A guide to getting started with your AI Companion assistant

A guide to getting started with your AI Companion assistant

 

In today’s fast-paced work environment, maximizing productivity and improving collaboration are top priorities. Fortunately, AI technology can help with that, and many organizations are reaping the benefits. A global survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Zoom[i] revealed that more than 75% of leaders whose teams used AI reported that their collaborators completed tasks faster, were more productive, and produced higher quality work.

Through a complete article published on the Zoom blog, Mahesh Ram, Head of AI Product Strategy in Zoom, tells us as follows: Zoom AI Companion, their generative AI assistant can help you revolutionize the way you work and communicate.  Included at no additional cost with the paid services assigned to your Zoom user account, it is designed to seamlessly integrate with Zoom collaboration tools, delivering a range of capabilities that can help you work smarter and more intuitively.

Many of our clients at Cirion Technologies already license Zoom and use it for communication and collaboration purposes. Therefore, we are going to explain how to activate AI Companion, explore its key functionalities and share some tips and tricks to help you leverage this amazing AI assistant in the guide below.

What Zoom AI Companion can do for you

Whether you’re new to AI or have been exploring its benefits for some time, you may be wondering how AI Companion can help you. One of the best qualities of AI Companion is its native integration with the rest of Zoom’s tools and, like everything else on this platform, it’s simple and easy to use. Due to space reasons, I will only mention three very practical ones for daily activities:

  1. Message compose

Employees spend more time drafting and sending emails and chat messages than anything else at work, according to the Morning Consult survey about Zoom.  Furthermore, 44% of employees said these tasks take longer than desired.

As an AI writing assistant, AI Companion can compose emails with the right tone and length, helping you create professional and effective communications.

You can also use it to compose Chat responses with the right tone and length, which will help you save time and enable efficient communication within your team.

  1. Summarize information to help you stay up to date

If you’re short of time and have a stack of chat messages to catch up on, AI Companion can quickly summarize your chat threads, allowing you to understand the big picture and respond accordingly.

AI Companion can also provide meeting summaries, therefore taking notes during meetings to remember discussed topics or next steps is no longer necessary. Besides, must not necessarily be recorded for AI Companion to generate a summary of it.

Soon, AI Companion will be able to deliver recorded phone call analytics and SMS summaries and Zoom Phone voicemail, thus saving even more time. For the near future, you will also receive real-time feedback on your communication and presentation skills during meetings, which will let you improve on the spot.

  1. Automate note taking for appropriate meetings

If you keep forgetting to turn on AI Companion’s meeting summary capability at the start of the meeting, just set it to start automatically. You can do this in your web portal settings under the AI Companion tab.

However, you may not want a summary for some meetings, such as one-to-ones and other calls where sensitive information might be addressed. In these cases you can edit your recurring meetings and choose to automatically start only the meeting summary for your weekly team calls, for example.

You’ll find this feature on the web portal by editing your recurring meetings (show “Options” and then check the appropriate box).

How to enable AI Companion

Now that you’re acquainted with some of the ways AI Companion can help you throughout your workday, here’s how you can start using it right away. You have access to AI Companion features available with paid services assigned to your Zoom user account at no additional cost[ii]. Just follow the steps below to turn it on:

  1. Check with your administrator: By default, all AI Companion features are disabled, therefore administrators must first enable features through account and group level settings. If you’re in a Zoom meeting and you see the AI Companion Zoom icon in your toolbar, you can click it and follow the instructions to request that your admin enable that feature.
  2. Log in to and update your Zoom client: Go to your Zoom client and make sure you’re logged in. Also check to make sure your client is updated (minimum version 5.16.0 required).
  1. Go to your web portal account settings (click “Settings” in the left panel) and look for the AI Companion tab. For features that have user-level settings, you’ll be able to turn each capability on and off.
  2. Begin exploring: You can find the AI Companion icon in multiple products within the Zoom client, such as in your Zoom Meetings controls toolbar or Zoom Team Chat window. Once you’ve located the AI Companion icon, you’re ready to start exploring its capabilities as an AI meeting assistant, writing helper, and more.

If you’re ready to enhance your productivity and collaboration, start using AI Companion today — all at no additional cost with the paid services assigned to your Zoom user account.

If you don’t have Zoom yet and are thinking about migrating your communications to this platform, then you have read this article at the right moment because at Cirion Technologies Voice & Collaboration we deliver Managed Zoom for fast and cost-effective communication.

Until our next meeting.

