We live in an age of rapid technological change. This is driven by both supply and demand. At the demand side, consumers and businesses always want improvements in speed, performance, and features. Meanwhile, developers, creators, and researchers are always pushing to make the next big thing.
As technology creators in the business communications space, we are always looking to innovate. Today, we are looking at two technology trends that are powering change in our sector: AI and the use of APIs.
Communication transformed: a brief history
Before we discuss the future, it is useful to reflect on how much has changed. Business communication technology has transformed in a generation. In the past few decades, the sector has transitioned from analog to digital to online. Voice-only phone systems have been supplanted by unified communications (UC), offering voice, video, and instant messaging on one platform.
Cloud communication has grown dramatically at the same time. This, with the rise of the smartphone, has added new levels of flexibility. Using a smartphone UC app like iPECS ONE, users can access their entire business communication platform from anywhere.
This also reflects broader changes like the rise of hybrid work, which is made possible by technology. Ericsson-LG Enterprise has been at the forefront of this revolution. This is evident in iPECS Cloud, a globally recognized hosted UC solution. Now, AI and the API are powering new possibilities.
The rise of AI
With advances in chatbots like ChatGPT, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a prominent topic in public discourse. ChatGPT reached 100 million users in three months, indicating a widespread interest in the technology. This also reflects AI’s immense potential for business.
Through machine learning and deep learning, AI imitates human learning processes. The advantage is that AI can store and process significantly more information than any human, and at much faster speeds. This opens many possibilities, and more and more business applications of AI are being developed.
This brings us to the future of business communications. Our development partners in the UK, GetCrisp, are using AI to unleash the power of iPECS Cloud using the API. That is what we will focus on next.
What is an API?
API stands for application programming interface. In simple terms, it allows different applications to communicate with each other. This is we create how software integrations – in other words, tools that combine the functions of separate applications.
For example, iPECS Cloud can integrate with major CRMs. In practice, this means that when CRM contacts call you, the iPECS Cloud interface will display their details. It can do this thanks to an API that allows the CRM and iPECS Cloud to communicate.
This is one example, but the possibilities for customization are infinite. Our UK development partners, GetCrisp, are using AI and the API to deliver new functionality to businesses around the world.
Engage: a case study from the future
The GetCrisp development team has integrated iPECS Cloud with ChatGPT, with an application called Engage. This is a great example of the power of iPECS and potential of these new technology trends.
Engage functions as a chat widget on a business’s website. Users can type questions about the business. Engage will then analyze the content on the website, and use ChatGPT to give clearly written, accurate answers.
At any point, an agent from the business’s team can replace ChatGPT in the chat session. This may happen if the customer has a complaint, or wants information that ChatGPT cannot pull from the website. Similarly, the customer can escalate the chat to a voice or video call with a single click. This puts them straight into a call queue.
All this human interaction is powered by iPECS. Engage creates an anonymous iPECS Cloud user for the customer, which allows them to use the UC features of the iPECS Cloud platform. This allows them to use the instant messaging, voice call, and video call functions to communicate with the business on their terms.
This is an exciting development in the ever-changing world of business communication technology. Now, we will conclude with three quick points on what it means:
1. Enhanced CX
Customer experience (CX) is everything. This case study uses the latest technology trends to enhance it further. The AI function digests and presents any information that is already on the website. If a customer has a simple inquiry (for example, about opening hours), then this will be answered quickly with no need to call.
If the customer’s inquiry is more complex, a human agent can step in seamlessly. Similarly, if the customer decides to call, they can do so easily via voice or video. This gives the customer the ability to communicate with a business on their terms, which leads to greater CX.
2. More efficiency
As well as benefitting the customer, this also increases efficiency for the business. As long as the information is somewhere on the website, any query can be handled by AI. This has the potential to reduce call queues significantly, especially for simple queries.
3. The potential for customization is endless
This is just one example of a great use of the iPECS API. We expect to see many more in the years to come. As the demand for cloud services continues to grow, this trend towards customization is likely to grow with it. We are excited to see and participate in what comes next.
iPECS: your communication solution
We have seen a total transformation of our sector over the decades. Now, as AI develops, we may be at the dawn of a new era. A Whatever the future brings to business communication technology, iPECS will be at the front – as this latest example shows.
To find out more, speak to your nearest Ericsson-LG Enterprise Global Partner.