CPaaS Perspectives - Our Latest UCStrategies Podcast

I haven't been on a regular schedule with our UCStratagies podcasts lately, but managed to take part in last week's gathering. The topic was the changing nature of CPaaS and what this space really is all about. It's very easy to put CPaaS in the UC bucket, but that really doesn't do justice to either.

To explore this further, Phil Edholm was our moderator, and if you're wondering about these things like we are, you'll find our podcast of interest. It's posted now on the portal, and once you're there, I hope you wander a bit and see what else we have on offer.

CX17 - Genesys and ININ - Quick Take

This my third U.S. conference this month, and I'm speaking at two others back home in Toronto, so am now at that saturation point where everything is a big blur. However, I got to the airport early, found a quiet spot, and wanted to get a quick post out while I'm still in the moment.

I just want to share some high level thoughts here, and will have a more considered analysis next week, and hopefully you'll stay with me for that. First off, having been to several Interactions events in Indy, not having Don Brown  here to share his vision was a big sign of how much has changed in a year. Those are big shoes to fill, and  given how much integration has been done by Genesys in a short period of time, kudos are due to CEO Paul Segre and his team.

The contact center space is going through unprecedented - but expected - disruption, so much so, I don't think that term will be in use much longer. End users and vendors alike are going through an existential crisis with all this new technology, and from what I saw, Genesys gets that in spades. I didn't attend the technical breakout sessions, but I hardly heard any references to IVR, ACD, call recording, etc. - the stock in trade of most contact centers.

Today, it's all about omnichannel, CX and customer journey, and the new vernacular is about AI, machine learning, automation, chatbots, conversational interfaces, journey visualization, biometrics, and of course, AR/VR. Digital transformation is definitely happening here, and Genesys has a pretty good handle not just on what is happening, but how their customers need to adapt.

Genesys, too, needs to adapt, and I really liked the overall tone of their messaging, mainly around their G-NINE framework, along with how they've branded their three core offerings - PureCloud, PureConnect and PureEngage - into a complete product family - the Genesys Customer Experience Platform.

All of this needs unpacking, and I'll get to that in an upcoming post. Until then, here are two key takeaways that stuck with me, along with a few photos for posterity. I really hope we get back to Indy at some point, but this may well have been the last one now that ININ is fully in the Genesys fold.

1.  Meet Kate - that's their new chatbot, but there's much more to the story. Gender politics aside - yes, that's a thing - what stuck with me was how they call this "blended AI".  The language for our brave new digital world is still evolving, and since nobody really owns it, we can call these new things whatever we want. For now, that term seems to work, with the idea being that Kate strives to leverage micro-services/applications efficiently when interfacing with machines (for lack of a better word - that's definitely a holdover from pre-digital times that will surely fade away), but also with empathy and a personal touch when dealing with people - both customers and employees.

2. Branding update. So, the "big reveal" at the end of the general sessions was ably handled by CMO Merijn te Booijj. This initiative was done thoughtfully and with purpose, and he did a great job explaining it. Given all the integration with ININ, and their future-forward vision for CX, there's a lot of ground to cover when coming up with new branding that's going to hit the mark. Being a marketing guy, I really admire good branding, and I'd say they've succeeded. The new logo is a bit amorphous - almost like mutating cells - but hey, isn't that what's really been happening with Genesys, evolving into a higher life form, so to speak? Maybe. More on that later, and if you haven't seen the new logo/tagline yet, it's in the gallery below.

Not quite the Indy 500 starting line, but my timing was good here.

Genesys CEO Paul Segre

Not quite the iconic monolith slab from Kubrick's 2001 Space Odyssey, but at least here, the message is easier to understand - "moments connected" - I hope!  :-)

I got to play again with the SIPtones here on Tuesday night, and it was a lot of fun. If you were there, I'd love to hear from you or see your pix!

Next Stop - Indianapolis and Genesys/ININ

This will be US stop #3 for me this month, and then things finally slow down on the travel front. Am flying on Sunday to Indy for CX17, where the event tagline is "Together", referring to the combined conference for Genesys and Interactive Intelligence.

I posted the basic details about the conference already in the Event Calendar of my website, so please go there for that. I don't get to do this often, so I'd be remiss to not do another shout-out for our SIPtones gig next Tuesday during the conference. More info about that is also in the Event Calendar listing, including a link to a video compilation of our last show in Indy. Enjoy!

My Next Webinar - Digital Transformation and Collaboration

Am busy enough this month with conferences and speaking at events, but I still need to manage my regular workload with clients. Aside from various writing engagements, I'm doing another Ziff Davis webinar on May 30 - and another one after that in June.

The full title is "How Collaboration Helps Businesses Adapt to Digital Transformation", and the main idea is that collaboration offerings can help workers in many ways as they adapt to the impact of digital transformation. These are two big themes, and I'll be exploring how they intersect on this webinar. Details and registration form is here, and I hope you can join me.

Our Drivers of the Digital Economy Event - Thanks for Coming All!

Just a quick note of thanks and appreciation for all those who came out to our event in downtown Toronto last night. The room was full, the energy was great, and I think the audience came away with a better idea of Jeff's vision, the opportunity he's trying to address with his MoNage event, and the community he's trying to build to use technology for good in our world.

Props to Steven Pulver and Caravel Law for hosting and providing the pizza and drinks in true startup style. Special thanks to the many VON alum who turned out, especially Alan Percy and Garrett Smith who made the drive from Buffalo, getting there JIT.

Chris Fine and I really enjoyed reprising the presentation we gave at MoNage in San Jose, and for those who hadn't seen Jeff before, I know they came away inspired on a few levels. He has that effect on people, and we need more of that!

Also - we're happy to share our slides, and if you didn't get a chance to pass on your card to me last night, drop me a line and I'll get them to you.

Jeff mentioned that some of the event was live-streamed on Facebook, but I haven't come across that yet - fyi.

Got a few pix to share here. The lighting wasn't great, but here's a few. If you were there and had good shots, you're welcome to share, and I'm happy to amplify.

Talk about true startup style - from humble beginnings with a simple sign, directing people downstairs to the space.

Photo - Ron Gruia

Photo - Ron Gruia

Photo - Jessica Fowler

Photo - Jessica Fowler

Photo - Sara Belmont

Photo - Sara Belmont