meet from iOS or Android devices, customized or blurred video meeting backgrounds, inline response to team chat messages, call silence during video meetings, and real-time visibility of connectivity and call quality metrics, 8x8 said.
 
For the contact center, 8x8’s Microsoft Teams-certified offerings allow for call routing to Teams-based sales, service, and support agents. Its Voice for Microsoft Teams app, which enables access from Teams to 8x8 features like voicemail and call forwarding, is now generally available, 8x8 said. In addition, 8x8 is now offering a FastTrack deployment option for 8x8’s Salesforce integration, among other updates.
 
Besides the product updates, 8x8 introduced a service-level agreement aimed at enterprises that have integrated CCaaS and UCaaS in one platform.
 
Avaya Adds AI Workflow Builder
In the latest move to bring more AI into the contact center, Avaya this week announced an AI-powered workflow capability for its OneCloud CCaaS platform. Avaya customers can use this graphical low code/no code conversational workflow builder to bring or create their own AI , including via the use of integrations with Google Dialogflow, Microsoft LUIS, IBM Watson, and Alexa Skills Kit, through a single visual user interface. In addition, they can compose and modify applications for hybrid cloud deployments and bring in built-in analytics and insights for decision support, Avaya said. They can also leverage 20+ languages while supporting language-independent machine learning models, Avaya added.
 
Verint Launches Low-Code IVA Package
Customer engagement platform provider Verint this week announced a low-code version of its conversational AI offering. With this new Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) Professional Package, customers of Verint’s customer engagement cloud platform can eliminate the manual work of data entry by allowing for the rapid processing of unstructured real-world conversational data, which it then categorizes, Verint said. Once these ideas are categorized, non-technical users can then drag and drop them into the IVA for testing and deployment without requiring data expertise, the company added. Benefits include the ability to turn conversation data into automated self-service, continuously improve automation with conversation data and insights, and measure return on investment, Verint added.
 
Clarabridge Debuts AI-Augmented Quality Management Functionality
Clarabridge this week announced QM updates for its customer experience management platform. Calling the update “more than just software,” Fabrice Martin, chief product officer of Clarabridge, said via email that this release is about making QM more transparent, holistic, and focused on customer experience and employee experience. With this update, Clarabridge provides AI-based categorization and scoring of agent interactions, relying on its natural language understanding (NLU) algorithms to detect “effort, empathy, and emotions,” he said. Should the algorithms detect violations or risk, a notification is sent automatically, Clarabridge said. With this AI-augmented approach to QM, Clarabridge said it, aims to help contact centers meet increasing customer expectations, develop and retain agents, and improve operational efficiency.
 
Crestron Introduces New Line of Teams-Certified Desk Phones
Crestron, a provider of workplace technology, this week announced a new line of Flex Phones to support Microsoft Teams audioconferencing and videoconferencing, thus freeing up laptops and PCs for other uses during these calls. The Flex Phones allow one-touch meeting join, support content sharing, and provide enterprise-grade security, Crestron said.
 
Besides built-in Teams support, the phones are available with video or audio-only options, eight- and 10-inch HD touchscreen display options, an omnidirectional microphone array with 360-degree audio pickup, integrated Crestron XiO Cloud Service, and an embedded occupancy sensor, Crestron said. 1080p cameras are available for the video version. Pricing varies by model.

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