In recent years, there has been a trend to adopt a fully integrated solution into business applications, processes, and workflows, especially for communication and collaborative work. This came as a result of the overwhelming realization in recent years that a fully integrated communications platform is critical in addressing and improving the experiences of people both inside and outside the organization.
As a result, solutions like Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) have gained huge traction, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise in remote work. The cost and ease of set-up also proved beneficial in the midst of cashflow issues businesses are experiencing not only due to the pandemic, but also due to inflation, and supply chain woes.
The quest for an “experience of things”
Given the prevalence of the likes of UCaaS and CCaaS today, it is easy to overlook the role of experience in the effectiveness of these systems. By experience, we are not just referring to one particular experience but a convergence of customer experience, employee experience, and ecosystem experience. A convergence is known as the “experience of things.”
The thing about it is, while it is not articulated outright (not to mention many might know the term itself), the experience of things is not an uncommon aspiration when it comes to their technology experience. Many organizations have expressed their preference for a single platform that can provide their various communication needs both within and outside their respective organizations, thereby allowing them to effectively communicate with their employees and their customers/clients respectively.
An imaginary obstacle
One stumbling block in creating an experience of things is that there seems to be a divide between UCaaS and CCaaS that different companies tried to overcome. However, the truth is that this divide is nothing but an imaginary barrier and there should not be an issue integrating internal and external communication solutions. In fact, it is the current technology itself that caused friction in how people experienced internal and external customer workflows and processes.
Challenging the notion of the barrier is the fact that as the demand for UCaaS rose, customer support operations also became more dependent on cloud communications and contact center services to meet customer needs. Customer support agents working remotely created major disruption to work routines, as business operations required a higher degree of online interactions.
Realizing an improved and integrated experience
Given the current situation, it looks all the more crucial to integrate technology platforms to seamlessly support the ability of remote agents to support customers. In fact, there is already a solution to make this integration possible that has been around for a long while: cloud infrastructure and services that were made for such a time as this.
According to Grand View Research, the UCaaS market is set to grow just under 15% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2028. Simultaneously, Fortune Business Insights noted that the market for CCaaS is expected to grow at 15% CAGR through 2028. While the data represents separate markets, further technology convergence and integration can contribute to more complete integrated solutions, either from a single vendor or multiple providers.
Another thing to take into account is the outlook provided by Gartner remote workers account for 53% of the U.S. workforce in 2022. This will inevitably continue the change in buyer requirements to support remote work operations. Evaluating needs for communications and collaboration between employees and customers requires a targeted focus on the experience of both customers and employees in all interactions. Are customers able to get the tools to create their own experience across all channels? Are employees able to manage their own experiences based on where and how they want to work and interact?
As such, IT leaders and other technology decision-makers must consider more flexible and open communications platforms from a solutions perspective that deliver specific experiences for people. Ultimately, decision-makers must look closely at the forward-thinking providers who are making definitive steps for broader, more flexible platforms that support better management and ownership of experiences.