“migration to the cloud has been positioned as an enabler of business transformation”

In recent years, everything related to the customer experience, both on the side of the final consumer and the employees of many companies, has changed remarkably. In the latter case, the changes are due not only to the transformation of the job and its model. Also to the application of Artificial Intelligence to the customer experience, which makes their life and work easier, as well as their security. But also to the migration of communications and many work processes to the cloud. To delve into all this, and also learn more about the point at which we find ourselves regarding security in communications, we have spoken with Javier Velasco, Country Manager for Spain at Avaya.

[MCPRO] The arrival of the pandemic has raised the level of consumer demand, both in terms of user and customer experience and in online communications. They are no longer just looking for quality and stability. They also want personalized experiences, practically tailored, in all areas of their lives. As clients, as users and also in their work. How can technology in general help improve the customer experience (customer experience) and the employee? And Artificial Intelligence in particular?

[Javier Velasco] As we always say at Avaya, today we live in the economy of experiences, so companies must orchestrate events in such a way that they are memorable for their customers, understanding “memorable” as that which makes consumers want to share their experience with the rest of the world, either in social networks or through word of mouth.

As a provider of Total Experience solutions, we believe in the sum of customer, employee, user and device experiences (Multiexperience) to satisfy the new user profile that “wants it all”. In this sense, it is important to rely on applications that are “composable”, those that adapt to different devices and to the different particular needs of each company to solve their particular problems. Closed solutions for all companies are things of the past, we must adapt to each of them by creating custom applications in which Artificial Intelligence plays a crucial role.

One of the examples of this is the arrival of conversational AI, which is already present in our daily lives, through personal assistants such as Alexa and Google. In this sense, we are also seeing a massive and multimodal incorporation of conversational AI in customer service environments, applied to both digital and voice channels, and fully integrated into the customer journey.

[MCPRO] Far from being static, customer experience is an area that is constantly evolving. Especially in recent years, driven above all by technology, what will be, in your opinion, your next breakthrough? Where do you think the user and customer experience will evolve in the future?

[Javier Velasco] Today, achieving customer satisfaction goes far beyond having customer service in our business. If we want to prosper, organizations must adopt a customer-centric culture, so that all their employees, regardless of their position or location, are involved in enhancing and elevating that experience.

Cloud-based unified communications and contact center applications enable organizations to embrace this culture. Imagine the experience improvements organizations can drive by enabling contact center employees to easily communicate with subject matter experts, whether they’re located in the back office, the warehouse, a branch, or an employee working from home, to quickly solve customer problems.

With these tools, they can also empower contact center employees, sales representatives, and administrative employees to collaborate (via voice, video, text, or file sharing) on ​​key customer or organizational initiatives with a single click.

The immediate future lies in implementing AI-enabled virtual agents, providing 24/7 conversational customer service, and having the ability to connect customers with a physical employee only when needed and AI can’t help

[MCPRO] How can the cloud help improve work and communications in a hybrid work environment? What advantages can it bring?

[Javier Velasco] The pandemic has taught us that we have to be prepared for everything because your life can change drastically in a week. In the case of companies, only those who were totally or partially in the cloud were able to continue offering their services uninterruptedly, while the “face-to-face” companies had major problems in being able to continue working.

As for the advantages of the cloud and remote work, there has been one that stands out little: the talent retention. The companies of the future will be distributed and decentralized. Employees will demand flexible work arrangements for multiple reasons, including budget, convenience, work-life balance and work-life balance.

All of this will force companies to support remote and hybrid work models to attract and retain the best talent. In fact, according to Frost & Sullivan, 83% of companies say that more than a quarter of their workforce will work remotely in the future and to cope with this, 35% will reduce their properties to adapt to new ways. of colaboration.

We also have to talk about unified communications in the cloud facilitating a better adaptability. In this sense, 47% of organizations indicate that the reinforcement of digital channels will represent the main investment priorities in the next two years. Therefore, adopting advanced technologies allows organizations to be more resilient and agile, a key aspect to be able to withstand unexpected scenarios such as the one we have recently experienced with the pandemic, natural disasters, competitive pressures or the increasingly changing needs of customers.

Finally, I would also like to point out that it is a future guarantee. In the end, migration to the cloud has positioned itself as a major enabler of business transformation and the future of work, by enabling cost savings, rapidly deploying new features and capabilities, providing the same services wherever the worker is, and reducing costs. the burden on IT staff in terms of maintenance, management and security.

[MCPRO] More specifically, how can Artificial Intelligence help improve security in new hybrid work environments?

[Javier Velasco] We can give as an example that in our case we have adopted the technology of Journeyin our solution for the Contact Center CCaaSbecause it applies techniques of Zero Knowledge (ZeroKnowledge). We think it is a great advance in security in hybrid environments because it allows information to be verified without the need for a client to reveal sensitive data. It is as simple as the user can prove her identity using the sensors on her smartphone: camera, microphone, location service or QR scanning, among others.

Journey’s proprietary Zero Knowledge Network provides our clients with the ability to request information from their users in the digital environment, from personally identifiable information (PII) to payment data or electronic signatures. This patented technique routes information to back-office systems for verification and action before returning results to contact center agents or specific applications, revealing only the details that need to be known.

[MCPRO] Security, in fact, is one of the constant concerns of IT teams, even more so in hybrid work environments, in terms of communications. How to ensure that communications are secure both from the office and working remotely?

[Javier Velasco] The pandemic has sent millions of employees working from home, and most plan to keep them that way for the foreseeable future. If we look, for example, at contact centers, traditional security measures can no longer be applied. This creates serious risks for any sensitive information that may appear on a remote employee’s screen. Imagine that the next time you call a customer service number, the agent you speak to is working in the privacy of their home. There’s nothing to stop her from using her phone to take a picture of your personally identifiable information, like your credit card number, bank account number, passport number, or email address.

Customer service workers, and even organizations, don’t need that much visibility. Instead, companies should make it possible for agents to see the results that matter to them (for example, whether a payment was made or a document was signed) without needing to see or hear personal, identifiable, financial, health, or other information. other confidential customer information.

In this sense, we believe that authentication by biometrics is a guarantee of security both for customers and for the company itself, for several reasons: the customer does not need to provide sensitive data, the organization will be sure that the person who is working is the same one they hired (something that cannot guarantee identification through credentials), the privacy policies are much more rigorous and, furthermore, it is a system compatible with WebRTC, which It prevents the client from having to perform continuous updates, even though the browsers must be kept up to date.

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