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Getting to know you: Paula Constant, Woven CEO

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With a creative workforce, tech know-how and a bespoke approach, Woven is transforming customer-services. We caught up with CEO Paula Constant to find out more about the secrets of the company’s success…

Woven is on a mission to deliver excellent customer service. They provide a range of premium companies with bespoke people- and technology led customer experiences, from chatbots and social media monitoring to video shopping and crisis-response techniques.

Under CEO Paula Constant, who joined in 2020, Woven’s profits have increased by 70 per cent in 18 months, with robotic automation rates for more than 90% of customer transactions.

Paula has achieved this through innovative technology and an inspiring, collaborative ‘people programme’. “I have built a leadership team who quite simply want to make a huge difference to the experience of working in a customer contact centre,” says Paula. “We want to think radically differently about every aspect of their role as a ‘professional communicator’. The job is intense, with our staff handling 90 customer contacts in one day.”

Prior to Woven, Paula had worked in banking and telecommunications, and in 2016 won a Leader Award from FDM Everywoman in Technology. She has earned renown for galvanizing large workforces to get behind huge shifts in customer experience and automation. She attributes her success to a gritty working-class upbringing. “I am the daughter of a single-parent nurse who gave up her dream of becoming a doctor to raise two girls. She encouraged such incredible self-belief. She devoted herself to a life of service, selflessly.” Having two young sons, Paula believes that role modelling leadership in work and in the community is a critical part of being a parent.

As Woven grows, Paula is bringing her holistic approach to new territories. The company is acquiring overseas to expand into the Asian and US markets, while improving the lives of hundreds of locals. “We are still a good size to be able to wrap ourselves around our customers and provide personalised service,” she says. “We want to ensure that, as we expand, we maintain that level of personal attention and customer innovation, both to our clients and our workforce.”

Microsoft unveils Digital Contact Center Platform

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Microsoft says its new Digital Contact Center Platform will give users modern digital tools to engage customers across voice, video, and other digital engagement channels — powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Power Platform and Nuance.

The platform brings together a comprehensive yet flexible solution for contact centers, delivering best-in-class AI that powers self-service experiences, live customer engagements, collaborative agent experiences, business process automation, advanced telephony, and fraud prevention capabilities.

Microsoft says the recent addition of Nuance brings a new level of conversational AI, security, and automation to the contact center. This gives both customers and agents tools to resolve issues faster and with more personalized service, thus reducing resolution times while improving customer satisfaction. It also enables contact centers to offer targeted incentives to build brand loyalty and upsell opportunities to boost revenue.

It’s also partnering with peers in contact center infrastructure, including Accenture–Avanade, Avaya, Genesys, HCL, NICE, and TTEC, to ensure interoperability and compatibility with contact center systems and components companies use or plan to implement now and in the future.

Accenture–Avanade will deliver its Customer Engagement solutions starting with the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform to help customers reimagine their entire customer experience and deliver business results.

Additional launch partners include systems integrators EY, HCL, Hitachi, KPMG, PwC, TCS, and TTEC, and ISVs such as Avaya, Genesys, and NICE.

The benefits of introducing bots into your business 

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By Woven

We live in a fascinating period where almost every day technology is becoming a more significant enabler in our lives. In business, the emergence of the combination of Artificial Intelligence and Process Automation (or as we now progressively know them, Bots or Virtual Agents) has created the scope to provide a level of service that simply wasn’t possible previously. Alongside that there is also a much sharper focus on the implications of failing to offer great service. 

So, what is a bot and why do I need one? 

Bots in the context of customer service are effectively software programs which simulate human conversations across either voice or text. 

Bots have huge natural advantages: 

  • They work 24/7/365 providing instant customer support 
  • Increase first contact resolution with automated responses 
  • Reduce service costs and increase efficiency 
  • Improves customer experience  
  • Provides an automated feedback survey to produce insights  
  • Real-time content management    

Do you want to create personalised and dedicated customer experiences?  

Then you need a trusted outsourcing partner! Woven’s bespoke technology integrates seamlessly into your legacy systems with ease and speed.  

Contact us today to see how we can help your business 0333 103 7337 /

UK businesses experience up to five security incidents each year

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Attackers are seizing on vulnerabilities in hybrid working environments, creating more work – and also larger budgets – for security teams, despite organisations accelerating digital transformation projects.

The latest State of Security Report from Infblox, which surveyed 100 UK respondents in IT and cybersecurity roles in the UK as part of its global sample, discovered that the recent surge in remote work has changed the corporate landscape significantly.

