Enterprise Connect 2024: AI Powers New Offerings From Cisco, HP Poly, Zoom And More

Here’s a sampling of the leading unified communications and collaboration providers that took to the annual event to showcase new products addressing hybrid work and remote collaboration with AI-powered solutions and capabilities.

It came as no surprise that artificial intelligence and generative artificial intelligence were the hot topics of conversation this year at Enterprise Connect 2024 as some of the market’s biggest unified communications and collaboration providers showcased their offerings that have been enhanced by way of AI and machine learning.

Excitement around AI and GenAI is at a fever pitch as the technology has worked its way into the offerings of collaboration leaders and startups alike. AI is already making its impact known in the collaboration space as it serves up new insight to users and makes meetings and phone calls more efficient. New AI features and suites were introduced at the show, including Talkdesk Ascend Connect, a suite of no-code GenAI-powered customer experience applications.

Some of the conference’s mainstays, including Cisco Systems and HP Poly, took to the show to highlight new hardware, from smart boards to reimagined desk phones and videoconferencing devices. Other vendors took a more software- and services-focused route, like Zoom with the introduction of Workspace and Twilio with its new AI features.

Here is a roundup of some of the news from the biggest UC, videoconferencing and contact center players at Enterprise Connect 2024.

Avaya Realigns, Renames Experience Platform Components

UC giant Avaya took to the show this year to highlight its enhanced Avaya Experience Platform (AXP), the company's omnichannel platform that’s referred to as the “centerpiece” of Avaya's cloud strategy.

Specifically, the company has simplified its naming architecture to demonstrate its single approach to UC and collaboration. To that end, the new product names under the Avaya Experience Platform are Avaya Experience Platform On-Prem, formerly Avaya Call Center Elite; Avaya Experience Platform Private Cloud, formerly Avaya Enterprise Cloud; and Avaya Experience Platform Public Cloud, formerly Avaya Experience Platform CCaaS.

Morristown, N.J.-based Avaya said that its AXP components work with the integration of cloud services. All tools are supported by underlying AI technologies.

Cisco Unveils New Collaboration Board, Desk Phone Series

A mainstay at Enterprise Connect, Cisco this year introduced two new multifunctional collaboration devices designed for hybrid work environments.

First is the Cisco Board Pro G2 for videoconferencing, whiteboarding and annotation. The collaboration board features a 96-megapixel dual-lens camera system that gives remote meeting participants better views of people in the room, regardless of whether the in-room participants are close to the board or not. The board’s AI virtual zoom capability uses advanced image processing to extend camera reach in longer rooms without compromising video quality, and remote users can see clearly an overview of the entire room and close-up views of the active speaker at the same time. The board relies on an Nvidia chipset for clearer video quality, improved performance and better capacity to run web applications, San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco said.

Next is the Cisco Desk Phone 9800 Series, which Cisco said was designed to accommodate lifestyles that don’t necessarily involve cubicle walls. The latest desk phone offers personalized collaboration experiences that can run on-premises or on a cloud calling platform. Employees can reserve a desk in Cisco Spaces or scan a QR code to check in, view contacts and call history, and connect their calendar to the desk phones and immediately join any meeting. The phones are also equipped with a quick-access action button that can be customized for evolving organization needs, including IT support and emergency calls. The latest phone series are Cisco’s most sustainable enterprise desk phones, made from about 74 percent post-consumer recycled plastics. They are also equipped with new low-power modes for optimal energy efficiency, as well as energy usage and carbon emission insight that users can view in Cisco Control Hub, according to Cisco.

HP Poly Presents New Video Hardware, Zoom Connectivity

HP-owned Poly this year highlighted several new features and videoconferencing gear at Enterprise Connect, with a goal of making hybrid work feel as “effortless” as possible.

The company started with its Bluetooth direct technology—a user-friendly pairing feature that began as a collaboration between Poly Voyager headsets and select HP notebooks—but this time for Zoom. The company said Bluetooth direct technology for Zoom is the first time Bluetooth headsets are offering call control for Zoom without a dongle.

