The paradigm shift of voice

Frederick Sabty, VP Hospitality Worldwide at Avaya

At this year’s GITEX we’re going to be showcasing the very latest enterprise communications ideas that will shape the customer and employee experience of tomorrow – by putting voice-based technologies front and centre.

We’ve been analysing consumer and employee attitudes to better understand their constantly evolving expectations of organisations, including voice-based communications and experiences. In August this year, we interviewed 8,000 consumers from around the world. Here are some of the interesting insights they shared with us.

Voice-based interactions are overwhelmingly preferred. Of the 8,000 consumers we interviewed, 73 percent prefer the phone to explain customer service problems. This reflects a widespread global belief that telephone contact is the best way to speak to someone quickly and, according to 71 percent of the consumers we interviewed, to get the best answer.

Our research also shows that new AI-based voice technologies are gaining major traction with consumers, with two in three people wanting chatbots to become more intuitive. Half of those interviewed would like to speak to customer service agents through their smart speakers, and 71 percent want to bypass identification and verification questions by using voice biometrics. This growing popularity of smart speakers is also evident in research by Gartner which suggests that as many as four billion digital assistant devices could be in use by 2022. By that point, our speaker-based personal assistants will likely understand human emotions.

What does this tell us? It shows that, in the words of the late Mark Weiser – arguably the father of ubiquitous computing – “Natural user-interfaces like voice and gesture, represent the evolution of technology.” Voice-based personal assistants are already with us whenever we need them, wherever we go, and easily accessible across multiple formats and devices. Voice is not only here to stay, it’s centre stage.

At GITEX Technology Week 2018, we will present what we believe to be the industry’s largest leap forward in SIP multi-platform, real-time, multimedia communications presented in the Vantage desktop communications hub. This new open-standards based device and SDKs is a standard-bearer for a touch free world. We’re going to show applications on Vantage that are in live production in our customers’ environments, and ones that are thought provoking, inspiring you with ideas for the customer-oriented transformation of your business.

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