In fact 64% of UK organisations have accelerated digital transformation projects in order to support remote workers since 2020. This is higher than the global (52%) average.  

  As part of this shift just under half (49%) of organisations have increased customer portal support for remote engagement and 43% have added resources to their networks and data basis. Given that over a third (34%) have close their physical offices for good, this investment may prove to be a strong strategic move.  

Cybersecurity still causing headaches   

An increased digital footprint inevitably brings increased digital risk and the reality of a hybrid workforce is causing headaches for IT teams and business leaders. The data reveals that the loss of direct security controls and network visibility has half (50%) of UK companies more concerned about data leakage than anything else. Almost as many (45%) are worried remote worker connections will come under attack.    

It appears that organisations have good reason to worry, given the report found that 61% experienced up to five security incidents in the last year. However, there is some good news: 66% report that these incidents did not result in a breach. This may be because 73% were able to detect and respond to a security incident within 24 hours.   

Of the 44% reporting a breach, insecure WiFi access (47%) was the biggest cause. The data also suggests that UK workers are continuing to fall for phishing scams. In fact 4 in 5 (82%) breaches reported in the last 12 months were caused by this attack method. Phishing usually signals the need for or failure of employee and customer security awareness training that require technological backstops  

Defense in depth   

Infoblox’s report discovered that the majority of organisations are investing heavily in security tools to protect their hybrid environments. In fact, 59% of respondents saw bigger budgets in 2021 and 64% anticipate an increase in 2022.   

Many are turning to defense-in-depth strategies, using everything from data encryption and network security to cloud access security brokers and threat intelligence services to defend their expanded attack surface. As part of this, almost half of organisations (47%) are relying on DNS (Domain Name System) to block back traffic.    

“The pandemic shutdowns over the past two years have reshaped how companies around the world operate,” said Anthony James, VP of Product Marketing at Infoblox. “Cloud-first networks and corresponding security controls went from nice-to-have features to business mainstays as organisations sent office workers to work from home. To address the spike in cyberattacks, security teams are turning to DNS security and zero trust models like SASE for a more proactive approach to protecting corporate data and remote devices.”  

The full report is available for download here.  

Technology ‘increases employee inclusion’ in hybrid work

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In a world where 60% of employees say a hybrid work model is their ideal work arrangement, only three in ten (30%) strongly agree that their organisation provides them with the necessary technology to collaborate equally and inclusively from anywhere.

That’s according to Jabra’s 2022 edition of the Hybrid Ways of Working Global Report, carried out amongst 2,800 knowledge workers across six countries worldwide to understand the employee sentiments and motivations in this hybrid working era.

The future of work is virtual-first. With hundreds of millions of people collaborating on Teams, Zoom, and other unified communications platforms every day, these digital environments are the new standard for how we connect to one another. In fact, many employees have only ever met some of their colleagues on these platforms. Because of this, it is critical that leaders do all they can to get the most out of the virtual workspace, so employees can create more human and authentic relationships with their colleagues.

Professional audio technology impacts meeting inclusivity

Jabra’s research found that users of professional audio devices reported feeling more included in virtual meetings than those using either consumer audio devices or the microphones and speakers built into their laptops. In fact, users of professional headsets globally were 11% less likely to feel left out of the conversation in virtual meetings than consumer device or built-in audio users. Similarly, professional headset users were 14% less likely to report not being able to hear what’s being said in the meeting than built-in users and 12% less likely than consumer device users.

At present, only 29% of workers are using professional audio devices. As 87% of all meetings are either fully virtual or hybrid, with only 13% happening fully in person, it’s crucial that employees are able to make the most of them with purpose-built technologies. A lack of proper technology may make relationship-building in these virtual environments more tenuous and difficult than it needs to be.

Organisations that prioritise meeting equity have higher hybrid meeting engagement

Since the start of the pandemic and alongside the rise of hybrid work, the term “meeting equity” has entered the discussion to explore how organisations can create equitable virtual environments. In a traditional meeting room, every meeting participant has a place at the table and has equal opportunity to contribute to the meeting. However, a hybrid meeting setting consists of both physical and virtual meeting participants, so true meeting equity becomes harder to achieve.

Luckily, the research finds that organisations that take active steps towards achieving greater meeting equity are likely to increase engagement in hybrid meetings. In fact, 48% of hybrid workers say that their organisation priorities meeting equity, resulting in 53% saying they’re just as engaged in hybrid meetings as face-to-face meetings. This is compared to only 34% of full-time in-office workers who say that their level of engagement in hybrid meetings matches that of face-to-face meetings; amongst in-office workers, 32% feel their organisation prioritises meeting equity. Leaders need to take decisive steps to address meeting equity, regardless of the primary type of work model their organisation practices.

