Top Women in Communications Share What’s Ahead In 2023

4 min read

Virve Virtanen | November 08, 2022

It’s that exciting time of the year when we celebrate our accomplishments and work to predict what the upcoming year might hold. Instead of dusting off and gazing into a crystal ball, I prefer engaging with people who specialize in predicting the future. I had the great pleasure and privilege to speak with the brightest (and most fun) leading global female communications analysts about what to prepare for as we plan for 2023.

Headshot Blair Pleasant Blair Pleasant, BCStrategies & CommFusion

Expect to see lots of vendor consolidation and M&A activity. We’ll see companies with niche AI capabilities become acquired by UC and contact center vendors to enhance their portfolios and provide needed capabilities.

AI will be the technology of the year, with vendors enhancing their AI capabilities and increasing the use cases for AI technology. Those with the best AI technologies will have an initial advantage. Still, we’re in the very early stages, and things will change quickly with new vendors and capabilities becoming available.

There’ll be lots of talk about the metaverse but not much actual activity. Expect to see exciting demos showcasing AR/VR capabilities, but the actual usage of these will be minimal.

As more people return to the office, we’ll hear many stories about what works and what doesn’t, along with sharing best practices for how to make hybrid work, work.

 Carolina Milanesi, Creative Strategies

Hybrid work will continue to be a point of tension for employers. Forcing people back into the office will reduce productivity and engagement.

The economic downturn will drive budget cuts that will impact meeting room upgrades resulting in employees not wanting to come into the office as experience would be sub-par compared to their home office.

Sustainability will become a higher priority for most organizations and will play a role in procurement. Partners that can help businesses reach their net-zero targets will become more appealing as governments and regulators put more pressure on reporting numbers.

 Roopam Jain, Frost & Sullivan

2023 will be a defining year for hybrid work. The long-drawn debate between business leaders and employees will end with most businesses settling for a hybrid version that works best for their business goals and employee expectations. Regardless of the outcome, the office will look drastically different from the pre-pandemic days with continued investments in technology across all spaces.

More employees will be back in the office faster than initially anticipated but with a clear sense of purpose. The conversation will shift from real estate reduction to rightsizing, redistributing, and redesigning the office to accommodate new employee expectations. The ratio of assigned personal spaces to collaborative spaces will flip, with the office becoming a hub for collaboration, creativity, and camaraderie. The impact of technology will be significant from the lobby to the boardroom.

Penetration of technology in all office spaces — digital signage, high-quality displays, intelligent audio-video conferencing, and digital whiteboarding paired with AI and analytics — will grow three times over the pre-pandemic levels. 3D environments and AR/VR technologies will not just be a thing of the future — they will emerge to become more usable and affordable and see early adoption at scale to bridge the divide between digital and in-person experiences.

 Robin Gareiss, Metrigy 

Business and technology leaders will see how vital technology is to every aspect of their companies, particularly customer satisfaction. Despite the uncertain economy, 65% of companies still plan to increase their CX spending in 2023, according to our research. I believe those who don't will quickly find that they're at a competitive disadvantage. Customers wield much power through social media posts and web-based ratings; companies that don't continue to innovate will see problems in those areas.

Because the C-Suite is under pressure to examine spending and ROI, you'll see CX and IT leaders measuring success in ways they hadn't in the past. The smart ones will draw close links between technology deployment and business success (i.e., revenue, cost, customer ratings, and employee productivity).

Success in the contact center will expand to other areas of the company. For example, automated coaching, performance analytics, gamification, and quality management will apply to agents and sales, marketing, field service, and product development teams, potentially using the same tools as companies increasingly integrate UC, contact center, and CPaaS platforms.

I also predict that automation and analytics will be critical areas for investment, whether related to employee engagement or customer engagement. Analytics tools continue to improve--giving decision-makers the information they need to decide what changes to make in their technology deployment, operational processes, and employee coaching. Meanwhile, tools that help automate functions (transcriptions, automated scheduling, capacity planning, agent assist, etc.) will stand out by helping with worker shortages and productivity.

