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Generative AI is getting all the attention, but there are other key shifts, like vendor rationalization, which will reshape UC in the months to come.

It has been a transformational year for unified communications and collaboration. Key trends such as rationalization, security and compliance, and support for hybrid work were indeed paramount in 2023. Looking ahead to 2024, these concerns — and others — will reshape the market. Here are my top five UC trends for 2024.

1. Generative AI

Generative AI became the buzzword in 2023. Just about every vendor in the UC (and contact center) space introduced some form of generative AI assistant (or companion) with features ranging from meeting and chat summarization to personal feedback and content creation assistance. Metrigy’s “Customer Experience Optimization: 2023-24: Consumer Perspective” study of more than 500 end-users found that almost half were using generative AI tools as part of their daily work efforts. Going into 2024 I expect two significant areas of focus:

  • Defining the business case: Some vendors, like Cisco and Zoom, are giving away their generative AI assistants to existing customers. Others, like Google and Microsoft, are charging extra. For companies to invest in these tools they must analyze the ROI. Typically this will be through measuring gains in productivity, revenue or cost minimization.
  • Ensuring security and compliance: Generative AI, as the name suggests, generates content. Examples include the automatic creation of meeting transcripts and summaries, documents, emails and much more. Companies using these tools must manage this content in accordance with governance policies. Regulated companies must ensure appropriate retention while international organizations must adhere to data location requirements for the countries in which they operate.

2. Rationalization

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