As we welcome in the new year, CloudCall’s Chief Technology Officer, Paul Clark, talks us through some of his predictions of where the market is heading and some challenges it may face, in 2021.
Well, what a year that was! Here we are, January 2021, still connecting with colleagues and clients on video calls, asking if they can hear us or telling us we’re on mute. If I’d have given my 2020 predictions a year ago, I don’t think a lot of them would come close to how it actually panned out.
But we’re here, we made it through. Knowing what we do about how last year went, puts businesses in a stronger position to excel throughout 2021 and overcome many challenges that may come our way.
In this two-part blog, I share my predictions for what will be happening at CloudCall in 2021, as well as within the wider industry.
Businesses learnt a lot in 2020 and much of what they learned can be carried through to this year.
For CloudCall specifically, 2020 was about supporting our customers working from home. We helped to enhance their ways of working, making them more efficient and allowing them to close more deals, place more candidates and sell more products.
Businesses learnt that people can work as effectively at home as they do in the office and sometimes even more so. My own team, for example, is made up of a lot of Software Engineers. To conduct their jobs well, Software Engineers require long periods of concentration, which they struggle to find in the office.
Whereas at home, they thrive. No one to interrupt (other than the odd delivery or rogue child) and they, as well as most employees, can carry out their work in more comfortable and flexible environments.
The end of the office?
For many jobs, homeworking has been a positive change. Greater work-life balances have meant more time spent focussing on themselves, their hobbies plus their mental and physical health.
However, offices are in no way redundant. We all miss the chats, friendly faces and the constant cycle of confectionary. Workspaces bring a kind of human interaction impossible to recreate over Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
But looking to the future, offices will maybe play a different role as we look to find new balances where home working becomes a bigger portion of people’s lives.
My 2021 predictions: AI has entered the chat
One of the biggest things happening for both CloudCall and the industry this year, will be the increase in automation. There is currently an explosion of AI and NLP (Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing). In 2021 we are looking to ramp up the application of machine learning on our voice calls.
Everyone uses Siri, Alexa or Google and following these, all the big cloud platforms are offering fantastic transcription services. Transcription is a feature that five years ago was really bad, but is now really impressive. We’re hoping to enhance this even further.
This year, we will be using automated transcription as a building block to allow higher value functionality in our systems. The introduction of entity detection is a big one.
Don’t forget that document!
Entity detection and semantic analysis will introduce a new way of working, with systems being able to extract meaning from a conversation. For example: if you were to end a call with, “Hey, Paul. Can you please send me that document when you can, thanks!”, the system will then be able to pick up that something was asked for and send a reminder telling me to send it.
The ability to correctly transcribe full conversations and then combine it with entity detection is huge. The benefits are truly limitless.
Make sure you check back next week for the second half of my 2021 predictions. In part two, I talk you through some of our other plans for AI transcription, post-pandemic ways of working as well as challenges the industry will face in 2021.
For more information on what CloudCall can offer your business, you can book a demo here.