The EC17 Overview: Experience Matters

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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

The EC17 Overview: Experience Matters

Enterprise Connect seemed much bigger this year with 18 rows of booths, many of which were 20x20 or larger. There was much in the way of video conferencing and a couple of VR rooms.

The real buzz came from Amazon that launched Amazon Connect - Customer Contact Center in the Cloud. GE Appliances is one of Amazon Connect's initial customers (and shared the stage at EC17 with them). Last week, they launched contact center tools. Before that, they launched Chime, a web conferencing app.

"Amazon Connect is a self-service, cloud-based contact center service that makes it easy for any business to deliver better customer service at lower cost," according to the website. It got a lot of coverage (telecomp and techcrunch, to link but 2).

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Chime was launched in conjunction with Vonage who will be handling the consumer and small business market. Level3 partnered with Amazon on Chime for Enterprise, which partners will get to sell soon.

In both cases, Amazon is entering a crowded field with a self-service, low priced offering that hangs off of their massive computing infrastructure. It is mainly price disruptive, but that doesn't mean it won't shake up Wall Street which will re-adjust valuations for the likes of Cisco, Citrix, Genesys and Avaya.

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GENBAND partnered with IBM Watson for AI chatbots in its Kandy wrappers. The Kandy wrappers are pre-packed programs like a customer service chatbot that can answer FAQs and detect when the caller is getting agitated. It then takes the call transcript and sends it to a live rep, who if all the back-end works would be able to take over the call in continuum. The demo was great. Implementation will be difficult, but I would like to see Florida Blue jump on board and give it a try because they have horrible customer service systems (maybe on purpose).

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West showcased the new version of Spark with Hybrid Voice.

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Sprint had a robot running around their booth but I don't know why.

Counterpath demonstrated its new capabilities for what was once just a softphone. Now there is a good amount of reporting and analytics on users and calls. One user experience across multiple platforms (phone, tablet, laptop, Mac, Android, PC). It layers on top of existing UC, so Broadsoft providers can get better reporting, analytics and user experience without having to upgrade their investment. Counterpath also added a Salesforce plug-in so that interactions inside the Bria app can be captured in a CRM record. And you get screen pops!

BTW, "Voice is still a customer's number one choice when dealing with a customer service issue." [twitter]

"Cloud computing: Are these the hurdles that trip you up? More companies are using cloud-powered services, but it's not without pain. Here are some of the common complaints." Interesting read on ZD.

One thing that seemed to be a theme: User and Customer Experiences Matter.



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