How is cloud driving modern digitalisation within enterprise communications?
23 April 2019 | Al Castle
Due to the rapid pace of technology updates and innovations, the way enterprises are communicating with customers is evolving. Both the rules for businesses and expectations from customers have changed.
Today’s customers are increasingly demanding greater flexibility and a more seamless user experience. As a result, enterprises are relying on new, innovative technology advances to stay nimble and ensure they can meet these expectations.
More and more enterprises are prioritising the digital transformation of their communication solutions as a way to meet customer preferences and strengthen their position in the industry. Digitalisation, or the use of digital technologies to change one’s business model and move toward a digital business, can help streamline internal workflows, foster collaboration and improve the customer experience. Due to its various benefits, digital transformation is rapidly growing in the enterprise space. Analyst firm IDC predicted that this year, 40 percent of all technology spending will go toward digital transformations, with enterprises spending in excess of $2 trillion.
Enterprises that are looking to achieve digital transformation to meet their customers changing needs are evaluating cloud-based communication services and searching for service providers that can support this transition. As Nemertes Research shared in a Q4 2018 whitepaper: "…Communications services are often at the heart of digital transformation efforts; delivering new ways of engaging with customers, new channels for service delivery, and improvements to internal processes and collaboration."
As a result of enterprises’ needs for more agile cloud-based communication solutions, communication service providers (CSPs) are feeling the pressure from the more customer-centric, on-demand economy, and are leveraging cloud-based innovations to adapt. Innovative CSPs are integrating cloud solutions to improve telecom offerings, such as access to telecom APIs or bringing contact centers to the cloud. Enterprises migrating to cloud-based providers can take advantage of these benefits, as well as reduce their own IT costs and offer increased flexibility to their customers.
Here are some best practices enterprises should consider when evaluating digitalisation options and selecting the right CSP:
- Understand your customers’ digital transformation needs: Consumers expect their needs to be met quickly and if not, they’ll move toward competing options. CSPs that leverage cloud-based innovations can easily integrate customer engagement capabilities such as calling, messaging or reporting options into their existing applications, and foster collaboration among customers to create a more tailored experience. Additionally, CSPs offering cloud-based services are able to easily scale offerings as customer engagement preferences change, which builds brand loyalty and diversifies solutions for customers.
- APIs foster speed and scalability: When selecting the right CSP, there are fewer things more important than speed. Given the increased availability of cloud-based voice and messaging services, enterprises can now provision telecom resources quicker and more efficiently than before. For example, telecom services such as porting of phone numbers that used to take months can now be completed almost instantly through API integration. Additionally, through customisable API offerings, developers are able to scale operations and services to meet customer preferences and easily automate services such as call routing, adding calling or messaging capabilities, as well as other product rollouts or updates.
- High quality service equates to customer loyalty: In today’s competitive landscape, enterprises can’t afford to have mediocre service. For example, if a call drops or if there is jitter during a meeting or customer support interaction, the impacts can be detrimental to the business and its reputation. It is important to choose a service provider that can offer high quality carrier-grade voice and messaging services for customers regardless of location. Additionally, as the workforce continues to embrace collaboration through virtual meeting spaces, as seen with the launch of Avaya’s recent cloud-based huddle room, quality of voice and calls remain a key requirement to ensure lasting success.
- Increased control of telecom resources enables improved flexibility and security: Control and accessibility to telecom resources allow enterprises to provide customers with an enhanced user experience. Further, enterprises who have control to monitor and analyse telecom resources such as phone number and call data can leverage AI and machine learning capabilities to improve efficiency and security of current processes, as well as future planning. For example, through access to a variety of telecom APIs, enterprises can directly control and monitor inbound and outbound calling records, which offers benefits to security and customer experience. Both examples create an overall improved customer experience, minimising delays or fraud, and by easily enabling customised integration.
As more enterprises pivot toward digitalisation to remain competitive and stay ahead of customer demands, it is important they select the right CSP to ensure that transition is both secure and seamless, and that they can secure all the benefits the cloud can offer.
Al is the vice president of product and engineering at Flowroute, a West Company. He brings more than 15 years of operational experience in software engineering and B2B SaaS platform management. Prior to joining Flowroute, Castle was the director of engineering at Motorola Solutions, where he built and launched the organisation’s first SaaS platform and IoT enterprise software system in less than five months.
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