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Understanding cloud telephony and the connection with enterprises: Bipul Parua, Chief Technology Officer, Knowlarity

January 16, 2014

Understanding cloud telephony and the co...
The landscape of customer contact is rapidly changing with the arrival of new communication technologies. Basically businesses need to answer the following questions –

Do customers need personal contact? Is the business spending more of its time reaching out to customers?

Do customers need to reach out to contact centers to enjoy the services provided by the business?

If a business or organisation answers the above questions with a “Yes”, then there’s a need for new technology uptake. Most will answer “Yes”, and gravitate towards an ultra modern telecom infrastructure that addresses core needs of the customers by “listening” and “talking” to them after providing a “choice” of how the interaction should take place.

Issues and Challenges

Unless business is flush with funds, they will inevitably find it difficult to finance a brand new telecom facility. Building an ultra modern facility costs money – bucket loads of it.

In order to build a telecom infrastructure, business will need to buy servers, telephony equipment, cooling towers, costing thousands of dollars. They will also need specialists round the clock for programming, maintaining and supporting the equipment and run up a healthy electricity bill at the end of every month. These costs will eat into research and development, hiring decisions.

In addition, it won’t be scalable. Building an onsite facility means investing upfront on a certain number of servers, resulting in underutilised resources, or worse, having to turn away customers. The alternative –babysitting hardware until demand comes home – is too expensive to even consider for small scale enterprises.

The way forward

A cloud telephony solution, like the SuperReceptionist, provides the benefits of conventional telephony, without any of its drawbacks.

For starters, you won’t have to make a substantial investment upfront. For a measly annual subscription, anybody can get this cloud telephony platform operational within the matter of a few hours.

Do I have to call a person to get more telephony resources to address demand issues? No you don’t. One of the important characteristics of cloud telephony is “on demand self service”. The user can provision additional telephony resources like virtual numbers without any human interaction with the help of API’s.

Can I login from anywhere and view calls? Can I integrate it into my existing applications? Yes, you can, anytime you choose. A cloud telephony solution, like SuperReceptionist, provides Broad Network Access, which means any number of users can access the resources following standard protocols and mechanisms. Since it is available across the network, it basically means that it can be integrated into any application.

Can others login from different geographical locations? Can I control resources by changing and modifying permissions? Yes, you can control access rights of remote users. This platform is basically using a multi tenant model with dynamic sharing of resources.

Can I ramp up services easily? Can I handle 100 calls during peak hours and 10 calls during non peak hours? Yes, you can automatically provision ports (Scale up) during peak hours and release them when demand drops (Scale in). The ability to scale up service is alone worth the investment.

Can I measure resources usage? Cloud telephony service provides metering on some level, number of inbound calls, outbound calls etc. This provides valuable inputs on the demand side of the service equation and goes a long way in customising services.

Is it secure? Is my database safe from hackers? Security is the biggest concern when it comes to moving business applications to the cloud. However, these concerns are largely baseless, because cloud computing is basically safer than the client server approach – a fact which has been verified even by the CIA. Gus Hunt, CTO CIA, said that the cloud provides a secure platform. The SuperReceptionist is built on the Amazon Web Service which remains the platform of choice for “security obsessed” government agencies like the CIA.

Advantages

Basically, SuperReceptionist is a communication platform, used for managing inbound calls, call forwarding and call routing. It provides some basic customer resource management functions like lead scoring (hot, warm and cold) and centralises business databases by removing redundancies.

Even an entry level IVR services cost a lot of money in setting up servers, telephony equipment, and telephony cards. If this was not enough, you have operating costs like salaries, power costs to consider as well. With mounting bills, enterprises find it tough to cope in the real world. Thanks to cloud telephony services like the SuperReceptionist the trend is shifting from capex to opex, from onsite to offsite cloud IVR Services. With Cloud IVR Services, you can easily write a service that takes “user response” to “execute” an action.

A business receives a number of calls during the course of the day. On a busy day, phone support lines are inevitably clogged due to call volume, leading to customer complaints about poor service. With a cloud telephony platform, you can set your own call flow logic for handling calls landing into your system, routing them to voicemail or night teams as the situation requires.

Lead scoring is an important part of any business function. Your business database may be an asset for your company, but leads in your database are not the same in quality. Some of them are good, but some are duds. Cloud telephony services provide basic CRM functions like lead tracking and lead scoring that maximises your business potential. Leads can be classified as “warm”, “hot” or “Cold” depending on the their potential. You can even create “follow ups” on leads that need more nurturing. This system tracks every lead, missed call alert services ensures that every lead is utilized to its maximum potential. Missed call alerts are sent to your email or mobile for prompt attention.

Lastly, it provides call back services, without which an enterprise based communication system cannot be complete.

 
 

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