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Preview of 2022

By Johnathan Zemlik


About the Author

Johnathan Zemlik

Head of Contact Centre solutions at Wavenet. Johnathan is committed to using technology to increasing agent engagement, streamline business processes and enable enhanced customer experiences. His expertise encompasses not only core contact centre technologies but also workforce engagement management, PCI-DSS compliance and AI enabled automation solutions. Johnathan leads Wavenet's relationship with industry partners such as the South West Contact Centre Forum and Call North West.


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What should we expect to see in the channel in 2022? Johnathan shares his predictions ahead of the coming year. 

The last two years have seen a wider and more innovative adoption of technology than within the last decade. As a proponent of contact centre homeworking, I have been delighted to see so many contact centres and other businesses that have embraced change and moved towards a hybrid model of working. However, this hasn’t been the only trend that has started in the pandemic and will continue in 2022. I’m happy to share with you some of my thoughts on the biggest opportunities and disruptive change we’ll see next year. 


Consolidation of customer experience technologies

Many resellers and MSP’s have only really been focused on around a third of the total spend on customer experience and contact centre technologies. However, when we think about it, core Contact Centre Infrastructure (CCI) is part of a wider digital eco-system a customer centric business needs. Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Technologies represent two large, tasty slices of pie to be snapped up.  


Furthermore, the vendors realised this, and the efforts of years of developments and acquisitions are now really coming to the forefront. This is massively important for traditional MSP’s and System Integrators to be aware of, as it means that market expectations are changing. More and more contact centres expect Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) to be part of the native contact centre stack and are demanding even more CRM functionalities. Conversely, CRM vendors, I’m sure you can guess who, are partnering with voice providers in the market to offer CRM and Contact Centre Infrastructure (CCI) under a single contract. Moreover, the pandemic has sped up the adoption of browser-based CRM solutions to enable homeworking. It’s a fight between CRM and Contact Centre vendors and who will win may just be decided in the next few years. 2022 is set to be a battleground, we will see who emerges victorious!  


The continued domination of Microsoft Teams

Just as the battle between CRM and Contact Centre vendors is heating up, it's not a good time to be in the Unified Comms space. Traditional players are starting to see the writing on the wall and fleeing to what they feel are safer areas such as Contact Centre. The last year has seen much talk about Microsoft Teams integration, however, not all integrations are equal. Some are barely fit for purpose and result in having two UC clients on the desktop; the one you want and the one you don’t. 


2022 will continue to see the dominance of Microsoft Teams but the market will start to evaluate in-depth platforms that integrate and that unify. For Wavenet, our TeamsLink solution unifies enterprise voice features within the Microsoft Teams desktop and uses a native dialling pad. This manner of unification principle is a core differentiator and is far more feature-rich than buying SBC’s to give a superior user experience. This is different to those who publish an application within the Teams App store and then still require a whole host of third-party software installs. I know which approach I’d prefer. 


The rise of AI-enabled automation in front and back office

A lot of people have been excited about the adoption of voice and chatbot capabilities within the Contact Centre environment and while this will begin to take off in 2022, it will also see automation extend beyond customer experience and start to filter in the back office. The same toolkits that allow us to automate interactions for customers by collecting intent from customers, including search information in CRMs and databases and relay that to a customer to automate an interaction without an agent are part of the same suite of applications that can be used to trigger actions between system and support robotic process, enabling automation that extends out from the contact centre. For example, an agent who clicks a disposition code in their contact centre desktop can trigger processes not just in the CRM, but kick-off an automated order process, that automatically logs a sale and stock reduction in the Enterprise Resource Planning system. Simultaneously telling the marketing solution to enter the same customer in an affinity scheme, all from one click!  


The digital eco-system of cloud services overrun across our network across Unified Communications, Contact Centre, Workforce Engagement Management and Analytics and AI that continues to evolve. That evolution focuses on ever further unification between systems traditionally considered disparate into single cloud solutions. These empower those who utilise the full capabilities of these providers and their recommended integration partners to reap the productivity and efficiency benefits well in 2022 and beyond! 



Tags: Contact Centre, Article, Comms Business, Channel, Johnathan Zemlik

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