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Aryaka’s 2017 State of the WAN report shows the
cloud era has arrived in a big way, making SD-WANs
business-critical. Companies must adopt this technology
or risk falling behind and hurting business performance.

This week, SD-WAN vendor Aryaka released its “2017 State of the WAN Report,” which summarizes a global study conducted by the vendor that looks at WAN trends across a number of verticals and across every region of the globe for 2016.

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Fast-forwards efforts to add artificial
intelligence to collaborative environments

In Star Trek, when Spock wanted to get smarter about something, he could create a telepathic link between himself and another person. Called the Vulcan mind meld, the technique allowed for an exchange of data (thoughts) enabling the participants to act as one mind… which would hopefully lead to smarter and better decisions.

However, we’re still a few hundred years from forming an alliance with our future friends. For now, we’ll need to find a better way of doing things faster and smarter, and companies are looking to fill that gap through artificial intelligence (AI). Of all the unified communications vendors, Cisco has been among the most vocal regarding the use of AI for improving collaboration. Back in July 2016, Cisco previewed a speech interface, called Monica, and made it clear that AI was something it was pursuing.

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In a new ServiceNow study, business leaders say they
are overloaded with data and that manual processes
squelch creativity, productivity and revenue generation

Anyone who has been in the workforce for any significant length of time probably feels like their workload has grown tenfold, but they likely brush it off to getting old or maybe being burned out. The fact is, however, the extra workload is very real.

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Nvidia’s new video analytics platform, Metropolis, uses artificial
intelligence and deep learning to help make cities safer and smarter

Earlier this week at its GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia announced a new video analytics platform, Metropolis, that promises to make cities safer and smarter and should eventually bring game-changing capabilities to other industries.

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It’s safe to say that no one likes change.

It makes us uncomfortable and puts us in positions that we are not familiar with. This is certainly true in our personal lives, but it’s also true in our jobs. It seems every time there is some kind of major technology shift everything changes, and IT needs to adapt, adopt new best practices, and develop new skills. Think back to the transition from mainframes to PC computing, TDM voice to VoIP, and physical servers to virtualization. Each of these seismic shifts required IT organizations to completely change the way they operate.

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Aiming for the “wow” factor, CRM company rolls out next-
generation knowledge solution for improved customer experience.

Late last month I was a guest on the No Jitter On Air podcast for a conversation with No Jitter editor Beth Schultz on digital transformation. As I pointed out during the discussion, in the digital era organizations will compete on the basis of customer service. In support of this statement, here are some interesting factoids from my research:

  • By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the top brand differentiator
  • 67% of millennials changed brand loyalties in 2016 because of a poor experience
  • 90% of companies use customer experience as a differentiator today

An imperative for businesses today is to deliver not just a good experience, but a differentiated, fast experience. For example, a customer may sit on hold on a support line for a few minutes, and then spend 10 more minutes with a polite agent to solve a problem. This is a typical “good experience.” What if, through chat, the customer could ask the same question and get an immediate response? Or, should the customer prefer to call in, he or she would instantly receive a link leading to information that will help solve the problem? The fact is that people like things to be fast today, and fast responses are generally viewed as better than good ones that take time.

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