HP Poly also showcased its Poly Studio E360 center-of-table camera, which has been designed to provide a more immersive meeting experience with multi-camera functionality and AI features. The company also introduced the Poly Studio V52 video USB Bar that offers advanced audio and video experiences for more productive hybrid meetings, and the Poly Studio E60 12x optical zoom camera with 4K sensors that capture everyone in the room in HD. Peripherals on display at the show were the HP 435 Programmable Wireless Keypad, HP 405 Backlit Wired Keyboard, HP USB-C Travel Hub G3, HP Modular Bags and HP Convertible Bags.

The HP EliteBook 840 and 845 G11 Notebook PCs are now certified in Zoom’s premium laptop category, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said.

Talkdesk Reveals AI Suite

The Contact Center-as-a-Service provider has launched Talkdesk Ascend Connect, a suite of no-code GenAI-powered customer experience applications that can integrate with third-party on-premises contact centers without requiring a complete infrastructure overhaul, the company said.

The Talkdesk Ascend Connect AI suite includes Talkdesk Autopilot for conversational AI that can resolve complex queries autonomously, Talkdesk Copilot with a real-time virtual assistant for agents, Talkdesk Interaction Analytics for operational insight, and Talkdesk AI Trainer for responsible GenAI. The suite will let IT teams and developers deploy, customize and maintain GenAI models through simple drag-and-drop tools. No in-house data scientists or specialists with AI or machine learning expertise are necessary, according to San Francisco-based Talkdesk.

RingCentral Rebrands MVP, Launches RingEX

To highlight the company’s focus on the end-user experience, RingCentral MVP, the company’s platform that integrates essential communication and collaboration tools in one place and in one user-friendly platform, has been rebranded as RingEX.

RingEX now includes RingSense AI embedded into the platform, which the company said will help generate actionable insight from business conversations, including phone calls. RingEX with RingSense AI means that AI is being injected across phone calls, SMS, meetings and messaging, including real-time call notes, messaging recap and GenAI search across conversations. RingCentral said this combination will help boost efficiency and teamwork across every interaction.

Twilio Reveals New AI Features For Customer Support

Twilio, a provider of communication tools, took to the annual show to launch two new innovations within Twilio Flex, the company’s communication platform for sales and customer support teams. The two new features include Unified Profiles and Agent Copilot.

Unified Profiles is an open and extensible data layer that will bring together customer data from various sources, including CRM systems, data warehouses and real-time behavior tracking all into a central real-time profile. Unified Profiles will give sales and support teams a better view of the end customer and help facilitate personalized interactions based on predictive, historical and real-time insight, according to Twilio.

Agent Copilot uses large language models (LLMs) to automate and enhance agent productivity. It will rely on the real-time data from Unified Profiles to assist in intelligent routing, providing agents with actionable insight for each customer interaction, reducing wrap-up times and automating post-call summaries, San Francisco-based Twilio said.

Zoom Launches Workplace

Videoconferencing giant Zoom came to Enterprise Connect in full force with what it’s calling the biggest product announcement it will make all year: its new, AI-powered collaboration platform that the company is calling Zoom Workplace.

Zoom Workplace is an open platform that lets end users and businesses integrate Zoom or integrate other apps into Zoom to give users one place to work. Zoom Workplace supports more than 2,500 integrations in the Zoom App Marketplace today. The user experience includes choices for end users, including four color themes within the Zoom app. Hosts can add customized virtual meeting backgrounds to tailor the feel or focus of the meeting, according to San Jose, Calif.-based Zoom.

In addition to Zoom Workplace, the company at Enterprise Connect unveiled 40 new innovations, including new Zoom AI Companion features for Zoom Phone, Team Chat, Events and Contact Center, and an expansion to include Ask AI Companion, a new way to interact with AI Companion across the Zoom platform. Ask AI Companion can serve up meeting recaps, show relevant action items, draft agendas, and summarize chat, email threads and documents.