Enterprise Connect 2024: The Future of Enterprise Communication

3 min read

Virve Virtanen | April 08, 2024

In the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of enterprise communication, few events rival the significance and impact of Enterprise Connect. This year was the pinnacle of industry convergence, where thought leaders, analysts, and consultants united to share their vision of enterprise communication technology.

Key themes reverberated over the week, highlighting customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into unified communications and contact center platforms. From speech recognition advancements to AI enhancements of companions, assistants, and co-pilots, vendors showcased their latest designs to augment human capabilities and streamline workflows. When the hype and slideware settle, we should expect to see learnings, tangible benefits, and ROI use cases to justify the investment. As Craig Durr, Futurum Research stated, from 2024 to 2025, it will be “from promise to proof points.”

Amidst the AI fervor, a critical realization emerged: Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) alone is not the ultimate destination. Analysts emphasized the growing importance of hybrid cloud environments, particularly for deploying large Language Model (LLM) AI solutions. The EDGE computing paradigm emerged as a catalyst, enabling the deployment of Small Language Models (SLMs) at the network periphery, minimizing latency, and optimizing performance to strive for real-time, cost-effective generative AI solutions.

Read: Contact Center Customer Experience and the Rise of AI: Are All Bots the Same?

Along with CMO Eric Hanson and CTO Luiz Domingos, Team Mitel was thrilled to engage with industry influencers, analysts, and consultants. We delved into Mitel's unified communications (UC) strategy, unified portfolio, and our continued emphasis on the hybrid market opportunity. This demands control, security, sovereign-compliant offerings, vertically aligned products, and partnerships that fit the purpose of healthcare, financial services, government, education, and hospitality. We also considered the experiences tailored to frontline workers within those targeted verticals. Mitel is committed to offering its customers choice and flexibility throughout their communication journeys, as a premier player in the UC should. This was also a clear message from the event: “one-size-doesn't fit all.” Especially looking at the 1.5B frontline workers pool, needs are not the same for everyone.

In addition to 40 meetings in three days, Mitel had an impactful presence with several speaking engagements. These included discussions on the value of UC across different vertical industries, featuring Eric Hanson, with Elka Popova of Frost & Sullivan; managing the migration from on-premises to the cloud, led by Diane Myers, Metrigy with Luiz Domingos; and forecasting the architectural shifts in cloud technologies, presented by Paul Ginn with Zeus Kerravala, ZKResearch.

Watch: CMO Eric Hanson and CTO Luiz Domingos sit down with Zeus Kerravala

Analysts’ Thoughts on Mitel and Enterprise Connect 2024

Blair Pleasant, COMMFustion/BCStrategies

Enterprise Connect was an AI show this year. We tend to forget that technology is way ahead of where customers look for solutions and what issues they’re currently dealing with. Mitel set itself apart from the AI echo chamber by focusing on real solutions that solve customer communication challenges, particularly for certain verticals.

Shelly Kramer, Managing Director, Principal Analyst, SiliconANGLE Media, Inc., theCUBE Research & Advisory

Based on my conversations this week at Enterprise Connect with incoming CMO Eric Hanson and CTO Luiz Domingos, I'm very excited about what's ahead for Mitel. Marketing and messaging are about to soar to new levels, and the tremendous value that Mitel is providing customers, along with its laser focus on customer lifecycle management and providing best in class customer experiences — tech-focused and otherwise — will undoubtedly pay off handsomely.

Watch: CMO Eric Hanson and CTO Luiz Domingos chat with Shelly Kramer

Fazil Balkaya, Analyst, Synergy Research Group

This year, Enterprise Connect was all about AI and AI use cases. Compared to Enterprise Connect 2023, companies were more focused and had clear use cases and roadmaps on AI and related developments.

Cloud voice is increasingly commoditized or deprioritized. UCaaS platform providers are pivoting towards Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), or at least lite CX. It is a more straightforward and appealing area to utilize AI as well. Are traditional UCaaS players going to win share from incumbent CCaaS players, or will they be able to sustain or increase their Average Revenue Per User (ARPUs) with CX, or will this create a new market? We will see.

Overall, within the communications market, there is significant work around protecting and utilizing existing investments and layering innovation on top of whatever type of PBX, UC, or CC platform the customer may already have. We are no longer crazy about “migrating to cloud” or no longer must emphasize “hybrid.” It has become normal.

Jim Lundy, CEO & Founder of Aragon Research

Mitel's hybrid UC offering, vertical integrations, customer choice, and flexibility-based strategy represent an essential evolution in enterprise communication. Their commitment to providing customers with hybrid UC aligns well with Aragon's research, indicating hybrid solutions' significance in AI.

David Danto, TechPerspectives

Speaking with Mitel, AI will be essential to collaboration in what is now a hybrid world (hybrid services, hybrid solutions, hybrid employees), and this won't be just for UCaaS providers. Smarter features will be needed in all ecosystem designs and verticals.

Watch: CMO Eric Hanson with David Danto on UCWeeklyNews

Until Next Year

As the dust settles on Enterprise Connect 2024, one thing is clear: the future of enterprise communication is about improved experiences, hybrid-based and AI-energized, decentralized, and relentlessly innovative. And with that, we bid farewell, waving our robotic hands in unison, AI, until our circuits meet again!

Big shoutout to Eric Krapf for orchestrating THE enterprise communications and collaboration event, bringing together industry leaders, and fostering meaningful discussions!

Thanks to Paul Ginn for contributing to this recap.

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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