Helping businesses meet their UC and CC needs

Andy Jones, chief revenue officer at TelXL, talks to Comms Business about how channel partners can help businesses meet their UC and CC needs.

Almost half of businesses surveyed are currently evaluating a UC and/or CC provider switch in 2024, according to a study by Metrigy. This growing trend has been driven by the accelerated adoption of UC and CC technology due to the Covid-19 pandemic and SaaS contracts typically expiring after three years.

Added to that, cloud technologies are maturing fast, with features that weren’t around three years ago now readily available, thus prompting companies to now review their options.

Andy Jones, chief revenue officer at TelXL, explained, “All this is being driven by an underlying increased awareness of how flexible technology needs to be to meet customer expectations.

“In part, there has been a trend of overpaying for overly comprehensive product suites that bundled features not yet understood or utilised by less established or informal contract centres.

“An example of this would be AI systems – early adopters have had to let the technology catch up with the marketing, so 2024/25 will be where any actual productivity gains are measured. This was exacerbated in part by a lack of access to, or consultation from the VAR/vendor that supplied the solution.”

Greater customer requirements

Jones identified three core customer requirements or expectations of UC and CC providers that have become standard nowadays. They are: flexibility, integration and ease of use.

In terms of flexibility, businesses may not necessarily need feature-rich deployments from day one. It’s more important to be able to scale incrementally and be billed based on usage, especially for cost-conscious businesses balancing the financial uncertainty of recent years.

Where integration is concerned, there’s a potential for data-sharing between systems, not just within the CC itself, but across departments such as finance and HR. A well-integrated CC will provide simplified billing and administration, as well as enabling the business to be more collaborative, thereby, saving hours of manual reporting and analysis.

Additionally, new systems or processes that disrupt business as usual are a productivity killer – particularly for users who are resistant to change. Therefore, minimising barriers to adoption is critical.

If new software designed to optimise systems or processes is inflexible or hard to use, it will be received negatively, affecting staff wellbeing and, thus, productivity, customer outcomes and, ultimately, profitability. To address the issue, well-designed UI is required, alongside training and development that reassures users their roles are valued, to maximise buy-in.

Ahead of the curve

Jones said that greater demand for convenience had resulted in digitalisation of sales and service and greater investment in NPD to stay ahead of the curve. But, he added, that there’s still work to be done to support customers in this regard.

“The contact centre market is in a state of maturation,” said Jones. “Customer expectations of seamlessness and convenience are at an all-time high – with 75 per cent of customers desiring consistent experience, regardless of the channel they use. This has led to a digital revolution in service and sales, and record investment of resources by suppliers into product development to maintain competitiveness.

“Direct selling providers should be building relationships with system integrators to grow capabilities that expand the feature-set, but also deliver interdepartmental data sharing, allowing for a one hand to shake approach. Vendors that operate indirectly through the Channel must do the same, but also should be ensuring their support network and collateral enables buy-in at the reseller or MSP level, aligning the solution with the needs of the customer base.”