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I recently traveled to London to attend Customer Engagement Summit 2016. This year’s theme was Technology: The Great Enabler and it quickly became clear during official sessions and unofficial conversations that many organizations are eager to see how technology can help address key challenge areas within the business and offer companies a competitive advantage in an increasingly complicated world.
While there were numerous themes that emerged during the summit, the most dominant and recurring were:
The tech-based sessions and conversations at the Summit stayed true to the theme, focusing less on providers and feature sets and more about the general ability technology gives companies.
Major discussions and key talking points included:
These themes boiled down into the importance of not becoming bogged down by an “old” way of doing something. Instead, attendees seemed inspired to find new tech solutions and service providers and letting these advancements enable them to move faster, be better, drive the bottom line and gain a competitive advantage.
Technology and security naturally go hand-in-hand, so it’s no surprise that security quickly arose as an underlying theme and discussion point at the conference.
Since the conference was held in the United Kingdom, EU data residency was the dominant security topic. Attendees were particularly concerned about data residency compliance and how companies can work inside and outside the EU while still abiding by the data residency standards.
While there’s no easy, surefire solution, the general concession is that companies need to work hard to stay out of hot water and ahead of the curve. Paying close attention to this topic and partnering with tech solutions that handle some of the compliance heavy lifting will go a long way to ensuring security and compliance.
This year saw a lot of political surprise and shakeup around the globe, leaving many attendees eager to discuss the topic with their peers. Attendees discussed the general “unknown” state many recent political activities have thrown the world into and how that will ultimately effect business decisions and operations.
For instance, there were a few sidebar discussions regarding how outsourcing and data residency will change in the next year or so and what might happened to standards and regulations. Another interesting topic revolved around the outsourced workforce. Will recent changes and global strife effect access, training, stability and connectivity in some major offshore workforce hubs?
While clearly no one has a crystal ball to see how all these situations will play out over the next 12 to 18 months, customer care and operational professionals can take some degree of comfort knowing that they’re not the only ones navigating this interesting global landscape. We’re likely to see a lot of peer-to-peer conversations and expert advice in this arena going forward – another reason engaging in strategic partnerships may come in handy.
Re-emphasizing the themes of security and globalization, I heard quite a few conversations around the growing work at home trend. Businesses seem interested in W@H because it gives the organization better access to talent (since they can essentially source workers and experts from anywhere), and helps protect business continuity in the event of a disaster or attendance issues.
However, W@H also raises additional security and compliance questions, along with opening the company up to a broader global footprint that comes with its own considerations. Companies that want to embrace work from home (or its twin trend, BYOD) should pay special attention to how technology can be an enabler in this field and help organizations quickly, easily and securely meet W@H demands.
Did you attend Customer Engagement Summit 2016? What were your key takeaways? Are you concerned about how to properly navigate any of these situations over the next year?
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