2021 Rewind: Looking Back at a Successful Xchange Virtual Summit


As we’re looking back at the highlights of 2021, some of our favorite moments happened at the Xchange Virtual Summit in October. There was so much to learn, and valuable insights were shared by industry leaders. We heard from a wide array of customers and partners who gave us a look at what defines a flawless customer experience and how each of them has tackled their own digital transformations. 

Xchange on demand

We heard from Kate Leggett, Principal Analyst from Forrester, about the three megatrends that will fuel contact center success in 2022. We had candid conversations on how the pandemic has changed the face of the industry. We learned about some of the challenges our customers overcame through broad-scale automation. And, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard gave an inspiring talk on what it takes to succeed in any walk of life. 

Today, I will be highlighting only a few of our sessions, but if you missed the live virtual event, it’s definitely worth checking out the on-demand recordings. Each speaker brought a wealth of knowledge we can all learn from. 

How to “Un-Clinch” Your CX

The first session I want to highlight introduces Jack Nichols, VP of Cloud CX Product Management at Genesys. Nichols shared how the emerging of the modern, composable cloud will allow businesses to move to continuous delivery and achieve positive business outcomes more rapidly. Over the last two years, the pandemic has driven home how crucial it is for businesses to put systems in place that will allow them to provide quality CX.  Even more, people are expecting immediate solutions and are no longer accepting long waits between system upgrades to fix what may be minor bugs in the system. In the past, it was common to space upgrades throughout the year. Whether quarterly, half yearly, or even annually. Even when these system upgrades are spaced out, it is a large undertaking and will take a significant number of resources to implement. 

We no longer have the luxury of time to wait to roll out new functionality and features in order to make our businesses successful. By waiting to implement changes, you risk losing customers due to providing a poor CX. If there are improvements that need to be made, customers expect them to be addressed promptly and not in the next rollout months from now.

What does this mean? Many companies are rushing to meet this demand but are finding themselves stuck in the paradox of wanting to deliver a better customer experience yet are bound by their own systems and legacy applications. How do we reconcile the needs of the customers and the capabilities of our businesses? 

According to Nichols, the composable cloud is the ideal solution. It allows us to be fast and agile, meaning providers can say there are no more system upgrades because the modern cloud world allows us to move to continuous delivery. Contact centers no longer have to worry whether they have the latest and greatest software because it is ready to go when they need it. 

As we continue to push CX and look for better outcomes, Nichols has identified three areas he has seen emerge and how this helps customers be more successful: 

  1. Start thinking about your CX as a product.
  2. Re-evaluate your definition of success and your metrics. 
  3. Experiment often and don’t be afraid to try new things.

This industry will always be evolving, and we need to recognize that it is acceptable to fail as we find new methods to tackle our business strategies. Turn your fails into lessons learned in improving the overall customer experience. 

Why Modernizing is a Necessity to Improving CX

We learned from our first session how migrating to the modern cloud will be advantageous to providing more flawless customer experiences, but what next? Denise Murphy, Department Head of IT at Vanguard, describes her organization’s cloud migration process, how test automation completely changed the way they were able to improve customer experience, and finally, how she was able to secure a “buy-in” from her team to adapt to a new telephony platform. 

According to Murphy, both the agility and ability to make changes is critical, so modernizing was a necessity to improve Vanguard’s CX. Using old technology meant diving through a monolith of code and weeks of manual regression testing. Transitioning to the cloud meant they were able to handle more volume and run tests multiple times a day to ensure functionality rather than waiting weeks for results to pour in. As soon as they discovered any flaws, such as a call not being routed correctly, they could mimic this right away in a test and correct the issue. 

With all that said, Murphy noted it was easy to have tunnel vision and underestimate the time it would take to implement a new platform. Companies need to be aware that not only are you taking on a whole new technology, but you must factor in the time it will take to educate your team on the technology in order to maximize its effectiveness. To help her teams gain the necessary knowledge to make their digital transformation a success, Murphy promoted trainings and study groups, going so far as to sponsor meetings and fun lunches so they would complete the certifications together as a team. Murphy felt is was crucial that she take the same certifications as her team, even if she wouldn’t need to know everything herself. This simple act of leadership showed they were all in it together, and that they would be successful together.

How to Leverage Evolving Technology of Cloud-based Contact Centers

The last discussion I want to highlight discussed the ways in which cloud-based contact center solutions have transformed customer engagement experiences. Stephen Nash, Senior Manager of Customer Success Management and Tony Jurica, Senior Director of Cloud Applications at Voxai, spoke with Cyara’s Mark Ryan on the ever-evolving technology they see in the contact center space. 

The days of voice only, are gone. If you ask Nash, he points out that just relying on voice will put you behind the pack. Analysts find key differentiators for the years ahead are tied to artificial intelligence and cross-channel growth. They also anticipate a 20% growth across the board through 2025, predominantly driven in North America and Europe. 

With all of this in mind, there are several concerns that companies cannot overlook when deciding which cloud platform works best for their business strategies.

Keep an Eye on Your Budget

Firstly, you need to evaluate your operating budget. Jurica has seen where customers make the mistake early on by not analyzing their operating budget early in the process and end up overspending on capabilities they do not need. You need to be sure that moving to the cloud is both beneficial to the functionality of your technology but is also cost-efficient. 

Be Realistic about Expectations

Next, and this is a simple tip, don’t bite off more than you can chew. It is not feasible to take moving from premise to cloud from a “like for like” approach. Jurica suggests carving out two to three additional benefits you want to see for your business on top of what you already have when you move to the cloud.

Prioritize Security Considerations

Finally, and possibly one of the most crucial points you need to spend time understanding, is the security structure of the platform you are moving to. When migrating to the cloud, you’re moving from your own data centers being locked down by your own security teams to a third party. Luckily, there are a plethora of security benefits to moving to the cloud that may be even better than what you will find in your premise environment. You just need to understand what is involved so you make the most informed decision you can.

Share these Keen Insights with Your Teams

There were many more amazing panels that I was not able to cover here, but I would encourage you to view the full videos and hear more about what drives customer experience in various spaces and how you can maximize your digital transformation journey. You can get access to all our videos from the 2021 Xchange Virtual Summit, available with a single registration. I hope you find them as insightful as I did!

If you only have a few minutes, you can still hear some of the great takeaways each speaker had to offer. Visit our Resources page to view the one- to two-minute clips.