 

[i] Based on an online survey of 11,023 full-time knowledge workers in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. Conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Zoom Video Communications, Inc., August 10-25, 2023.

[ii] Note: AI Companion may not be available for some vertical and regional customers.

Author:
Fernando Riedel
Voice & Collaboration Product Specialist
Cirion Technologies

How to Help your Sales Teams with Conversation Intelligence (second part)

How to Help your Sales Teams with Conversation Intelligence (second part)

In our previous paper we talked about the difference between Conversation Intelligence and Conversational AI, a very subtle one with different real-life features and applications, though.

And I said that a good salesperson’s features (charisma, honesty, trust, and temperance) are timeless and that customers’ changing expectations, the new ways of connecting and the innovative products presented on a weekly basis, led AMs (Account Managers or Business Representatives) to make use of all available tools to improve their skills and create better purchase experiences.

We also defined conversation intelligence as an AI and machine learning driven technology to analyze sales conversations and find high-impact information such as trending topics, customer sentiment engagement, and more.

We started by explaining how conversational intelligence is normally used in fields like sales, marketing, and customer service to help people and organizations improve their understanding of users and contact them more effectively, and we mentioned a comprehensive Zoom solution —Zoom Revenue Accelerator.

Today we will explore these features in depth, and mention some benefits, as well as their advantages and contract methods.

The changing world of sales

Conversational intelligence consists of analyzing and understanding human conversation nuances. This implies interpreting the subtleties of spoken language such as tone, pace and inflexion, as well as nonverbal signals, as body language and facial expressions.

Benefits offered by conversational intelligence are a game-changer, including:

  • AI-driven coaching, to identify areas of improvement for an AM and weak spots in the overall sales process.
  • Improved sales execution, to develop sales strategy tutorials, which automatically identify winning business messages, most common objections and the most effective responses.
  • Productivity improvement to expedite the working day from your device by removing time-consuming, insignificant tasks such as note-taking or CRM updates.
  • Extended forecast to feed other predictability tools with information captured form conversations including engagement levels, sentiment and actionables resulting from a meeting.
  • Data-driven inductive information to face marketing and sales teams, with real data captured in conversations, thus improving employees’ training and onboarding.

Zoom Revenue Accelerator (maybe you heard about it as Zoom IQ for Sales) is a conversational intelligence solution designed for the Zoom platform available to help the business and marketing areas. By analyzing your sales conversations data, this AI solution provides critical information that business leaders can use to develop their teams, improve customers’ experience and make future-focused decisions.

Millions of business conversations take place via Zoom on a daily basis, through their Zoom Meeting and Zoom Phone apps. and now we would like to add another app. to help them reach their greatest potential.  Just as an example, below you will find a list of some functions you can access to by activating a Zoom Revenue Accelerator license:

  • Voice analytics: For data-driven feedback on pace and delivery during sales calls, as well as customer engagement metrics.
  • Auto-generated summaries: Streamline call review with AI-generated summaries that gather significant points into a few sentences.
  • Actionables: Capture the next steps discussed in the conversation to keep the deal moving and customers engaged.

Finally, you should also know that Zoom Revenue Accelerator is exclusively available to current Business, Business Plus, and Enterprise customers with licenses for Zoom Meetings and/or Zoom Phone. A specific license is required; furthermore Zoom users with email accounts on shared domains (such as gmail.com, outlook.com, or yahoo.com) are not able to use it. Zoom Revenue Accelerator is not a standalone product. In addition, Zoom is not planning to offer it independently, at least clearly for now. It has a dashboard that shows your performance over time and metrics for all your meetings, you can quickly gain insights into the meeting with the help of Summary and Smart Chapters, and integration with CRM is admitted.

Until our next meeting.

Author:
Fernando Riedel
Voice & Collaboration Product Specialist
Cirion Technologies

Let’s Make the Future Depend on Us, Let’s be Aware of AI and Work Accordingly

Let’s Make the Future Depend on Us, Let’s be Aware of AI and Work Accordingly

I love reading books or talking with people who get into the eye of the storm when transformative things are happening worldwide, particularly with new technology-related ones such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its transformative power over those things we cherish and matter in our lives, such as the way we interact, collaborate, or how we educate or develop ourselves.

Although AI itself is not new, the ongoing blast of data, in tandem with the seamless growth of computing power is having a significant impact on our daily personal as well as business lives.

