Welcome to 2019!

2019 is looking to be a year filled with great innovation and practical applications for contact centers. Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will be the driving forces behind much of the innovation and transformation that is anticipated during the year. It’s a year in which the number of contact center seats worldwide is expected to remain flat as assisted and unassisted automation replaces the need for some agents. Top contact center technology trends for the year are likely to be:

  1. The cloud – while the cloud is a financing and implementation methodology, it has driven a wave of innovation in many contact center IT sectors. Many of the SaaS-based vendors, those who have built their solutions from the ground up, are introducing innovative features to improve contact center performance.
  2. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning – these technologies are enabling vendors to rethink many of their functions, and are playing a major role in giving them the tools to innovate. In contact center infrastructure solutions, they’re enhancing the way that calls are routed and matched to agents. In workforce management they’re adding algorithms and enabling the systems to select the right one to address each challenge. In speech analytics they’re improving many aspects of the solutions, broadening their capabilities and uses. And for self-service, they’re changing the way interactions are handled, greatly expanding the types of activities that can be automated.
  3. Robotic process automation (RPA) – this is another IT category that is going to contribute significantly to the digital transformation of organizations. These solutions are enabling companies to automate tasks that do not require the cognitive capabilities of human beings. They can be used to fully automate rote tasks and fully eliminate the need for employees to be involved in the activity. Alternatively, they can automate a portion of a task, allowing employees to add value instead of spending their time doing things that systems can do better.
  4. Speech analytics – this technology has been in the commercial market since 2003, but the pace of adoption and uses are expanding. More companies are using speech analytics to automate their quality assurance process. Speech analytics in conjunction with AI is vastly improving the benefits of voice-of-the-customer (VOC) initiatives. Interaction analytics, which addresses spoken and written communications, is an essential contributor to customer journey analytics. Speech analytics is also helping to improve the effectiveness of self-service solutions.

There are over 45 technologies and applications that are used in contact centers, although few organizations use all of them. The digital transformation will be instrumental in driving the changes that are expected to happen throughout enterprises for the next few years. Companies that take a holistic view of improving the customer and employee experience will broaden the use of some of these solutions and apply them to other operating areas as they strive to improve the customer journey.

DMG wishes you and your family a wonderful, healthy and happy 2019!

DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.