Blog | 01.26.2023

2023 Hybrid Work Tech Trends – Part I of II

Predicted forces shaping the customer and employee experience

“How you service your customers, and how you treat your employees, is the framework that every company should pay attention to.”

Kevin Basden, VP Contact Center, NWN Carousel

Nearly all organizations (99%) believe that the employee experience (EX) is as important as the customer experience (CX). According to market surveys, and the expert advice of our Offering Leads, 2023 will be a year of balancing EX with CX to create a Total Experience (TE). 

There are several key initiatives companies can use to differentiate themselves from competitors. Focus should be on how to satisfy customers, leverage data, and create rewarding experiences for both employees and customers. This will not only bridge the talent shortage, yet also help navigate a slowing economy.

NWN Carousel’s 2nd Annual Tech Trends Series explores the impact of emerging technologies on groundbreaking hybrid work innovations and business strategies. Our Offering Leaders share what’s happening now, describe what’s new, and project what’s next.

This week we focus on trends in Unified Communications & Collaboration, Contact Center and Visual Collaboration & Workspace.

“A lot of focus will be on returning to the office and upgrading technology while downsizing spaces. Companies are realizing hybrid with professional grade visual collab, and UC technology, can be just as impactful. Real estate sq footage costs a lot of money so taking advantage of shared spaces, and temporary workspaces, will be a larger trend.”

Brian Ficther, VP, VCW, NWN Carousel

Smart companies will place CX & EX at the heart of their business strategy

Throughout the pandemic companies ran whatever IT tools were at their disposal. Right now, Microsoft being probably the biggest beneficiary of all. Many of NWN Carousel’s customers deployed their Unified Communications & Collaboration platforms, in many cases, without a plan.

Fast forward to 2022 where the challenge was managing UC tools correctly, meeting the user expectation, and achieving a successful outcome. In the past, customers only had a PBX system option. Now you have cloud communications tools, Contact Center-as-a-service, and Video Collaboration. There’s so much complexity within the hybrid work environment.

As we move into 2023, we need to support many more tools and platforms. Giving employees, and customers, a choice of communication channels, and flexibility, will not go away. We must seamlessly integrate our Unified Communications & Collaboration platforms for easy access in-office or at home. It appears that there’s still much opportunity, as 59% of all workers are unhappy with their collaboration tools, as reported in Why Collaboration Tools are Crucial for Millennials in BusinessScalus.

“Your office space may be in the process of being transformed from cubes or conference rooms to something more collaborative, more video-centric that will attract employees,”

“We have an opportunity to work with those customers to shape what their journey to the cloud for them may need to look like.”

said Alvaro Riera, NWN Carousel’s VP of UC&C.

While there’s no perfect playbook for Hybrid Work, NWN Carousel will continue to serve its 5,000+ customer base by offering a best-of-breed approach to those who prefer users across the spectrum of platforms including Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft or Five9 (among others).

Upshot: The market will evolve with more consolidation between partners in the Unified Communications and Contact Center world.  Five9 and Microsoft are working together, as well as the recent announcement between Cisco and Microsoft. Through the mergers of various companies, UCaaS vendors can create more complete ecosystems for communication and collaboration to meet new expectations around the Total Experience.

“By 2023, one-quarter of organizations will look to UcaaS and CCaaS technology to collaborate in the enterprise and with customers more efficiently.”

Kevin Basden, VP Contact Center, NWN Carousel.

Taking advantage of a scalable as-a-service consumption model

Subscription services are all the rage in the consumer products – from Netflix to Amazon. But in the technology space, as-a-service models will quickly ramp up in 2023. OpEx options for SaaS and office space helps organizations achieve economies of scale with their existing investments. It will have powerful implications during an economic downturn. Organizations will only pay for what they need, avoiding long-term commitments and underutilized resources. They’ll leverage the same resources across EX and CX, avoiding past frustrations and silos. The new stakeholders in a Hybrid Work model will be both your employees and your customers.

“In the Contact Center, with a cloud, as-a-service model, you can easily roll out a new feature to your agents. You don’t have to purchase a server and get the licensing and install. You just click a check box on your web browser, and it’s available.”

Kevin Basden, VP Contact Center, NWN Carousel. “Likewise, if you need to increase or decrease licenses, you can easily scale up or down.”

Upshot: Doing more with less, in a strained economy, will be key to the success of IT planners, and C-level execs. With the reluctance to spend cash, and the desire to preserve capital spending, an as-a-service consumption model across all technology offerings will become more prominent. 

In-office, self-serve visual collaboration options

If you’re no longer certain how to operate your in-office Visual Collaboration & Workspace conference room technology, you’re not alone.

That’s because much of in-office software, and hardware, is outdated. There is also a massive platform shift to Microsoft Teams. With that change comes new technology in the conference room for video conferencing technology. If you’re uncertain how to navigate a user interface, 2023 will continue to present office workers with more self-help options.

By scanning an in-room QR code, a self-service “how-to” animated recording will help you navigate the user interface. Learn how to quickly connect a meeting, mute a microphone, or share content. Or connect with tier one help desk support to troubleshoot greater challenges.

Upshot: No need to invest in a hefty price tag conference room refresh. With options like NWN Carousel’s Room-as-a-Service, you can upgrade in a scalable model. Also, through self-help options, or standardization and lockdown on user interfaces, we will continue to see customers upgrade their Visual Collaboration and Unified Communications & Collaboration workspaces in an affordable OpEx model.