If you know anything at all about tech, it’s that the last two years have thrown organisations of all shapes, sizes, and sectors head-first into the digital realm.

But just as much as state-of-the-art products and solutions have the power to revolutionise business, people are equally a key driver of innovation – not least when they’re industry-renowned professionals with bags full of experience and expertise.

Didn’t catch the commentary from our hand-selected panel of VIPs at our intimate event last week? Don’t fear. We’ve curated a list of the key takeaways that every successful leader should know as they continue to augment their own digital transformation strategy in 2022 – and beyond.

So sit tight, and delve in…

1. Don’t underestimate conversation  around the 4th industrial revolution – it’s here

And our clients think of Vapour as the plumbing to the Internet and other applications. It just works.

2. By 2025, 27% of the global workforce will be Gen Zs

Not only are they an important talent pool in this industry – having grown up without a recollection of life with no internet – they’re also the future of every organisation.

With that in mind, do you understand what your employees need and want from the workplace, especially when it comes to the expectations they have on technology?

3. Intelligent automation is a key driver of innovation

As well as saving time, money, and headaches dealing with the ‘dumb stuff’ – much like RPA – intelligent automation on the other hand can also ingest, interpret, and think about data, work harder, and enhance the roles of people even further.

4. Automation can work 24/7/365

Not only this, but it’s also able to work three times faster than human processing and with 100% accuracy, plus infinite scalability.

Repetitive tasks are often one of the biggest causes of job dissatisfaction and wasted time, and according to Rob Dawson – principle consultant at Robiquity and one of the speakers at our event – clients save an average of 27,000 hours per year using their intelligent automation services!

5. McKinsey data states that IT budgets typically go over by an average of 45%!

That’s why it’s crucial to look for a partner that is vender agnostic, and will implement the solution that’s right for your needs – not the one they’re paid to implement.

Ask questions specific to your own IT scenario too, to validate their experience. Rob’s advice on this topic was to ensure the discovery stage of a project is thorough, to ensure true RPA readiness, and to ask for a partner’s typical speed to value time – 5 weeks should be feasible, on average (depending on the nature of the project of course!).

6. Many VoIP providers only work with 1-2 carriers

This means their disaster recovery lacks vital resilience.

On the other hand, Wavenet – one of the partners to feature on the event line-up – works with multiple carriers. This vastly mitigates the risk of any comms disruption for that client. If the connection goes down unexpectedly, the traffic simply flips to another in milliseconds.

Is it any wonder over a 12-month period, a busy 300-seat customer of Vapour’s had ZERO faults with Wavenet’s TeamsLink system?

7. Worldwide IT spending to grow 3% this year

Despite economic headwinds, IT decision makers are spending more on cloud services and the data centre.

And with inflationary pressures top-of-mind creating a degree of uncertainty, already high prices could rise even further. With that in mind, it’s no surprise enterprises are making a switch from ownership-based IT models to service-bases ones.

8. Tech adoption has risen exponentially – but there’s a renewed focus on people, and therefore employee wellbeing too, particularly in contact centre environments

Puzzel’s partner success manager, Alison Hogg, suggests that customer tolerance for slow service has diminished, and there’s an increasing demand to use whichever channel they want, when they want – with an unparalleled new focus on receiving a seamless, connected customer experience. So, Alison encouraged us to think about what that means for brands and how they respond.

It’s also important to remember that comms channel silos means team silos, which usually a bad user experience, as well as inefficient workloads as tasks require duplication.

9. Puzzel helps you serve micro-moments that drive engagement

With intelligent self-service for consumers, a seamless user experience for customers and agents, and automated scheduling that ensures you are always effectively staffed, the platform’s digital-first approach speeds up first contact resolutions to help improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

And if a customer wants to speak to a real person, chatbots can recognise this too! With a request for intervention and a full chat history, agents can easily pick up a customer conversation to enhance the overall service level.

10. Businesses will increasingly demand network connectivity via ground and air

The world of 5G is expanding at pace, fuelling pacy innovation for organisations reliant on smart devices and IoT, and providing ever-changing businesses with a quick and easy way to get connected – rapid deployment with a fixed cost, particularly great for firms with satellite/pop-up sites.