 Sheila McGee-Smith, McGee-Smith Analytics

I believe many of the industry vendors, partners, and customers will move to maximize existing investments while bringing innovation over-the-top given the economic climate.

 Stephanie Atkinson, Compass Intelligence

2023 will bring a renewed focus on cost savings, reprioritization of tech/IT budgets, and greater emphasis on collaborative and client-facing tools and resources for the hybrid workforce.

Core tech trends will revolve around AI/machine learning, edge computing and analytics, hyperscalers, workplace automation, and workforce technology focused on improved at-home work productivity and immersive workplace experiences.

Machine/Human Interface and automation will drive tech spending due to a lack of skilled workforce and a growing employment gap.

Due to economic uncertainty and recessionary markets, we will see a consolidation of technology vendors who do not have a balanced portfolio or are not diversifying their solutions to meet changing enterprise and small and medium business needs. Tech companies that hyper-focus on core business challenges will fair well, especially those who are working to solve complex business issues or provide relevant value propositions to businesses

 Oru Mohiuddin, IDC

Hybrid working will continue to drive the need for UC&C solutions to ensure workers can communicate. There will be a greater need for fast, efficient, and reliable videoconferencing tools combined with collaboration tools that enable teams to collaborate in real-time through these virtual calls.

 Stephanie Watson, MZA

The hybrid work trend will continue, but businesses must ensure that they allow their workers flexibility and, consider specific roles and individual needs, empower workers with the right tools and devices to be most productive and effective based on their location. Not all workers are knowledge workers; the requirements of workers vary by role (e.g., frontline workers). As workers return to offices part-time or full-time, listen and learn from those experiences. Formal office locations will evolve to be collaborative hubs to support team working and engagement which will require, in many cases, a re-think of office design and communications solutions provided within those environments.

The drive toward cloud-based collaboration will continue in 2023, but cloud has many flavours; UCaaS, public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud; one solution does not fit all. Customers will make decisions based on their business needs, existing investments, and solution fit. Not only will the continued migration from premises-based to cloud continue, but as the market continues to mature, increasing cases of cloud-to-cloud migration will be seen as solutions evolve in terms of features and functionality.

Consolidation and M&A will continue in earnest, driven by both acquisitions of new and enhanced technology and capability (AI and CX will continue to be critical) but also to drive geographic expansion and scale.

Expect continued drives toward cross-platform and cross-device interoperability; few businesses use just one communication tool. Adopting an open approach to enable the best, most secure user experience and value from those investments is critical.

Strong economic headwinds are coming in 2023. This will mean businesses will be looking carefully at investments, driving operational efficiencies, evaluating benefits and suitability of communications tools for their hybrid workforce, but still very focused on ensuring optimum employee and customer experience to deliver business success.

Mitel’s view of the up-and-coming aligns well with our influencer pool predictions. We believe that in 2023, communications providers and partners prioritizing a long-term commitment to customer lifecycle management will win in the marketplace. Now more than ever, mid-market and enterprise-level organizations are looking for help to ensure their systems adequately enable hybrid work and provide the flexibility and future-proofing necessary to evolve in a fast-changing world.

I hope these insights will be a positive inspiration to you as we enter 2023. The ever-evolving communications business is the place to be for those who enjoy being part of a thrilling, rewarding industry and day-to-day change.

Categories: Expert Insights

Virve VirtanenVP, Analyst Relations and Competitive Intelligence

Virve Virtanen joined Mitel in 2021 as vice president, analyst relations and competitive intelligence. Virve has rich communications experience garnered from analyst relations leadership roles at companies including Poly, Mapbox, Microsoft, and Nokia. In her position as the leader of Mitel’s analyst relations and market intelligence initiatives, Virve helps expand the company’s efforts to closely engage with analysts around the world about Mitel’s strategy, opportunities, and momentum.

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