Video increases inclusion and productivity in virtual environments

Roughly half of all employees (49%) consider their office to be their laptop, headset, and wherever they can get a strong internet connection. But the research found a key location-agnostic way to impact an employees’ wellbeing and productivity levels: video. Sixty-two percent of employees say they feel more included and present in meetings when everyone attending has their camera turned on.

Similarly, 53% feel they can collaborate more productively on video calls than on audio-only calls. This is likely why 68% of employees say that standardised professional video cameras would help everyone participate equally in hybrid meetings. Moving forward, leaders have an urgent need to look into the best technology to inclusively connect all employees and business partners no matter where they’re working. This will be an essential part of achieving greater meeting equity and succeeding in the hybrid future.

Holger Reisinger, SVP at Jabra, said: “The way we work has changed forever and the current state of knowledge work requires access to digital platforms and technologies to be successful. As such, leaders need to prioritise the employee experience and ensure that they can thrive in virtual meetings regardless of location. It starts with identifying technologies that will enable both in-office and remote employees to collaborate on an equal playing field, so employees can seamlessly move between these places without feeling left out, unheard, or distracted. Only then will employees truly be able to work a flexible arrangement on their own terms and have a stronger emotional connection to both their digital and physical workspace.”

To download a copy of the full research report, visit:

OPINION: A new era of customer service for brands

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By Eric Leboeuf, Director of Strategic Channel Partnerships at Infobip

The pandemic has altered the customer experience landscape indefinitely. Consumers are demanding, unforgiving and know what they want – and contact centres have transformed how they operate in tandem. As the world migrated from offices to home and ‘Zoom’ became 2020’s most prevalent eponym, a new path emerged for the future of customer service.

In a short space of time, agents had to move from answering phone calls or emails, to dealing with a plethora of customer contact channels, such as WhatsApp, SMS, live chat and video calls. Businesses and outsourced contact centres had to think about technology through the eyes of their customers to reduce inefficiencies, eliminate pain points and increase the value of every interaction no matter what channel it’s on.

In this article, I will discuss how brands can optimise customer experience by maximising the benefits of virtual contact centres.

Evolving customer expectations

Today’s consumer expects to be able to contact a business at any time, from anywhere, and on any platform – and it’s given rise to new demands.

After interviewing more than 2,000 British people, Infobip found a third (33%) now have higher expectations for customer service since the first lockdown and 32% have said that they will not spend time with a business that provides poor service again. Their biggest frustrations include waiting time (35%), limited ways to contact a company (31%) and repeating details multiple times to an agent (20%).

We also found that 35% of customers are happier to engage with brands on digital channels since the pandemic . And there is no clear channel preference – 52% of people prefer to use multiple channels, rather than relying on one.

Contact centres need to build a cohesive, consistent approach to customer service that caters for consumers’ changing preferences and modes of consumption. Brands should use customer data to decipher which channel a customer prefers, whether that’s their favourite messaging app or a live chat on your website. What’s more, by ensuring customer data is in one place, responses can be tailored to the customer’s unique needs with no time-consuming switching between channels.

Revamping the contact centre infrastructure

There’s no denying that those companies that have had the easiest time with the digital transition are those that have migrated to contact-centre-as-a-service (CCaaS) solutions. There are several reasons why.

The migration of workers to home offices has complicated operations, for example agents cannot ask the floor walker or the colleague next to them for advice, they solely rely on digital tools like internal chat channels to ask for advice or coaching.  Through a cloud contact centre, agents can continue to provide superior service from the comfort of their homes, advising customers and conversing with their colleagues, no matter where or when they log on. The cloud also provides the flexibility that businesses need to handle continuous growth and seasonal peaks, as well as experiment with new service models.

The use of Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA) is one of many automation solutions helping contact centres, particularly when answering FAQs which represents a large portion of customer enquiries. By handling more repetitive and basic customer enquiries, the speed and accuracy of handling transactions is increased, and customer experience is improved.

The human workforce

Having CCaaS solutions that engage human agents to step in at the right time is also essential, allowing them to solve more high value, complex issues beyond FAQ’s that can require multiple branches of support for one customer query, for example payment or delivery support.

