A Glimpse into the fu­ture of Cloud Tele­phony in In­dia

Voice&Data - - COVER STORY -

Are you a startup? An es­tab­lished SMB? Or a multi-mil­lion dol­lar MNC ? If there is one New Age com­mu­ni­ca­tion plat­form that has un­am­bigu­ously man­aged to con­nect and serve busi­nesses of any size and seg­ment, that is cloud tele­phony. The past 7 years has seen ex­po­nen­tial adap­ta­tion and growth of cloud tele­phony across In­dia. Above all the most sig­nif­i­cant rea­son why com­pa­nies are com­fort­able in mov­ing their en­tire phone sys­tem to the cloud is mo­bil­ity and scal­a­bil­ity. Af­ter all, which busi­ness wouldn’t want a fu­tur­is­tic busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tion plat­form which re­quires no hard­ware or soft­ware pur­chases, leaves no wired-mess, is fully com­pat­i­ble with their present in­fra­struc­ture – and all of this at a cost-sav­ing rate? Of­course cloud tele­phony com­pa­nies have in­no­vated var­i­ous add-on fea­tures to make their flag­ships unique – such as Big V Tele­com’s home­grown Quan­tifi­ca­tion of Ad­ver­tise­ment which al­lows busi­nesses to mea­sure and op­ti­mize their mar­ket­ing chan­nels us­ing sim­ple prin­ci­ples of cloud tele­phony. How­ever, de­spite the grow­ing prospects and seem­ingly bright fu­ture of this mar­ket, we at Big V Tele­com strongly be­lieve that cloud tele­phony needs to be­come even more flex­i­ble, that is, they must be able to in­te­grate and blend with other in­no­va­tive plat­forms. The tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try at large is con­stantly shift­ing with the rise of new plat­forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tions. For in­stance, the rapid rise of What­sApp, So­cial Me­dia and In­ter­net Of Thing (IoT) or M2M com­mu­ni­ca­tions is dras­ti­cally chang­ing the way con­sumers com­mu­ni­cate and busi­nesses have be­gun to take no­tice. Here are a few po­ten­tial up­grades that we at Big V feel are es­sen­tial fea­tures that cloud tele­phony prod­ucts must in­cor­po­rate in no later than 2016: Voice An­a­lyt­ics: Busi­nesses in­vest heav­ily in Mar­ket re­search and busi­ness re­search to un­der­stand con­sumer be­hav­ior and are al­ways crav­ing for quan­tifi­able in­sights through an­a­lyt­ics. But more than the data col­lected, what matters is the man­ner in which the re­spon­dents pro­vide the data. This re­quires voice an­a­lyt­ics. While third party firms have usu­ally dom­i­nated this seg­ment where tra­di­tional phone sys­tems were used, the growth of cloud tele­phony pro­vides a unique op­por­tu­nity to in­te­grate voice an­a­lyt­ics to the al­ready ex­ten­sive call an­a­lyt­ics. Prod­ucts like YOCC are uniquely placed to pro­vide such in­te­grated fa­cil­i­ties and open up a new ver­ti­cal to help busi­nesses un­der­stand con­sumers. M2M com­mu­ni­ca­tion: Ma­chine to Ma­chine (M2M) com­mu­ni­ca­tion or In­ter­net of Things (IoT) is quickly gain­ing its foothold in the In­dian mar­ket. They fo­cus on pro­vid­ing con­trol of smart de­vices and ma­chines us­ing web­sites and mo­bile apps. It also in­cludes au­to­mated alerts to users on these de­vices. Cloud tele­phony prod­ucts such as Big V’s YOCC (Your Own Con­tact Cen­tre) can eas­ily tap into this seg­ment and pro­vide au­to­ma­tion through phone calls, missed calls and SMS. It can serve as an al­ter­na­tive, as M2M ceases to work when there’s no in­ter­net avail­abil­ity. Fur­ther­more, this mode of com­mand will be in­su­lated from ris­ing data tar­iff charges. On­line mes­sag­ing in­te­gra­tion: While cloud tele­phony be­gan with only tra­di­tional tele­phonic and mes­sag­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion, it must in­te­grate on­line plat­forms for bulk calls, alerts and no­ti­fi­ca­tions. These in­clude pop­u­lar plat­forms such as What­sApp and Snapchat, which more and more com­pa­nies wish to use as part of their mo­bile mar­ket­ing strat­egy. Dig­i­tal plat­form sup­port: So­cial Me­dia and On­line Ads have be­gun to show dom­i­nat­ing signs and glimpses into what will be the fu­ture of ad­ver­tis­ing at large. Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing has grown at al­most par­al­lel pace with cloud tele­phony and we feel they can be ex­cep­tional part­ners. When cloud tele­phony ser­vices pro­vide one-click in­te­gra­tion with dig­i­tal plat­forms, it would truly be­come a fu­tur­is­tic com­mu­ni­ca­tion avail­able in the present. While prod­ucts like YOCC al­ready pro­vide such fa­cil­i­ties which even al­low firms to quan­tify their leads and rev­enues from on­line plat­forms, a click-to-call fea­ture would take it miles ahead. In­dia are less pro­duc­tive than their more de­vel­oped coun­ter­parts across the world, be­cause they de­ploy lesser amount of tech­nol­ogy. Eas­ily avail­able en­ter­prise grade tech­nol­ogy for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons - cost, use case, etc - are not suit­able for them, avers Gupta of Knowl­ar­ity, and thus they have adopted cloud tele­phony.

