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What AI might mean for your integrated comms set up

Microsoft Teams sits at the core of Colt’s Intelligent Communications Cloud Voice solution and, I’m sure like most people in the tech industry, conversations over the last few weeks have often come back to the topic of AI and its impact on a business and its network.

My first idea was to simply ask ChatGPT and use that text wholesale, but my comms team told me I had to add some original ideas.

For businesses using MS Teams, ChatGPT can add a lot of value from improving communications, enhancing customer experience, streamlining processes, providing insights and ultimately improving productivity. We’ve probably all dealt with AI chatbots and it’s fair to say the potential of ChatGPT goes beyond the promising early visions that have existed for a few years.

While that was the view of ChatGPT, the challenge for businesses will be how to retain the personality and culture that makes them different in a bot-driven world. The power of tools like ChatGPT is that they call on a massive pool of information, but it’s all information that already exists and it’s a mix of different tones, styles and views. In some cases that’s great, but for companies with a distinct culture and personality, AI will need to be embraced in a way that doesn’t compromise one of the reasons why people work for you and why customers buy from you.

There’s also the impact on your network and overall digital infrastructure to consider.

So again, let’s turn to ChatGPT. It suggested the impacts are increased network traffic, bandwidth usage, network security and the potential for improved network efficiency. And it’s not wrong.

The first challenge is an increase in traffic – whether that’s local traffic with AI processing done locally or traffic out to the cloud with AI like ChatGPT hosted by Azure. There’s also bandwidth to consider. If AI chatbots are being used to share media files then the impact on other applications could be significant. The benefits of an agile network and bandwidth on demand become even more pronounced.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, any new tools bring with it new security risks. Studies have shown people often share private information with AI that they wouldn’t share with a person, even if they know that the data is being monitored. For your employees, clear expectations need to be set about what data can be shared and where. Then for customers, AI could open the door for new spoofing and phishing attacks.

Making broad use of AI tools is like deploying any other well used application onto a network – its impact needs to be fully thought through and risks carefully minimised. It’s not a case of ‘if’ AI will have an impact as many businesses are well into their AI journey, but a question of how to use it. The benefit of Colt’s Intelligent Communications solution is that it’s based on MS Teams, with Microsoft leading the charge through ChatGPT and new features already being talked about.

At Colt, we’re already exploring what it means for teams across the business and our customers, but doing so in a way that retains our company personality and keeps everyone’s data safe. To find out more about how to build a network and a comms solution that’s fit for the future, AI or otherwise, just get in touch.

Tim Cook is Director Cloud Voice Services – Global Strategic Sales at Colt. 


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