This means agents can manage multiple digital channels at a time, ensuring they have the tools to do what they do best: delivering personalised responses, answering queries faster and increasing customer satisfaction. Thanks to IVA support, human agents will spend less time on low value enquiries, meaning cost savings via increased efficiency. Metrics can also inform brands on the ratio of queries going to agents versus IVA. In these scenarios, brands can evaluate their contact centres to ensure agents are not overloaded. Finally, by shifting an agent’s responsibility to more challenging and rewarding tasks, new and upgraded career doors are likely to open up.

COVID-19 chatbots 

Let’s look at this in practice. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several public and government health organisations across the world, for example Public Health England, were faced with the challenge of providing up-to-date information quickly and at scale, whilst also combatting misinformation. For many, the answer has been using chatbots to alleviate pressure on contact centres, who were already facing a significant influx of calls, while ensuring the public have access to the latest advice and guidance.

These chatbots, built by Infobip and WhatsApp, are easily accessible over a publicly available number. Contact is initiated by the user through entering a number in their contact list and sending “Hi”. This starts a dialogue with the WhatsApp chatbot, where users can choose from a list of topics depending on the information they are looking for. This includes the latest guidelines, case numbers, testing site locations and FAQs. If further assistance is required, chatbots can smoothly transfer the conversation to a human agent for detailed answers to more complex queries.

Chatbots like this have been used across the globe – from the UK to India – to ensure the right information is accessible 24-7, and so contact centres can function as efficiently as possible during an exceptionally busy time.  A report by IBM found that chatbots can answer 80% of standard questions. With many now integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), chatbots are trained to recognise customer intent through what we call natural language processing (NLP). Pair this with ML processes, and chatbots will advance over time as they’re exposed to more conversational data.

Final words

The digitally savvy contact centre is racing ahead of its peers. Relying on a hybrid workforce means bots can handle high frequency, low value requests, leaving agents to focus on delivering more personalised and detailed responses. The return on investment from purchase conversion and repeat brand loyalty is invaluable. Companies must incorporate digital tools to boost their contact centre infrastructure as we enter an era of new customer service.

DOWNLOAD: The UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide 2022

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The UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide 2022 is a deep dive into the largest and most comprehensive study of the UK contact centre industry.

This report reflects a full comprehensive facts and hard data about every aspect of UK customer experience management, technology, and strategy, this report will arm you with the best tips to transform your contact centre and prepare it for the future. It identifies seven of the major pain points and issues that affect the contact centre industry and presents specific solutions that you can use to solve these challenges.

With sections on:

– Improving quality and performance,

– Maximising efficiency and agent optimisation,

– Digital, cloud, and the customer of the future,

– Outbound and proactivity,

– The customer experience,

– HR and agent management,

– And, strategic directions.

Click Here To Download

Remote working has affected employers support the health and wellbeing of staff

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Fifty-nine per cent of employers say that the change in working patterns to a more remote or hybrid approach has affected the way they support the health and wellbeing of staff, according to research from GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector.

Of those employers who stated that working patterns had affected the way they support the health and wellbeing of staff:

  • 49% said they have made it easier for staff to access support and benefits remotely e.g. via apps and online
  • 43% said they have introduced benefits to support employees in this new way of working e.g. for their mental and physical health
  • 38% said that they have increased support that can be accessed remotely e.g. virtual GPs and virtual physio

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: “Employee benefits providers and, in particular, those that offer health and wellbeing support, were really swift to respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic. The pace of change has been breath-taking.

“We are now in a situation where many employee benefits, including embedded support within employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness, have improved in two distinct ways. The method of delivery has been expanded to include additional digital channels to meet the support requirements of employees, no matter where or when they need it. Secondly, the type of support has also broadened: for instance through the likes of online physiotherapy, nutrition and fitness advice; meditation and mindfulness apps; computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); and access to virtual GPs and nurse practitioners. Some had been available previously, but have now become much more mainstream.”

Given that so much has changed, GRiD believes that employers would be prudent to benchmark their wellbeing provision against current support available and make sure they keep pace with developments, especially in supporting a hybrid workforce.

Moxham continued: “Employers may be under the illusion that they offer really innovative wellbeing support but they may be surprised just how much things have moved on if it hasn’t been reviewed for a number of years. The repercussions of the pandemic are very much still in evidence and employers have a duty to ensure they are providing the very best wellbeing support available.”

WEBINAR REWIND: Financial services organisations struggle to create a CX culture built to last – but why?

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Don’t worry if you missed the recent webinar from Davies Group exploring the secrets of great CX – You can now re-watch the entire session online!

