TelcoSwitch CallSwitch UCaaS Review: A Disruptive Force in Network Solutions
Read our TelcoSwitch CallSwitch cloud communications system review
Disruption is what makes the world of technology go round. And no, we’re not talking disruption caused by your ISP network going down or your Cloud host’s servers crashing.
We mean disruption in the sense of innovation, of shaking up the market, of creating a concept, a brand, an offer, a product so ground-breaking that it rewrites the rules.
The people behind London-based telephony and network company TelcoSwitch give a nod to US drama Mad Men on their website. Mad Men follows the lives of a group of advertising executives in 1960s New York. As fans of the show, the TelcoSwitch exec team probably know that the notion of disruption originates from marketing.
Disruptive marketing teaches two key things – customer demand is everything, and customer expectations change. Selling the same old products to the same old people in the same old way is a recipe for things to go stale, quickly. Successful businesses are wise to that, they keep their ear to the ground watching out for shifts in demand and expectation, and respond with innovative solutions which reshape the nature of demand itself.
This is exactly what TelcoSwitch claims to do. With an executive team of experienced industry insiders, the company has set out to reshape the core principles of business comms, and telephony in particular, in line with modern customer demands – simplicity, flexibility and outstanding service.
Calling its flagship hosted PBX solution, CallSwitch, “the world’s most unified turnkey open standards hosted telephony service,” TelcoSwitch is bold enough to claim it is not just disrupting the UC market, but revolutionising it. It bases this on the fact that CallSwitch is a genuine end-to-end Cloud telephony solution, from end point hardware through to software consolidation and integration.
Combined with other TelcoSwitch products, SimSwitch, NetSwitch and SipSwitch, customers can plug straight into a business mobile service, an ISDN solution, and have the carrier side taken care of with a high availability broadband service. All business communications needs, all in one place.
So without further ado, let’s test the waters on TelcoSwitch’s claims to be shaking up the cloud telephony and UC market. Please note, Comms Trader does not endorse, market or have any role in the sale of any product. Our reviews are entirely independent and aimed at helping our readers make informed choices with their UC product purchases.
What Can It Do?
TelcoSwitch’s CallSwitch is a fully loaded cloud PBX which in many ways harks back to the golden era of IP-based business telephone systems. A key difference is delivery – TelcoSwitch hosts the entire platform on a carrier grade network, making it available to the reseller channel on a wholesale basis. In that sense, CallSwitch embraces elements of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model, as well as the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model most common in /unified-communications/ucaas.
For end users, the main advantages of this are ease of deployment and scalability. You get access to an enterprise class VoIP system simply by signing up and logging on, and you can add as many users as you want to pay for, from an unlimited number of locations. System administration and management is all done online, with straightforward configuration options you don’t need to be an IT specialist to manage.
CallSwitch is available in two flavours, CallSwitch Business and Business Lite. For the sake of this review, we will focus on what you get in the ‘full’ Business edition.
The main user interface is the CallSwitch Communicator. Available as both a desktop and mobile app for iOS and Android, this provides anytime, anyplace access to the CallSwitch carrier network from any device. Communicator includes a softphone, IM, presence and account management, plus conferencing for up to 265 participants
Communicator also provides drag-and-drop call management. You simply click on a contact in the directory to start a call, or drag their name into an active conference to add them. The same functionality works for the likes of transferring a call, picking up a call out of a queue, or parking.
Whereas many UCaaS providers are happy just to supply a softphone, TelcoSwitch makes a point of making desk top extensions just as much a priority. The system is compatible with a wide range of VoIP phones, and CallSwitch Business customers can connect as many different types as they wish. Handsets are included as part of the subscription, and TelcoSwitch partners with Gigaset Pro to offer their DECT handsets and base stations as part of the package.
As well as offering full PBX functionality, CallSwitch is also designed to be a hassle-free, cost effective contact centre solution. On a Business account you get:
- Unlimited DDIs
- Up to eight Auto Attendants with multi-level IVR
- Eight Call Queues
- 25 Ring Groups
- Optional agent log in
There is a Supervisor edition for the CallSwitch Communicator app which provides full call monitoring with Wallboard facility, plus live agent status data. Call recording is also included as standard, with all inbound and outbound calls recorded and stored for up to three months.
To confirm CallSwitch’s credentials as a serious contact solution, it also comes with plug-and-play integration for CRM platforms Salesforce, Bullhorn, Microsoft Dynamics, ZenDesk and Zoho CRM. With the CRM+ add on, this is extended to more than 30 CRM platforms, with further integrations possible via readily available APIs.
What do we like?
CRM integration is common for most UC solutions nowadays, helping to improve service by bringing up customer records when a call is received, and updating databases automatically with the outcomes of every contact. To support out-of-the-box integration with more than 30 CRM platforms is hugely impressive, however. Even if you don’t use one of the very biggest commercial CRM brands, it is likely that you can link CallSwitch straight in.
Alongside CRM support, the inclusion of contact centre features such as queues, live monitoring and call recording as part of the main bundle is great, making CallSwitch a very affordable solution for any business taking inbound customer calls and wanting to improve its service.
Who is it for?
On price points alone, CallSwitch seems geared towards the SME market, although as a cloud-based service, it supports virtually unlimited scalability. It is a great option for businesses looking for an affordable contact centre solution, perhaps a business looking to formalise its inbound customer service operations.
What is it compatible with?
The CRM+ add on offers plug-in integration with more than 30 CRM platforms.
Where to buy and for how much?
CallSwitch is available exclusively through the reseller channel. CallSwitch Business is available from £7.95 per month, with 2,000 inclusive minutes and a premium class handset included. CallSwitch Business Lite starts at £3.95 per month, with a basic handset and 500 inclusive minutes.
UC Today Opinion
‘Revolutionary’ is one of those marketing buzzwords that gets overused. Is CallSwitch a revolutionary product in the UC market? Show me a similar UCaaS product that is. The Cloud has gone mainstream, that particular revolution has passed. CallSwitch is, however, a very good cloud PBX platform, offering excellent value if you are looking for a contact centre solution which will integrate easily with your CRM.
Then again, perhaps it is unfair to weigh up CallSwitch in isolation from the rest of the TelcoSwitch stable when judging its disruptive credentials. Because when you look at the overall business model, TelcoSwitch is doing something pretty innovative. Going back to the point about IaaS, TelcoSwitch is doing much more than just selling software applications. Instead, it offers a complete wholesale telecoms platform, supporting not just a cloud VoIP service, but mobile, broadband and SIP trunk networks as well.
In taking all of these together, TelcoSwitch really does offer something different. As they put it themselves – one supplier, one bill, one service, for all business comms needs. Now that is enough to shake up the market.
Do you agree with our views on TelcoSwitch CallSwitch? Have you used the service, either on its own or in combination with other TelcoSwitch services? What are your thoughts on the unified network model? As always, we would love to hear your opinions, so share your thoughts in the comments section below, and why not invite friends and colleagues to join in by sharing this article on social media.
This article is part of the July Series of the Technology Track on Cloud Communications, follow the link to see all published and planned articles.