Using Cloud to Neutralise the Telephony Hot Potato

Telephone systems and PBX’s  (Private Branch eXhange) have historically been a hot potato in a business, an important service for users needing firm ownership and the most obvious bucket to be thrown into being that of the traditional IT team. This IT team if often frustrated that they do not have the telecoms experience to know what they are dealing with.

Over the years I have lost count of the times the IT team has commented (both from customers and businesses I have worked within) of struggling with the telephony component, lacking skills, experience, and understanding of the ethos of this historic comms world. The telco world, and it’s  approaches and components are very different to the IP based world that traditional IT is used to operating within. Often these historical telephony deployments are also creaking, having through accident and sometimes design, been configured in weird and wonderful ways that now no one is familiar with or has the time to unpick.  So IT are keen to have someone else own the problem, but find there is nowhere else to locate it in the business!

Still today in 2017, a vast number of firms sit in this camp, faced with the challenges of supporting and maintaining telephony systems, often based on ageing technology and bolted together from varying suppliers to achieve delivery of provisioning, PBX, desktop devices and IP interfaces with today’s modern world of softphones and PC and mobile based technologies.

Often the biggest challenge is when something breaks and the IT team has to circle around, reacting to fix an issue none really has the confidence or experience of. This same team has to maintain, monitor and manage not only telephony, but the breadth of IT services and solutions serving the business.

The challenge with telephony over, for example, email services or most typical IT services is that it is real time and any degradation in packet quality is seen immediately from both ends of the spectrum, caller and recipient!  Send an email that gets delayed and more often than not neither end notices as it is seen as a transient communication method. A phone call is immediate real time two way communication, where any degradation in service results in packet loss and obvious call quality issues to those on the call.  Thus, have an issue on your PBX and find your breadth of users complaining about mid call line drops, sound quality (hissing or crackling) or issues making or receiving calls

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This situation is exaggerated quickly when you have multiple sites with local PBX’s and issues to manage on a wider scale. In today’s  demanding world to support customers demand for high quality service and response and staffs needs for more flexibility to work anytime, anywhere on any device a new approach is essential.

So along came VoiP and Cloud Telephony to deliver the common benefits of cloud from better resilience (uptime and performance), removal or reduction in capital costs, faster deployment, easier upgrades and scaling of usage.

In today’s world there is rarely a logical reason to deploy a traditional physical PBX. As we have already seen in the CRM world where now 50% of all new deployments globally are cloud based (and expected to soon reach 70% of all sales) once Cloud has proven its disruption it will grow fast.

So with Cloud telephony much of the challenge for the IT team in managing the telecoms for the business is taken away by the cloud provider, except the administration, provisioning and configuration of policies for the business.

The bigger question is should this even be with the IT team. Take Salesforce as a business application platform, is this managed by IT? They may have been involved in the initial procurement, providing a security review, a technical approval for fit for the business network and security models, but the day to day management revolves around the business needs.  Provisioning and decommissioning users, configuring data presentation (fields, reports, dashboards), managing business rules, helping users, etc – this falls under a Salesforce Administrator/team.

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So is telephony not an extension of this? A business service that should the technical complexity and implications be removed (using a cloud provider) is better placed being owned and managed by a business services admin as opposed to a technical IT support team.

Now take another thought initiative and consider integrating your Telephony and CRM, having customer and prospect data supporting the logic of voice interactions.

Imagine being able to inform a sales user that should a key customer be marked as ‘Gold’ category then their calls will automatically be put to the head of inbound call queues. That any new sales opportunity in the CRM over a target threshold value will automatically get priority support during their trial experience and bypass automated call recording triage processes. That if you put an account in your teams name that any of their inbound calls will automatically go to the sales rep allocated and then the call group for your team only.

The business and customer benefits are obvious in this day of a heightened buyer dynamic expecting and demanding high-quality customer service.

To enable this should it not be easy and intuitive for the same Salesforce Admin / team to manage the customer telephony in alignment with the CRM system?  Embedding the cloud telephony end to end inside of Salesforce itself is long overdue. This allows the utilisation of the same security model and all rich data to create a non-technically managed, customer centric phone system that is as flexible as Salesforce itself.

Telephony has been in the hands of the technical IT team out of necessity, not by choice. Now is the time you are able to choose to put it where it belongs, in the heart of customer centricity land aligned with customer service and sales.


Ian Moyse

Ian Moyse, is Sales Director at Natterbox, a Cloud Telephony provider and has over 30 years of experience in the IT Sector, with 25 of these in Leadership roles. He was named #1 on the top 100 cloud influencers list in 2015-2017 and #18 on the IOT influencers list.. He is recognised as a leading cloud Blogger and was listed in the EMEA top 50 influencers in Data Centres, Cloud & Data 2017. Ian can be followed on twitter here > In 2015 he was named 48th most connected on LinkedIn Worldwide and awarded a Linkedin Power Profile as a top 10 Influencer in the UK technology sector. Starting as a Systems Programmer at IBM in the mainframe environment, he has held senior positions in both large and smaller organisations including Senior Vice President for EMEA at CA and Managing Director of several UK companies.  Moyse has been keynote speaker at many events and runs one of the largest Channel Discussion Groups worldwide on LinkedIn. He sits on the board of Eurocloud UK and the Governance Board of the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and in early 2016 Ian was appointed to the Board of FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) as their cloud advisor. Other accolades to Ian's name include being awarded global 'AllBusiness Sales AllStar Award for 2010' and The 'European Channel Personality of the Year Award for 2011' and he was named by TalkinCloud as one of the global top 200 cloud channel experts in 2011 and listed on the MSPMentor top 250 list for 2011 which tracks the world's top managed services experts, entrepreneurs and executives. Ian was also given the accolade by Channelnomics of 2011 Influencer of the year for Europe Recognition: ✔ Sales Director of the Year 2015 (Institute of Sales & Marketing Awarded). ✔ Sits on the board Eurocloud UK & Governance Board of Cloud Industry Forum (CIF). ✔ 2014 Ranked 9th w/wide in top 50 most influential people in Sales Lead Management (SLMA) ✔ Klout Social Score 79 ✔ TalkinCloud global top 200 cloud channel experts 2011 ✔ Listed on MSPMentor Worldwide top 250 list for 2011 & 2014 ✔ Listed in top 25 of the w/wide SMB Nation 150 Channel Influencers list 2012 & 2013

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