This is an evolution of machine-human relationship and interaction. In the past century we started to use machines capable of doing some computations and delivering more efficient results than those produced by humans; our communication with machines was more complex, through language commands we needed to learn for execution purposes.

Our language skills improved over time, as though we were peers or colleagues and today we can talk to computers and tell them to do what we want just by talking to them, obtaining very fast results not only using natural language, but images and potentially other actionable items, as well.

Therefore, we are no longer interacting with an inferior entity that we need to command by knowing the language and providing limited instructions, as we speak; now and because of that ongoing and spinning evolution, “which enhanced our vocabulary” we are in a position to ask ourselves what we request from them, how we phrase it to improve their understanding, what will be the next thing these machines will learn, and at what point they will become self-taught.

I wouldn’t like to delve into this area more than I already have. But I do recommend for those interested in this topic, particularly some theories about where all this ends, reading what Eudald Carbonell (Spanish anthropologist) wrote in his book “El Homo ex novo” -one of his latest publications as Research co-director at the archaeological site of Atapuerca, Spain-, where human evidence from 1.4 million years ago was found. Homo sapiens—us—is in retreat giving place to sapiens prothesis, sapiens edit and humanoids. And they will all coexist in the same place by the end of this century.

The Homo ex novo is optimistic: it predicts that different types of humans and humanoids will help keep the ship afloat and create transhumanism and posthumanism. The reason is simple, he wrote-“We must make the future depend on us, on our efforts and actions, and not just on natural selection, the environment and chance.” Otherwise we could “be driven somewhere we don’t want to go.” Although some social actors deny climate change, the reality is still there: “Evolutionary determinism will also set the pace for us in our future,” claims Carbonell in this book, which I recommend reading.

But going back to the evolution where we stand today, which refers to how ask for things, in order to improve AI’s interpretation and understanding, and returning the closest answer to what we are looking for or wanting, it is here where Cirion Technologies is adding value for businesses, with some tools to improve the Collaborative services they provide.

AI-powered content generation can function as an invaluable resource to accelerate communication. AI natural language processing is able to collect complex data from different sources, turning them into comprehensive yet accessible reports, market summaries, and customized investment strategies. Less analytically, AI is capable of boosting communication by creating blog posts, videos and images, as well as graphics, freeing up the burden of creative staff resources for more strategic communications.

For banks and investment firms, this means that AI can not only speed up the communication process, but help ensure that communications are personalized, accurate, and aligned with customer and shareholder expectations. This can improve trust, increase stakeholder satisfaction, and potentially even create a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

In addition, something as tangible and applicable as the above, are the Chatbots that we develop for customer service, user services, marketing, sales and others. Applications designed for both CX (Customer eXperience) and EX (Employee eXperience). Having engaged and satisfied employees is critical nowadays, both to improve CX and to retain talent. Hence the emergence of Virtual Assistants such as Microsoft Copilot or Zoom AI Companion, generative AI assistants that help evolve (revolutionize?) the way you currently work and communicate.

If you are ready to improve your productivity and collaboration, contact us today and let us show you how aware we are of Artificial Intelligence possibilities and how we act accordingly to make the future depend on us and in the right way.

Until our next meeting,

Author:
Fernando Riedel
Voice & Collaboration Product Specialist
Cirion Technologies

A guide to getting started with your AI Companion assistant

Conversation Intelligence versus Conversational AI. What is the difference? (Part 1)

There’s a Conversation Intelligence solution that improves productivity, reduces negotiation cycles and increases revenue predictability with information that can be processed directly from customer interactions. 

What is it used for and in what areas is it being applied?  

With the arrival of new technologies and ways of communicating, customer expectations have changed.  According to reports by Gartner and McKinsey, today’s Business to Business (B2B) customers have very little time to interact with Account Managers (AMs), or Sales Representatives, devoting only 17% of their time to meeting with potential suppliers. This drops to 5 or 6% when we consider several providers, so AMs should try to make their time with customers worthwhile. 

B2B buyers are also changing the way they interact with AMs, as two out of three prefer remote human interactions or digital self-services. 

On the other hand, they need feedback from their managers to know exactly how they can improve.  Considering that sales leaders devote only 14% of their time to coaching, a question arises: how can managers help create more opportunities for development? 

The characteristics of a good salesperson (charisma, honesty, confidence, and balance) are timeless.  However, considering customers’ ever-changing expectations, new ways for connecting, and innovative products showing up daily, AMs need every opportunity to improve their skills and create better shopping experiences, as Enrique Plaza points out in Zoom’s blog (zoom.us), which I will use to elaborate and explain the solution we will talk about later. 