Still hungry for more insight? Download the full speaker presentations from the innovation forum, for free.

To discuss any of these topics in further detail, please contact Vapour on 0333 200 1142 or fill out our contact form.

If you’re keen to bag a seat at our next event, keep your eyes peeled on our LinkedIn and Twitter channels for updates as they unfold.

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As the UK begins to hope for brighter times, it’s perhaps no surprise that our CEO Tim Mercer thinks there’s a lot to be positive about, as we close the door on a successful Q1. Here, he talks everything from growing IT budgets, to the growing pains of teams still separated due to social distancing rules…

As Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, everyone is now looking forward – particularly our customers and friends who have been able to re-open their businesses for the first time in months.  To these guys, you made it, and we’re rooting for you!

They’ll no doubt be happy to put Q1 behind them, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some important points to be taken from January-March.

Organisations have once again demonstrated incredible resilience in the face of more lockdowns, trading restrictions, lost custom, disparate teams, and home schooling. And as is often the case during a crisis, there have been some incredible examples of ongoing innovation and camaraderie in the space, as a result. We’ve seen news of impressive mergers and acquisitions too, which shows just how important the world of tech is right now – particularly in AI, automation and cyber security.

At Vapour HQ, we’ve had the busiest four weeks of the last 12 months in terms of new enquiries. A recent report by Gartner – which states that IT leaders have had the green light to spend on digitisation – perhaps explains this spike. In fact, an article in Computer Weekly quotes research vice-president John-David Lovelock, who said that: “Last year, IT spending took the form of a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to enable a remote workforce in a matter of weeks. As hybrid work takes hold, CIOs will focus on spending that enables innovation, not just task completion.”

This certainly correlates with the type of projects we’re being asked to support on. Last year, many organisations made a mass switch to Microsoft Teams, for example. Now they’re talking to us about things like Teamslink – a cloud hosted phone system built into Microsoft’s environment, and business intelligence across their Microsoft stack.

Elsewhere, some CIOs realised that their disaster recovery strategies simply weren’t robust enough, so business continuity is now a priority. Other tech leaders are concentrating on innovations such as robotic process automation to take their customer experience standards to the next level.

The enquiries are as varied as they are numerous, but one thing’s for sure – the days of Vapour being known merely for voice, networks and storage, are long gone. Even our rebrand back in January, feels like a lifetime ago.

With our evolution, has come growth in the team, with five new starters joining us in Q1 alone. Onboarding fresh colleagues hasn’t been without its challenges, particularly as a business known for our culture, but it has made us even sharper as a management team. New employees’ time needs to be pre-booked, for example, so they have the same opportunities to talk to, observe and learn from their co-workers – just as they would if they were in the office together. Laser focused organisational skills are certainly essential!

Staying with our people, we’ve re-run our staff wellness survey with Champion Health, following our pledge in 2020 to better protect colleagues’ mental health. Six months on, the findings have revealed a different ‘temperature’, with less stress a common denominator among most. Many have, however, missed meaningful interactions with colleagues – let’s face it, we’re all a little tired of virtual social get-togethers.

We’re therefore looking forward to organising a celebration for staff as summer approaches – not least because we’ve got another big announcement coming. Our Instagram followers may have a sneaky suspicion as to what I’m talking about, so if you haven’t seen the photos, head over to our profile and take a look!

We know we won’t see a mass return to the office though – certainly not for everyone, every day. From a tech point of view, I’m naturally not worried, especially when I compare my thought patterns to fellow business leaders grappling with fears about secure hybrid working.

But maintaining the dynamic and personality of the team is a little trickier with people striving for different working patterns and much shorter hours spent at HQ. Tricky, but not impossible, and I’m enjoying spending time thinking about how we commit to and live by the values we reshaped as a team last year, in readiness for our January relaunch.

I could go on, but there’s work to do. All in all, we’ve had a good quarter, and our friends in the wider tech space are gearing up for a quietly confident 2021, too. After a volatile year, I’m pleased to hear stories of positivity and growth among our peers.

As the next three months unfold I think we’ll be talking lots more about endpoint security, challenging the status quo, and I’ve got a few potentially controversial things to say about voice! Watch this space…

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