84% of financial services leaders rank business process alignment as more important than putting the customer first when designing customer experiences. How can they then create a CX culture that really puts the customer first?

Davies has discovered that culture seems to be taking a backseat for most CX leaders, although we all know that the absence of customer-first thinking often brings longer contact-centre wait times & more effort, resulting in enhanced frustration & unhappy customers.

In the webinar session, you’ll discover why, and the expert panel will share top tips on how to create a CX culture that will help you achieve those all-important business objectives, including:-

  • How organisational culture is holding your fellow financial services peers back from achieving their CX goals
  • What CX leaders across financial services see as the most important factors in CX design
  • Common misconceptions on building and sustaining a strong internal CX focussed culture
  • Get actionable insight on how to develop a sustainable CX culture in your business

If you have any questions about the webinar content, please contact Boyden Manns at

You can watch the full webinar below:-

Webinar: Financial services organisations struggle to create a CX culture built to last – but why? from Davies Group on Vimeo.


Ransomware protection: Back up, don’t pay up  

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By Pritesh Parekh, Chief Trust & Security Officer, VP of Engineering at Delphix  

It’s hard to ignore the recent spate of ransomware attacks. For businesses all over the world, the problem is only getting bigger. It’s also getting more costly, with many feeling as if they have no choice but to pay up.   

When ransomware shut down the Colonial Pipeline in the US earlier this year, the company paid the $5 million requested just one day after the attack. Meanwhile, JBS – the world’s largest meat processor – paid $11 million after it was hit. In many cases, giving in to cybercriminals and their demands is understandable. Even if an organisation has a backup available, often the associated data loss and wider disruption caused by long restore times are more costly than just paying up. Moreover, sometimes cybercriminals will not only encrypt data but target the backups themselves, leaving organisations with no other option.     

But complying doesn’t always lead to a positive outcome. In fact, recent research found that only 8% of organisations receive all their data back after paying a ransom. On average hackers restore only 65% of encrypted data, leaving their victims significantly worse off. In addition, there’s no knowing what the ransom paid is funding. It could even be another attack, meaning that businesses are just kicking the can further down the road.     

In an ideal world, paying the ransom shouldn’t even be a consideration. Businesses should be able to confidently restore data from trusted backup solutions within minutes of being attacked. But in order to do this, they need a fresh approach to backup.  

The issue with traditional backups  

For many years, backup solutions have been the go-to protection against ransomware. However, the perpetrators have grown wise to this approach and, as a result, modern attacks often target backup files as well. This poses a huge problem because backup files are often written and read by the same operating system the business uses for its day-to-day activities. This means the integrity of the backup system depends on how secure the business’s operating system is. If ransomware attackers can hack a system severely enough to encrypt its production data, then the compromised system also puts the backups at risk.  

The other issue with legacy backups is the recency of their data. Most will only backup once a day but, in order to be as effective as possible, modern solutions need to provide same-day detection, response and correction, whilst tackling a wide variety of threat vectors. Once a day backups leave a whole day’s worth of transactions unprotected. In the digital economy, losing such an enormous amount of data can be detrimental to a business, even putting it at risk of liabilities.     

The time taken to restore the data is also critical. With traditional systems, the whole process can be time and labour intensive, with multiple admins needed to restore the data in a new location, then connect and open a database application. It can often take several hours to days and disrupt business which is simply unacceptable.  

The future of ransomware protection  

As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated in their methods, it’s unsurprising that legacy backup solutions are no longer enough to combat them. With technology continuing to advance, businesses need to adopt a more modern strategy – which incorporates “air gaps” and data virtualisation – if they are to effectively protect their data and avoid paying the ransom.  

Firstly, it’s important to isolate the backup network and remove any system-level access to it, creating an “air gap” between the two systems. Doing this will successfully prevent hackers who manage to access production data from reaching the backup files. This “air-gapped” backup system can be thought of as a separate, virtual device that can read and write to the system with the right login credentials. These credentials must be completely independent of the credentials expected by the main system and kept behind locked doors, mostly as read-only data to further strengthen their protection.  

Meanwhile, having a virtualised copy of valuable data means that the backups can be restored in minutes, avoiding any significant downtime. What’s more, the data can also be backed up more frequently or even in real-time, minimising data loss to the business.  

When it comes to ransomware, businesses need to snap out of the “pay up or lose data and time” mindset. Ditching legacy backups will help with this. It’s never been more important for organisations to update and modernise their ransomware strategy and focusing on quick and effective recovery is a great place to start.