Milton Keynes - 15th May 2017 - IPCortex CEO Rob Pickering has taken a look at some of the key trends we expect to see at UC Expo this year for the UC Insight blog.

An end to walled gardens?

Thousands of comms tools and vendors are creating complexity and walled gardens – far from the promised of unified utopia. Lessons are being learnt from mainstream consumer apps – Facebook and Whatsapp – which offer efficient, rich, partly asynchronous communication. The approach is driving the development of real time, open, web-based contextual communications applications, which will simplify business communications. For example, apps that embed a call or chat function within a web page allow efficient and frictionless comms in context. Comms must eventually become truly unified, where apps and tools integrate and interoperate, not be balkanised by siloed services. This is something I’m passionate about and will expand upon in my talk at the show.

Data security and fraud prevention

Security remains the top concern for businesses, so ensuring data is protected is paramount. Contextual comms is an example of where it’s easier to define how and when people communicate and this controlled approach is less likely to leak than traditional ‘free’ communication. Developers of hosted solutions can do more to help protect against fraud in terms of prevention, detection and compensation. I, for one, will be looking to see how many vendors have really grasped this and are making in-roads in solving it - particularly given the news over the weekend.

Automated customer service

Innovations like machine learning, bots and AI are starting to filter into contact centres and business comms. Chatbots are already dealing with the most common queries, complaints, requests and making suggestions according to what’s in their database. Beyond this comes cognitive interactions where robots understand accents, sentiment and context, so they can handle communications in a more natural, human way. It’ll be interesting to see how many real applications of this we see at UCExpo this year. Will we have moved on from novelty value alone?

Rob will be speaking about contextual comms in the Customer Experience Theatre at 11:40 on Thursday 18th May. Plan your visit.

Author: Rob Pickering

Rob Pickering is founder and CEO at IP Cortex. Previously, he has held a variety of technical roles and fondly remembers the days when he was a proper engineer and wrote a TCP/IP protocol stack from scratch for a microprocessor vendor.