Artificial intelligence (AI) in the digital workplace
Artificial intelligence has become prevalent across all aspects of our digital lives. AI now touches every industry and department within organizations, especially those with hybrid workplaces. AI is the current focal point of innovation in the digital workplace. AI improves productivity and creates better user experiences within communications platforms. Internal and external user experiences improve by integrating AI into Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions.
The next generation of artificial intelligence (Microsoft Copilot, Webex Assistant, etc.) enhances communications through an emerging portfolio of features. This post reviews recent developments and recommends best practices for incorporating AI functionality into existing workflows and processes.
How AI integrates into unified communications
There are two broad categories of AI use cases within UCaaS: Productivity enhancements and experience enhancements.
Next-level transcripts and meeting notes
AI provides not just a transcript of a meeting or recording but also chapter headlines, action items, and name recognition. Suppose you are unable to attend a video meeting. AI generates action items assigned to you from that meeting. It also can highlight mentions of your name and provide a synopsis.
Voice call recap
This functionality works for voice calls, driving an improved customer experience while boosting employee productivity and experience. For example, an employee receives a call from a customer complaining about an invoice they paid but received a second bill. The employee can transfer the call to the billing department to further investigate. AI provides a recap of that conversation prior to the call being transferred, allowing the billing department to see everything that was highlighted and be able to take over that phone call quickly.
AI can now translate live meetings into text for over 100 languages. Organizations with a global presence will find this feature invaluable.
Advanced noise suppression
Some AI functions go unnoticed or, in this case, unheard. Advanced noise suppression uses an algorithm to filter out disruptive sounds from video and voice calls without cutting out speakers. Gone are the days when a barking dog or crying baby could disrupt a meeting if one member didn’t realize they were unmuted.
An emerging capability, gesture recognition, can identify common symbols like “thumbs up/thumbs down” or “okay”, which can help meeting moderators “read the room”. Additionally, this technology has led to exciting research that will soon be able to convert American Sign Language into text and speech.
Potential challenges and concerns related to the integration of AI in UCaaS
Security and compliance
Security is a core concern of implementing any new system or technology, and integrating AI in with communications is no different. To analyze and summarize, AI must receive data in some manner. It is crucial to determine how recordings, transcripts, logs, and analysis data are protected.
Additionally, organizations within highly regulated fields such as healthcare must ensure that their AI usage does not violate user privacy and data security compliance regulations.
Appropriate licensure and configuration
Correctly implementing and configuring AI tools often falls to IT departments with little experience managing the licenses and integrations involved. Working with an experienced third-party technology provider can help offload the burden for IT teams struggling to navigate AI or empower small teams to make informed choices.
Especially when utilizing generative AI, artificial intelligence is prone to errors. Occasionally, AI will generate false information or fabricate statistics, a phenomenon known as “hallucination”. Additionally, AI transcription is often thrown by the usual “ums” and “ahs” of everyday speech.
Employees may resist learning AI technology because they may feel it may one day replace their jobs. The core idea to communicate is that AI is not about displacing human workers but rather improving performance, speed, and capacity. In other words, AI helps you do your job more effectively.
How organizations can embrace AI in their digital workplace
AI technology surges forward whether your organization utilizes it or not. Don’t let competitors gain an advantage. Proactively create an AI strategy to enhance the productivity and efficiency of your workforce. Below are several steps to achieving a cohesive strategy.
Review existing tools
In many cases, businesses may not have to change much, as the solutions they already utilize are currently integrating AI to improve the functionality of communications and collaboration tools. For example, Microsoft Teams Voice and Webex Calling have already integrated the previous functionalities in video and voice calls.
Determine use cases to filter into workflows
Rather than tackling every possible AI functionality to explore all at once, choose a handful of use cases most relevant to your business to develop best practices:
- Omnichannel messaging – Customers want support across the channel of their choosing–SMS, voice, web chat, etc. Generative AI can create user-facing communications, and machine learning can automatically schedule follow-ups. Some platforms have proprietary AI built in, while others feature integrations with leading AI providers such as ChatGPT. Additionally, chatbots powered by AI are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They can intelligently route customers to the support path they need to solve their problem, whether elevating to human support staff or directing them to a support article.
- Transcription – Transcription, intelligent meeting notes, and auto-generated summaries call out action items, usernames, and provide valuable reference materials for employees at all levels.
- Security and biometrics – AI recognition of faces, fingerprints, and other biometrics is helping to keep devices more secure. The latest example is Apple’s latest security update with “Stolen Device Protection”, which relies on location data to confirm whether a user can immediately change passwords or make other significant changes. AI identifies a user’s home as the primary location and adjust permissions accordingly.
Appoint team members to oversee AI implementation, integration, and quality control. At least for the immediate future, AI is an advanced mimic. It can’t understand context – AI doesn’t know how it’s being used (or abused). Another option is to work with a technology provider to monitor AI deployment in communication platforms as part of a managed service.
Navigating the AI revolution
AI is a new frontier, and organizations need a trusted partner and adviser who can understand their business processes and requirements to help them understand how those processes map and how AI can improve and augment their processes to maximize the efficiencies of their users (internal and external).
CBTS is a UCaaS managed service provider for Webex Calling and Microsoft Teams Voice. We also support the major Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) platforms, including our proprietary platform, CXsync. CBTS certified engineers and project managers are highly experienced in implementing the latest features from UCaaS providers and creating custom integrations to maximize the efficiency of your workflows. If AI boosts the capabilities of your workforce, CBTS boosts the capability of AI by ensuring proper configuration, implementation, and compliance.
Get in touch to learn more about how CBTS can guide your organization in implementing AI across communications platforms.