In response to these huge changes, 88% of sales managers have already invested or consider investing in intelligent analysis tools and technologies.  Although there are many different commercial AI solutions, only one provides information from the source that matters the most: conversations with customers (Data First Party or data provided by the customer themselves). However, before we elaborate any further on conversational intelligence, it’s important to explain its difference from what we understand as Conversational Artificial Intelligence (Conversational AI). 

Conversational AI 

Conversational AI is a technology that allows machines to interact with humans through natural language processing.  It consists of programming computers to understand and respond to spoken or written language in a way that simulates human conversation.  

Conversational AI is used in various applications, such as chatbots, virtual assistants and voice-enabled devices like smart speakers. Its purpose is to allow humans to communicate with technology more intuitively and naturally.   

Product example: ChatGPT 

Conversation Intelligence 

Conversation intelligence is a technology that uses AI and machine learning to analyze sales conversations and find high-impact information, such as trending topics, customer engagement and more. 

In short, conversation intelligence centers on analyzing and improving human-to-human communication, while conversational AI focuses on creating human-to-machine interactions that are similar to the ones used by humans. Both are important, each in their own way, and have countless real-world applications, from improving customer experience to improving productivity and efficiency. 

Having this clear, we can now say that conversation intelligence is typically used in areas such as sales, marketing and customer service, to help people and organizations better understand their users and communicate with them more efficiently. This Conversational AI is present in an application called Zoom Revenue Accelerator.

Since its features are extensive and benefits inumerous, I’ll just mention it for now, with the intention of further developing the topic in our next article.

Talk to you soon!

Author: 
Fernando Riedel
Product Specialist, Voice and Collaboration
Cirion Technologies

10 tips to enhance customer experience using Contact Center as a Service

10 tips to enhance customer experience using Contact Center as a Service

CCaaS, gives you access to the flexibility required to meet market ever-changing demands and making sure that your Contact Center is a springboard to success. 

Customer experience is key to any company’s success.   One of the primary means for an effective management of this issue is through Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), a flexible and scalable approach to customer care. 

Throughout this text we will explore some valuable tips to allow managers /businesses enhance their customer experience using CCaaS: 

  1. Choose the appropriate platform

Choosing the right platform is one of the most important decisions to set up an effective Contact Center. Don’t make this decision based solely on cost; consider how the app can drive your business growth and effectiveness. Make sure it will be flexible enough to adjust to your business specific needs. 

  1. Integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is revolutionizing the way Contact Centers operate. Integrating chatbots and virtual assistants can significantly boost efficiency by automating simple tasks and enabling human agents focus on more complex and meaningful customer interactions. 

  1. Flexibility and scalability

Flexibility and scalability are some of the main advantages of CCaaS.  This allows your company to adjust Contact Center capacity based on demand, avoiding unnecessary costs with idle infrastructure. 

  1. Omnichannel customer care

Today’s customers expect the flexibility to choose how they want to communicate with a business.  Make sure your Contact Center platform offers support for a multiplicity of channels, such as telephony, email, chat, WhatsApp and social networks. 

  1. Ongoing care

Offering a seamless omnichannel experience is of the essence. If a customer starts a conversation on one channel and later switches to another, transition should be smooth, without having to repeat information. 

  1. Get to know your customers

Personalization is the key to an exceptional customer experience. This is why understanding your audience profile and needs is essential.  Use data and analytics to offer relevant solutions and responses for each situation. 

  1. Training and learning

Your representatives play a key role in customer experience. Invest in training to ensure they are well prepared to manage different types of queries and interactions. 

  1. Understand the campaigns

When implementing marketing and sales campaigns, make sure your Contact Center team is aligned with the campaign goals and messages. Thus you will ensure a consistent and effective approach. 

  1. Continuous assessment

Assess your Contact Center performance on a regular basis to identify areas for improvement. Analyze metrics such as wait time, resolution rate, and customer satisfaction to make necessary adjustments. 

  1. Strategic alliances

Consider development of strategic alliances with vendors that offer complementary services, such as connectivity, internet and telephony. This might simplify management and improve contact center operations efficiency. 

An effective Contact Center is key to enhance customer experience. By choosing the right solution, investing in team development, and embracing innovative technologies, your company will be on the right pathway to providing exceptional service and building robust relationships with their multiple stakeholders. 

