AI takes center stage (again) at Enterprise Connect

April 10, 2024
Written by
Dave Esber

AI takes center stage (again) at Enterprise Connect

You didn’t have to look far to see just how prominently predictive, generative, and conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) were featured at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Florida – the major enterprise communications and collaboration event. But, while the two-letter acronym AI was plastered on just about every booth (one-and-a-half years after the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT), real, ROI-generating implementations of AI required some additional scrutiny.

Businesses that are getting AI right aren’t just seeing small returns on investment, but step-change improvements in their ability to analyze interactions, automate processes, and dramatically improve their ability to engage with consumers. With those kinds of outcomes, it’s no surprise that 88% of businesses are using some form of AI in their organization this year according to the 2023 Segment Growth Report.


Twilio CEO, Khozema Shipchandler and GM Enterprise Connect, Eric Krapf on stage discussing Twilio’s launches and the role of data, communications, and AI in the next chapter of customer engagement.
Twilio CEO, Khozema Shipchandler and GM Enterprise Connect, Eric Krapf on stage discussing Twilio’s launches and the role of data, communications, and AI in the next chapter of customer engagement.


AI played an outsized role throughout the week, but that wasn’t all attendees were talking about. Here are the three key trends we saw across the expo floor and sessions and our take on how to capitalize on this moment.

AI isn’t going anywhere, but it’s time to prove value

Every vendor was rushing to tout the newest “AI-inside” functionality, but not all were able to demonstrate the features in action or point to the ways they’re fundamentally driving benefits for businesses. If 2023 was about showcasing innovation in AI, 2024 is about proving the value of these features and tying them back to real business ROI. And the business that have adopted AI are already seeing substantial impacts according to the 2024 State of Customer Engagement Report:

  • 45% see improved customer satisfaction scores
  • 41% report better data-driven decision making
  • 41% experience improved market segmentation and targeting

While we consistently hear from business leaders that there’s an imperative to deploy AI features and solutions to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve offerings, there are still questions about how to approach a business case and where to deploy the technology for maximum impact.

The Deloitte State of Generative AI in the Enterprise report found 31% of the leaders surveyed expect substantial transformation in less than one year and 48% expect it in one to three years. To get there, many businesses are turning to integrated AI solutions versus developing their own against constantly changing models. Most enterprise-ready AI offerings today still include human interventions and guardrails, and often focus on automating employee experiences and workflows rather than improving interactions with consumers.

The best thing businesses can do today is to start with the “why” or the use case or process they're looking to influence, then look to the data, AI algorithms, and platform that best suit that need. One thing is clear, access to high-quality data plays a central role in ensuring success with 71% of our survey respondents in the 2023 Segment Growth Report saying their AI could be more useful with access to higher-quality data.

Connected customer experiences start with connected teams

Finding ways to connect customer-facing teams and back-office teams continues to be a key talking point for many vendors. For those vendors, this often means a deeper investment by businesses to unify internal communications tools and their contact center.

Although it’s clear that many employees across an organization contribute to customer experience, it’s not clear that consumers have realized the benefits of this marriage of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS).

Just think about your last support call: were you transferred to another agent, or did the same person address every concern? Chances are you were bounced around a few times, only to repeat yourself or wait while an employee got up to speed. You’re not alone: the 2023 State of Customer Engagement Report found 51% of consumers report being frustrated with their interactions with brands. But it’s not the employee’s fault that they’re not given the tools needed to address concerns with context.

This unification of UCaaS and CCaaS as the “next frontier” may be one place we need to agree to disagree. Much as data has the potential to have an outsized effect on AI models, it can also have an outsized effect on the experience businesses are able to provide to every customer. Collecting, analyzing, and making data available to relevant teams across the business means that employees don’t need to spend time asking others to search for answers. They’re equipped with the context, history, and computed and inferred traits, in a single pane of glass, that enable them to resolve issues more efficiently while delivering an experience that drives CSAT.


The Twilio Coffee Bar at Enterprise Connect 2024
Attendees fueled up on coffee and conversations between sessions at the Twilio Coffee Bar at Enterprise Connect 2024


Seamless omnichannel requires insights

In addition to the increased focus on AI and connected journeys, there were several announcements around new channels with embedded AI features that provide support through virtual agents, or apply conversational intelligence to extract insights.

There’s broad recognition that consumers want to communicate over preferred channels. Consumers also expect that regardless of the channel they’re communicating on, businesses recognize them and have context from previous interactions. Delivering a truly omnichannel experience requires businesses to extract insights from conversations on an individual basis and connect those back to a customer or prospect’s identity.

That’s where data comes in (again). For all the conversations around AI, there was little emphasis on the quality of data required to feed models, or empower teams to deliver the right personalized customer engagement. This year’s State of Customer Engagement Report found this is a clear gap for many businesses, with only 16% of brands strongly agreeing that they have the data they need to understand their customers, and just 19% of businesses strongly agreeing they have a comprehensive profile of their customers.

It’s one thing to perform data dips on a database at set intervals – it’s another to continuously learn throughout an interaction with a customer. The businesses that get that combination of deep real-time data, thoughtfully applied AI, and a cohesive omnichannel interaction right will be the first to see results. Providing additional channels doesn’t deliver the business results expected if they don’t offer a continuous experience for consumers and provide insights to the business.

Three ingredients to win customer loyalty

Teams from across Twilio descended on Orlando to share our vision for not just more communications but better communications – a vision that delivers on the promise of AI with real-time data, and connected omnichannel offerings.

We made a few announcements of our own with a keynote from Khozema Shipchandler, Twilio CEO, including the launch of Agent Copilot and Unified Profiles in Flex. Agent Copilot and Unified Profiles marked the the first of three products Twilio is committed to bringing to market in 2024, which natively embed the power of Segment’s real-time customer data. Organizations like and Universidad Uk are already leveraging these tools to deliver exceptional customer experiences, driving loyalty, growth, and satisfaction for both customers and agents, with Universidad Uk seeing a 70% deflection rate, a 30% reduction in handle time, and an impressive 94% customer satisfaction rate across interactions.

We also introduced Flex Mobile, and next-generation language operators for Voice Intelligence among many other launches throughout the quarter that we recently covered in our quarterly launch recap.

The whole Twilio team had a blast meeting with customers and partners at Enterprise Connect, and can’t wait to be back in Orlando in 2025!