AI was the hot topic at the recent Enterprise Connect event and I certainly expect it to remain that way in the communications industry for the foreseeable future. With the AI revolution upon us, most of the vendors have directed their AI toward employee productivity or customer experience, but because Dialpad has an integrated offering, it has built AI capabilities for both. The capabilities are also integrated across both voice and digital channels.
Another difference is, while most cloud communication companies have chosen to partner for their AI capabilities, Dialpad has focused efforts over the last five years to build the capabilities in-house. This has obvious pros and cons. Partnerships may enable vendors to deliver new features faster, but the capabilities may not work as well until they are trained on that vendor’s data. Also, there could be integration issues with other capabilities.
On a recent analyst pre-briefing, Dialpad co-founder and Chief Executive Craig Walker claimed the company has been on an AI journey for seven years, which included the acquisition of TalkIQ in 2018. By developing AI themselves, Dialpad ensures all the features work exactly as required to meet customer needs.
In the area of AI Dialpad has been innovating quickly, rolling out a number of new AI features over the past year, including Ai Agent Assist and Ai CSAT. It will be interesting to see if it can keep this pace up, given that it’s a relatively small communications company when compared with others in the market.
Specifically, with this release, announced Monday, Dialpad’s new generative AI features include the following:
- Ai Recap (pictured) enables workers to quickly catch up on meetings they may have missed. Dialpad is using its own proprietary natural language processing models to generate short summaries that capture the salient ideas from meetings and then define the primary outcomes, purpose and action items that result. Currently, if customers have Dialpad Ai turned on, they get generated summaries, which can be useful, but the process does take some manual effort to look through. Ai Recap makes it much easier and faster to understand the highlights of meetings.
- Ai Scorecards improve a call center agents’ performance with specific AI-driven instructions and continuous support around any interaction. This feature highlights the impact that AI-based services can have as in a typical contact center, supervisors can only listen to a subset of calls and then need to infer performance from those. Dialpad’s Ai Scorecards can monitor 100% of interactions and provide insights and coaching opportunities on a complete data set. Also, AI-based models should remove any bias that people may have.
- Coaching Hub uses AI to understand which team members require help the most and with which specific skills. Like with Ai Scorecards, Coaching Hub operates in real time and monitors every call so managers no longer need to review post-call recordings or transcripts, which is both slow and error prone. This type of digital, AI-based recording is ideally suited for hybrid work as it gives managers the data they need to coach a workforce that is in the office only periodically.
- Ai Playbook provides agents, sales people and recruiters with real-time guidance and tracking against a defined sales process and questions that are expected to be asked. This ensures that there is consistency with processes and prompts users as to what to focus on during calls and also gives next best actions. After the call, the feature aggregates post-call reporting and metrics to highlight where processes are breaking down, which results in better outcomes in the future.
Ai Recap is available now. Ai Scorecards will be available in May, Coaching Hub in June, and Ai Playbooks in July. Other Dialpad Ai features will also be available in the back half of the year. Dialpad is committed to delivering at least one AI enabled capability per month for 2023.
As part of this announcement, Dialpad highlighted it has now crossed the $200 million annual recurring revenue mark. On the pre-call with analysts, Walker said that over the past five quarters, the company had grown a little over 150%, which actually outpaces the publicly traded companies, albeit off of a smaller revenue base. Over the past 18 months, the communications industry has been beaten up a fair bit in the capital markets, since investors have bailed as people have returned to the office.
The reality is, unified communications-as-a-service and contact center-as-a-service platforms play an important role in facilitating hybrid work, but the requirements have changed. I’m expecting AI to create another wave of growth for the communication sector. Dialpad announced a handful of features, but there are certainly more to come.