CCaaS will give you access to the flexibility required to meet market ever-changing demands and making sure that your Contact Center is a springboard to success, not just an operational cost. Bear in mind that success relies on combining cutting-edge technology with a deep understanding of customer needs and preferences.

Author: 
Henrique Dornas
Voice & UCC Manager
Cirion Brazil

Engineer from Inatel, with an MBA in Business Management from FGV. Over 25 years working at the IT and Telecommunications market.  Expert in unified Communications, collaboration, and voice solutions for businesses.

Employee Experience: the driving force of a business is its people

Employee Experience: the driving force of a business is its people

The driving force of any business is its people. As organizations around the world embrace hybrid work, they realize the importance of investing in technologies that allow their employees to feel engaged, achieve work/life balance and give their best, wherever they are. 

Recent research shows that employee engagement is important to the bottom line, especially amid economic uncertainty and the fact that leaders are under pressure to increase productivity in flexible workplaces, doing more with less.  At the same time, next-generation AI is changing the game for organizations and how they can obtain competitive advantage

What emerged from this study, which analyzed surveys with more than three million employees in more than 200 companies across all industries (during 2022), was that companies with highly engaged workforces had better financial results and that employee engagement is key to the performance equation. 

Basically, to change results we need more than only productivity.  Think of engagement and productivity as a mutual effort, with one multiplying the other –you’re more productive when you’re engaged in your work, and when you are engaged in your work, you are more productive. 

In a more distributed and flexible work environment, managers and leaders lack the skills and tools to communicate, mobilize, and engage employees effectively, and these skills and tools are more critical than ever.  In less committed organizations, approximately one in four employees is unsure about where to focus.  On the other hand, employees in highly committed organizations are 46% more likely to see their organizations as “strong communicators”, 37% more likely to demonstrate trust in their leadership and 16% more likely to understand what to focus on, compared to less committed organizations.  

To build and maintain commitment, leaders need agile and consistent systems to collect employee feedback, respond, and promote diversity and change. An important differentiator between organizations with high and low levels of engagement is that in the former employees feel that different perspectives are valued. 

Traditional feedback systems alone are no longer enough to understand employee pulse and improve organizational processes over time. It is key to combine employee feedback with behavioral data from productivity and collaboration – a continuous cycle in which valuable data is gathered, analyzed and converted into actions that are then communicated to employees and deployed throughout the organization. 

As next-generation AI begins to change the talent landscape and redesign workforce skills, the winners in the financial and labor markets will be the organizations that take critical steps now.  

Ways to meet the demands of hybrid work 

In 2018, Cirion embarked on an exciting journey with Microsoft Teams, bringing together a collaboration solution and teamwork.  Video conferencing was still not the norm in the workplace, but it was clear from the outset that combining synchronous and asynchronous collaboration in a single product presented a unique opportunity to reinvent the way we work, learn and connect with others. 

Today, several of Cirion Technologies’ customers throughout Latin America rely on Microsoft Teams and on our work, which facilitated the migration of their traditional communication and collaboration systems to one that is cloud-based and integrated with the entire Modern Workspace ecosystem. Furthermore, with the shift from remote to hybrid work, active Meeting Room devices have been the protagonists of most projects over the last two years. 

Far from having completed this transformation, the new challenge lies in keeping pace with this migration, reinventing the office experience, making every meeting count and obtaining agile and intuitive collaboration.  

Direct, secure and easy-to-use collaboration across organizational boundaries allows everyone to work as an extended team in their own work environment.  And voice is part of this.  

At Cirion Technologies, we provide everyone with an individual phone number for their work environment, regardless of the network or device they are using.  Holding uninterrupted calls between networks and devices is also possible, such as having a Teams call on your cell phone while transferring to your office’s Wi-Fi, for example. This way, we simplify collaboratin with people inside and outside the organization, from a shared workspace. 

Our mission is to help IT and Human Talent teams embrace a culture of adopting the tools we offer to achieve successful and productive results for both employees and the company.  The findings from our work in the field are used to improve this relationship and create new training methods that enable fast and easy adoption. This is a hallmark of our work which is highly valued by companies and has always set us apart. Particularly with regard to management services and the tools we develop for government and management with our partners. 

Although a lot has changed in workplaces, there’s one thing that remains constant: people. With voice and unified communications technologies like Microsoft Teams, integrated and complemented by Cirion Technologies’ infrastructure, we can make hybrid work truly prosper, connecting workplaces and bringing people together.

Author:
Fernando Riedel
Voice and Collaboration Product Specialist
Cirion Technologies