Omnichannel Is A Given – The Future Is Intelligent Multichannel

Gokul Anantha

The fact that communication has evolved is a given. If you polled an enterprise in the mid-90s on the key modes of communication, email and phone (or fax) would have stood out, and mobile telephony was just becoming mainstream. Heavy investment in fiberoptics during the e-commerce boom of the late 90s and the emergence of global/distributed business models paved the way for VoIP as a cost-effective communications infrastructure. VoIP transitions were still turnkey projects with multi-year rollouts. However, VoIP/Internet-based telephony infrastructure allowed the morphing of communications into what was called “unified, or omnichannel, communications.”

For the enterprise, the value of omnichannel was as a consumer touchpoint. We have seen this adopted heavily in customer service and support, to gain the ability to receive and manage inquiries using various communication channels – primarily voice, email, and web chat.

Omnichannel communication, however, remained separate from the business application infrastructure for various structural and cost reasons. The needs were as obvious then as they are now, but it was prohibitive (if not impossible) to extend unified communication service into business workflows.

What has changed?

First, the ubiquity of mobile devices in everything we do, from consumer services to, increasingly, business services.

Second, the digitization of communication channels, including new ones such as push and social, and the rise of API-based on-demand consumption with bi-directional capacity.

Finally, the ability to provide access to specific business events (safely masked) to certified external providers, allowing them to wrap other backend service data to develop “intelligence” to orchestrate communication across channels or deliver at the right channel.

Welcome to intelligent multichannel digital communication!

evolution of intelligent multichannel digital communication

Based on our internal assessment, the following heatmap shows the enterprise workflows and the applicability and impact of multichannel communication to these workflows. Here is our view (green = applicable):

components of intelligent multichannel digital communication

To learn more about enabling customer success with intelligent multichannel communication, read the SAP Intelligent Notification 365 white paper.


Gokul Anantha

About Gokul Anantha

In his current role at SAP , Gokul Anantha is focused on revenue and margin growth initiatives leveraging analytics and market insights. Prior to that Gokul Anantha led product & solution management effort in establishing new revenue APIs and integrated, multichannel communication services at SAP Digital Interconnect covering push, e-mail, and social interconnect as well as "One SAP" communication workflows with SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Cloud for Service, and SAP Student Activity Hub. Prior to SAP, in his various roles at Cognizant and HCL, he forged close partnership with Fortune 1000 technology leaders, enabling their transformation journey across customer operations, supply chain operations, and IT application and Infrastructure operations. He enjoys sharing his experiences as blogs and solicits feedback, comments, and questions on topics such as enterprise messaging, customer relationship management, digital marketing, and the creation of new human experiences.