Users Driving Demand: Why TelcoSwitch Believes the Cloud is a Victory for Customer Power
CommsTrader spoke to Paul Gibbs, sales director at TelcoSwitch, about Cloud adoption, integration and compliance
The phrase “the customer is always right” has been around for a long time. But what exactly does it mean? What is its relevance to how a business operates?
Most businesses would agree that the above mantra is central to how they approach all customer-facing operations – sales, contact centre, aftercare. It is about nurturing a relationship, fostering loyalty, making the customer feel special so they come back, and building a reputation.
But what about other facets of a business? What about, say, product development? Historically, how much has a focus on giving customers what they want influenced innovation in the telecoms industry? And has that changed today?
One man who thinks it has is Paul Gibbs, sales director at TelcoSwitch. He believes that the emergence of cloud communications as a dominant force has been driven by customer demand, and has led to a wholesale re-think of the relationship between the industry, the products and services it provides, and the end users.
“It’s a very interesting point around [Cloud] adoption as we are seeing the demand now driven by the end user and this in some cases is driving channel adoption,” he said. “End users have now realised that the adoption of cloud based communications can be fully Opex, so in essence easier to onboard.”
“Some resellers who have traditionally sold on-premises equipment and have built their business around a monthly GP intake are now finding that end users don’t want this. This has put these resellers in an awkward position as they are ‘late to the party’ and the move to recurring can sometimes be painful.”
Minus the headache
It isn’t just the financial benefits of Opex which Paul believes have driven Cloud adoption. Resellers and vendors alike have had to adjust to the fact that customers want the complexity taken out of technology, even as they demand more sophisticated and flexible solutions.
“Enterprises often want the technology but fear the headache of the rollout,” he said. “With cloud, the rollout is the easiest it can be, with often the biggest headache coming around the movement of numbers and understanding the routing requirements.”
“As the technology is predominantly software it can be downloaded and adopted by the user very easily. BYOD comes into play when looking at mobile clients but if the end user has moved to this they will often know more about what they want and how they want to consume it.”
Discussing how user demand is likely to shape Unified Communications delivery in the future, Paul is very certain about the direction the market is heading.
“Integration is the key in my opinion here. Most businesses have adopted good connectivity which has helped them move their IT to the cloud and communications is often the last piece of the puzzle – which I find bizarre when it is the piece most businesses rely on the most.”
TelcoSwitch aims to deliver more joined-up, integrated solutions in a number of different ways. For one, its UC product, the CallSwitch cloud PBX, is part of a wider offering which includes business mobile, broadband and SIP trunking services. From a single wholesale carrier network, it offers a unified, end-to-end business telecoms service, with the simplicity of a single bill.
Another type of integration TelcoSwitch uses to make life easier for the customer is platform consolidation. CallSwitch supports plug-in compatibility with 30 major CRM products, helping users to align communications with customer service.
“With cloud comms becoming a download to any device, the user can now have so much more than a phone on the desk,” said Paul. “To me it’s about what integrates with your platform and the benefit that brings to the end user.”
“CRM integration is driving demand from the end user. [Businesses] have been using core CRM platforms in the Cloud for years and paying a per head price. If telephony can integrate and write into these, it allows the end user to benefit hugely for what is a very small percentage of what they are paying for the the CRM. The end user can drive automated reporting as they do already, but they now have stats based on their telephony coming straight out of the platform they wish.”
CRM integration is part of a wider focus from TelcoSwitch on providing flexible, affordable and straightforward contact centre solutions. This is again something Paul believes is driven by customer demand, especially with a wider number of businesses now looking to access what were once considered enterprise-level tools and solutions.
“The Cloud has given the contact centre multiple things,” he said. “You get more flexible working, with hot desking now meaning the agent can now work anywhere on any media. It means businesses can scale contact services up or down based on monthly or weekly demand. Multimedia support means your contact centre operations can be fully integrated with other platforms, as with CRM, and there is full resilience with no channel limitations.”
In addition, Paul argues that Cloud solutions make compliance easier for customers, a consideration growing in importance in communications with the tightened privacy regulations of the GDPR looming.
“The Cloud has made it easier to comply with PCI and FSA regulations, with full integration to payment providers through APIs,” he said.
“As a vendor, security is paramount as we have to provide secure communications to all of our users. It’s so important that this is monitored and proactively added to ensure we and, more importantly, the end user are protected at all times.”
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.