IP Technology Distribution

The Value of Third-party Call Control

Value of Third-party Call Control Applications Relies on Creativity, Customization

We did not want you to miss some of what can be done here... For IP PBXs the key differenciator is the application your customer needs.The ABP Team

By TMCnet Special Guest
Diana Hudson, Marketing Director, Blue Crossing

Mario Cuello, President and CEO of Epygi (News - Alert) Technologies, gave an informative presentation on IP-PBX and Computer Technology Integration to the audience of IT professionals and software developers who were gathered at CeBIT (News - Alert) Australia to learn about the latest in emerging business technologies. His talk focused on the possible opportunities of dynamic VoIP applications when technical collaboration is guided by an understanding of how a specific vertical market works.

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CTI (News - Alert) can help a business improve its communications and customer service, said Cuello. Introducing the IP-PBX makes those efficiencies available to the SMB at a cost effective level.

CTI allows a computer to initiate and manage phone calls in a variety of ways. Key features that can provide real value are automatic call distribution (ACD), advanced interactive voice response (IVR) and voice recognition.

ACD is a computerized phone system that responds to the caller with a voice menu and connects them to the appropriate agent, even including information about the caller. ACDs are an essential element for call centers and are widely used in service departments.

Smaller call centers are excellent candidates for this feature, Cuello said.

Advanced IVR allows a caller to access a database or enter information by means of a touch tone phone. No human interface is required since the IVR system predetermines what a user can do. Voice recognition allows a program to recognize and carry out voice commands. More sophisticated software has allowed the recognition of natural speech for greater opportunities. The SMB can now offer answers to FAQs, order status, and client specific information when these applications are customized for their business.

Law offices and medical practices are potential verticals for these features that a reseller would do well to target, advised Cuello. After hours patient care is greatly enhanced. A physician's returned call to his patient can be recorded, the doctor's phone number can be hidden and there is the ability for the doctor to leave an administrative message for his staff for next day follow-up.

Law offices can also benefit from a call accounting feature. Their phones can interact with third party accounting software to code client calls for billable hours. Linking to CRM software allows attorneys and their staff to link to the client profile when that client calls in.

Cuello noted that resellers, like the SMBs they serve, are looking for ways to differentiate themselves competitively. The SMB end-user can now access the same tools that give an edge to the enterprise niche.

Resellers can differentiate themselves by understanding how these applications can help a company do business in a revolutionary way, Cuello said. He recommended these tips for success:
Help your customer understand that IP-PBX's (News - Alert) make these applications easier for them to access and improve their overall communication activities.
Keep it affordable for the SMB.
Make it easier on yourself by relying on third party alliances to offer a service that you don't. It makes for greater efficiencies.
Be alert for vertical markets. It's a way to brand your company and it is another way to avoid reinventing the wheel.
Great opportunities abound for dealers and software developers. Good partnerships are even more valuable than before.

Diana Hudson is Marketing Director at Blue Crossing.

This posting really highlights that the value is in the integration and in the intelligence the final application will have. The power to change the call flow and the look and feel of applications empowers Resellers to affect their customers bottom line and improve productivity. There may be less profits in hardware but there is a lot more value in solutions create that the reseller needs to claim credit for and charge for. TS Max

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