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The heavy rain in London yesterday did little to deter close to 400 attendees from telcos, cloud communications service providers, MSPs, channel providers, and vendors in joining the 2024 edition of Cavell Summit Europe.

With a focus on the EMEA market, the Cavell Summit Europe has positioned itself as the leading event for telcos and service providers to meet, network and gain the latest knowledge and insights from across the UCaaS landscape.

AI was of course a dominant topic of discussion throughout the keynotes, panels and roundtable discussions, complemented by the latest research findings from Cavell’s analyst and research team. During one of the early keynotes, Zoom’s CIO Advisor, Magnus Falk described how AI has essentially resulted in us being “in the era of unlimited interns.”

In one of the early panels, there was also an interesting discussion around provenance when it comes to AI. When discussing nervousness around data when it comes to utilising AI, one of the speakers proposed the analogy of going to M&S to buy a steak and the promise of being able to trace the purchase all the way back to the cow in the field.

He suggested that something purporting to be AI-enabled can only truly be trusted if you can go back through the supply chain and identify where the data came from, where it was processed and what it’s now being used for.

Continuing the theme of AI, customer experience (CX) was another topical discussion in the context of the role of AI. Cavell revealed results from one of its latest research reports, with some of the headline stats suggesting that consumers are perhaps not quite ready to fully embrace AI in a CX setting:

  • 12% always want to speak to a human agent
  • 23% think chatbots are ‘good’ at customer service
  • 50% think speaking directly to a human is the ‘best’ and ‘fastest’ way to resolve issues

This current indifference could perhaps be due to the fact that what customers want is actually not as ‘wow factor’ as the industry may sometimes think, according to one of the panellists from BT. He argued that what customers essentially want from a CX perspective is “what we have now but better and faster.” Doesn’t seem too much to ask does it?!

Just a few days on from International Women’s Day, it was also encouraging to see a ‘Women in Tech’ roundtable on the agenda for the afternoon. There were discussions around what can be done to attract more women to enter the telecoms and wider tech industry.

Speakers emphasised the importance of ensuring that roles are marketed / advertised in the right way, with the language and images used very important. Related to this, the huge gap in terms of women filling roles on the technical side was highlighted. Speakers and audience members agreed that the industry needs to do a much better job at highlighting and promoting opportunities beyond office-based roles.

The importance of role models was also discussed and described as being massively impactful in terms of showcasing a clear career progression path for women and demonstrating the accessibility of roles. Another point made was the need for much more discussion on leveraging the value of women in teams as key assets rather than just as an exercise for ‘social good’.

From a personal perspective, it was also fantastic to see my colleague and Liberty’s CEO Elena Davidson join a roundtable discussion on ‘What Comms Providers are Getting Wrong with their Comms and Marketing’.

For the last 26 years (Liberty’s 26th birthday is fast approaching!), we have supported a number of businesses and organisations across the telco industry with increasing their brand awareness, driving credibility and championing their success stories. If you’d like to find out how we can similarly support you please do get in touch.

James Meredith

James is a Director at Liberty Communications

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