Month: October 2016

What do Tesla and Fuze Have in Common? A Look at Disruption in the Communications and Automotive Industries

Originally posted on the Fuze blog on Tue Oct 25.

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With user experience at the center of decision making, companies reimagine what’s possible

It’s tough to deny the appeal of the Tesla brand, whether as a technology lover like me or simply because of the name it has made for itself as an innovative force in the automotive industry. From its look and feel to the fact that it’s all-electric, the entire experience is captivating. For this and many more reasons, the company has cultivated an impressive following. After recently hosting events at local dealerships to invite Tesla lovers to get to know Fuze a bit better, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between how the two brands are challenging the status quo and all that we’ve come to know about driving and communication.

Though the similarities may not be immediately apparent, they embody what any brand hopes to achieve when marketintelligence meets market opportunity. When you take great pains to capitalize on the intersection of these two critical elements – and when you are passionate about putting experience at the heart of your product from concept to deployment – everybody wins.

Here’s what we stand to learn from companies that are bold enough to shake things up:

  • The need to anticipate market shifts.

Tesla moved the needle on the electric car industry at a time before demand was certain. In just three years, the global electric car market moved from selling just 12,000 electric cars to selling one million vehicles. Tesla tapped into a real need by betting on electric cars and getting it right. Timing is on Elon Musk’s side.

The time is also right for companies to consider the move to UCaaS. In 2015, market growth hit an all-time high, but even still UCaaS has less than 10 percent market penetration. Market share is expected to grow by a factor of almost 6x by 2020 – up to 40 percent – and forward-looking companies will want to make the move ahead of the competition to take advantage sooner. Much like Tesla sensed the market’s openness to electric cars before it became more widespread, innovative communication companies will be wise to observe shifting preferences for how teams wish to communicate in today’s modern business setting.

  • Putting user experience at the forefront.

In my mind, the fact that a Tesla Model S is an electric car is the least interesting part of its value. Those that have purchased the car for this attribute in particular will disagree, but what piques my interest is how it feels to sit in the driver’s seat. After taking a test drive, it’s not hard to imagine how a Tesla owner might approach travel in a completely new way. With a large touch screen panel, drivers can scan their route and quickly map out steps throughout a trip much as they would on their mobile device. All of this functionality is intuitive. They barely have to process their actions. It’s a natural extension of what they do at work or at home, blending technology preferences with driving behavior in ways never before experienced.

Likewise, messaging, video, and voice should function intuitively in the business setting. Up until recently, the experience has been clunky and required use of many different platforms – both sanctioned by IT and not. By simplifying that process, UC vendors can allow users to focus on the equivalent of hitting the road: improving collaboration and outcomes.

  • Steer your course with data on the dashboard.

Tesla’s dashboard takes the guesswork out of everything. If you’re going on a road trip, you can enter your destination in the center console and the car will take it from there. It can tell you where to charge up, how to optimize your route, and which sites are worth seeing along the way. Contextual information enhances the overall experience.

For workers – salespeople, in particular – contextual data can also make their journey smooth. With the right unified communications platform, they can gain insights about a prospect from previous touch points, purchase decision behavior, even social media activity, all available at their fingertips. The right application gives sales teams the right information to move along a conversation and get closer to closing a deal.

Be it transportation or communication, the confidence in knowing something just works is the Holy Grail of a positive experience. Experts will want to know how the gears turn, but most won’t be concerned with understanding how the backend supports the frontend. All that matters is that it runs well when we need it to. We build trust and confidence when it does. With the user experience at the center of innovation, all industries stand to benefit. The companies that lead the way will make their mark by changing the way people work and play.