In this blog, Iain Sinnott – Head of International Carrier Sales, Enreach for Service Providers – shares his view with Comms Business about how the Telephony market will change in the coming years
I remain unconvinced that the deadline will actually be hit as there are too many critical lose ends outstanding to fully turn copper off, but the end of sale should stand as far warning to customers that change should be embraced. I think the focus needs to be on working with customers to not just substitute simple analogue services, but to also identify the key outcomes they need for their businesses in this new landscape, and how to exploit the smart technology available to achieve those outcomes.
There are many HR challenges which will positively fuel the adoption of modern communications tools. Retention of staff through the inclusion of workplace/hybrid working options is a maturing discussion.
In addition, in CX I see two potentially fast growing services that could potentially promote the greatest yield from the smallest sales-team headcount: wider adoption of voice and chat queues for customer facing teams (including in the SMB sector), and the adoption of AI in filtering low level FAQs out of the human workload.
However, to help sales teams increase the consumption of CX services, vendors need to share and provide their experience, to help navigate these new areas, including developing ecommerce self-service versions to support the customer discovery process.
AI and process flow tools for the SMB sector can make a massive difference now that the technology has matured, and with more business owners looking for lower costs options than their current people-heavy processes, we expect this area to continue to accelerate.
I also see the tools within mobile devices further eroding the value of the traditional handset, freeing up budget for other investments, such as better meeting room solutions and quality personal headsets. Plus, as users migrate further towards mobile for communications, collaboration and productivity tools, introducing full FMC will become a much bigger focus, enabling a more seamless process across different environments.
End customers remain focused on the service level they deliver to their own customers. So, I think the big difference is that the communications and IT service providers, and the tools we can deliver, are seen more clearly as potential assets in the creation of positive outcomes for our customers' customers. We need to take advantage of this change in interest to help ‘discover’ the best use of technology in each individual case, and this comes down to sales craft.
In the SMB space, the challenge is to ensure that products delivering customers desired outcomes are simple to deploy and adopt. Voice, meeting, collaboration and CX services need to be accessed through one application, on both laptops and mobile devices.
I think our industry is good at keeping pace with change and for those organisations mixing direct and indirect sales, I think the feedback loops have proven to be very beneficial. Perhaps the evolution needs to be focused on the way companies engage with the customer, reducing our obsession with the technology itself and developing a more skilled appreciation of outcomes that will produce the end customers ROI.
One truth does remain for those SPs offering a broad and necessarily complex portfolio of solutions; we need to ensure that complex services can be delivered and managed simply by our customers.
Read the full article on Comms Business p 20-24