Insider Lite April

by Dave Michels

There were a lot of great things at EC23, and a lot of them were AI related: Probably the most popular feature was AI summarization. Funny how generative AI is so versatile, yet seems to always come down to the same thing.

AI was spotted everywhere, esp in CCaaS booths, and could also be seen from different angles in meeting rooms. Multi-camera room systems are in. Pop Quiz: If I have 3 cameras in my main meeting rooms for Teams, Webex, and Zoom, how many cameras do I have? I don’t know, IO didn’t get a view of interop.

AI was the dominate topic at EC23, even more so than rumors of Cisco and Microsoft running away to elope. I don’t think I fully appreciated the disruption that ChatGPT ignited. Or did I? ChatGPT3 (and 4) appear to be game changers, but that’s in part because we expect rapid innovation to continue, but innovation rate is hard to predict.

Generative and LLMs will change a lot of things. It is disruptive, and there will be casualties. There are things we can do with conversational AI now that were unfathomable six months ago. Will that be true in another six months? Initially, I was thinking we are in the peak of the AI hype cycle, but CCaaS is in for some big changes.

There weren’t many non-AI-powered announcements in Orlando. There were some WFO/WEM announcements from UJET, Zoom, and Verint. The event was light on new hardware, though I heard some great things on the HP Poly UC Free 60 earbuds.

I already published the Insider Report with most of news from EC – but an EC Deep Dive Note is coming soon. I’ve just got a few more keynotes to digest. My favorite one so far is the one where the vendor communicates its long history and expertise in AI.

Big thanks to thank Heidi Elmore – she’s been helping out on some recent TalkingPointz content. She has a very critical eye, or is it a critical ear? Whatever it is, we often have different conclusions, and I’m learning that a second perspective isn’t always wrong. She helped out on the last Insider report, the upcoming EC23 note, and the upcoming note on Conversational AI.


Zoom Acquires Workvivo. Time is money and return to work mandates are not working. Those are the take-aways from my post on the acquisition.

From the Last Insider Report: 

Zoho’s Collaborative Suite Goes Async: Earlier this year, Zoho expanded into UCaaS. The cloud provider is easy to ignore, as it’s been expanding its CRM suite for decades. Progress continues, and this month, Zoho released WorkDrive 4.0. It leans heavily into asynchronous meetings with WorkDrive Snap — that offers asynchronous recordings of screens, people, and audio with access to shared content. The Zoho suite offers office productivity apps, UCaaS, meetings, messaging, email, calendar, shared notetaking, shared storage, and async video PLUS accounting and CRM apps. The browser-based suite is available globally and costs less than competitive suites from Microsoft and Google.

Forrester CCaaS Wave: Forrester issued its CCaaS Wave last month. This is the first Forrester CCaaS Wave in three years. Consistent with the Gartner MQ, it rated NICE and Genesys as Leaders; though not Talkdesk this time. There was a hint about conversational AI reshaping the results. That provided a hint why AWS was promoted to Leader. Amazon has been consistently adding to Connect and its overall value proposition also gets bolstered by other AWS services such as Lex and the Chime SDK.

The two surprises to me are are Five9 and Genesys. Five9 has been generally ahead of the market with AI and automation, and that’s the name of the game in 23. Genesys has had some upheaval in both portfolio and leadership. (This bit was modified from the last Insider Report)

The Full April Insider Report was 8 pages and was sent out to subscribers on April 11. It covers the major announcements from Enterprise Connect as well as recent M&A and leadership changes. Also, some great GoodReads (GreatReads?). Subscribers will soon receive the deep dive report on EC23 and also some provocative thoughts on Conversational AI.

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