July 31, 2018 12:02 pm

Enterprise AI will Improve Unified Communications

Enterprise AI is creating new challenges for organizations worldwide. How AI, or artificial intelligence, relates to the audio visual field and unified communications presents some unique opportunities. Taking the time to identify how AI is changing the enterprise is a useful exercise to help guide technology investments.

Enterprise AI Today

The relationship between unified communications (UC) and AI might not seem obvious. At the surface level, UC seeks to aid workplace productivity and processes by easing communications. Putting in place the right communication devices to produce these goals is still a work in progress for most. Enterprise AI can help bridge the gap in a significant way.

When it comes to UC, enterprise AI is already influencing strategic plans. This is even more evident when paired with big data analytics. Even in its infancy, AI is already improving decision making and helping predict future outcomes. That’s not to say that UC is the silver bullet today. In reality, UC still has its own challenges to resolve. User friendliness remains a major impediment to adoption. Identifying the people present for a meeting, who has (or has not) been invited, if video is being used or how to start the video portion all persistently plague the UC experience. Here’s where enterprise AI can step in to assist UC, in particular with increasingly intuitive user interfaces.

UC used to simply be voice over IP, your standard video conferencing — perhaps instant messages. It’s evolved to include so much more: team huddle spaces, wireless collaboration display, cloud storage of documents, interactive whiteboards, etc. While enterprise AI and broader machine learning tools advance, unified communications is one area poised to reap great rewards. Awareness about AI on the consumer level is already becoming ubiquitous, driven in large part by voice-control assistants. But how do you move beyond “Alexa, what’s the traffic like?” to slightly more advanced commands that seamlessly bring a meeting to start, present content, toggle between participants, etc. Education and awareness are a big part of the puzzle. Cultural differences are often the biggest obstacle to overcome here. In considering education as it relates to AI is where the machine learning part comes into play. Trial and error, experimentation and time are all sure to help the cause.

UC and Enterprise AI on the Horizon

Another big challenge with AI adoption is that the workforce at large is overloaded with information. There are so many more methods of communication today, and they are all designed to increase productivity. But at a certain point, workplace communication has become too noisy. The future possibilities for enterprise AI are broad, but a few specific use cases include pinpointing a person who is speaking, facial recognition, and more natural, automated introductions. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that the overarching goal of fusing enterprise AI with UC is to improve productivity and internal processes. UC armed with AI is meant to be an indispensable tool in the workplace. As AI looks to alter the face of UC, audio visual integration is a lynchpin of the process, serving to carefully coordinate between IT departments and software providers.

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash
Alex Knight

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