Ad­van­tages of Cloud Tele­phony

If you had to set up your own phone sys­tem, it would in­volve procur­ing EPABX boxes or servers, get­ting PRI lines pro­vi­sioned and to top it all, you need to spend a lot of time, ef­fort and money on main­te­nance. At Ex­o­tel, there is a team which mon­i­tors the health of the servers, tele­phone lines and takes ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion if there are any is­sues. We also keep a close watch on the ca­pac­ity of the servers and phone lines as well as ad­di­tional re­sources as and when it is re­quired.

Mar­ket in In­dia

Cloud tele­phony mar­ket in In­dia is ex­pand­ing grad­u­ally and has a huge po­ten­tial in a de­vel­op­ing coun­try like In­dia. With the in­creas­ing aware­ness about cloud tech­nol­ogy and the grow­ing num­ber of star­tups, most of the busi­nesses are shift­ing to­wards cloud tele­phony for ef­fi­cient call man­age­ment and ef­fec­tive busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Ear­lier, cloud tele­phony was re­stricted only to BPOs as con­tact cen­tre. But now, busi­nesses as well as the govern­ment have started re­al­iz­ing its value. Ir­re­spec­tive of the na­ture of the busi­nesses and the tech­nol­ogy that they have adopted, call man­age­ment is an in­dis­pens­able part of all busi­nesses. In this era of glob­al­iza­tion, busi­nesses are go­ing in­ter­na­tional from a sin­gle of­fice. Cloud tele­phony is pro­vid­ing

the most eco­nom­i­cal and ef­fi­cient tool to com­mu­ni­cate world­wide.

Sim­i­lar to the re­place­ment of land­line phones with mo­bile phones, tra­di­tional PBX sys­tem will soon be re­placed by cloud tele­phony. Var­i­ous sec­tors like e-com­merce, hospi­tal­ity, star­tups, travel, govern­ment and in­sti­tu­tional sec­tor have opened up huge busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for the cloud tele­phony ser­vices. In the com­ing years, In­dia will wit­ness steep rise in cloud tele­phony sec­tor and is go­ing to be one of the most im­por­tant busi­ness tools.

The Ben­e­fits

Cloud tele­phony is a pocket-friendly so­lu­tion. Both the pub­lic and pri­vate cloud tele­phony ser­vices have their own ad­van­tages.

Pub­lic cloud tele­phony helps busi­nesses to ex­pand across the na­tion. One of the ma­jor ad­van­tages of us­ing cloud tele­phony is that it breaks the lan­guage and lo­ca­tion bar­rier. Pub­lic cloud tele­phony is a cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion as it does not re­quire any main­te­nance and in­fras­truc­tural costs.

Also, the upgra­da­tion cost is man­aged by the ser­vice provider. The only cost com­pany bears is the cost of phones and equip­ments which is reasonably low. Pub­lic cloud tele­phony is easy to scale and de­ploys new ap­pli­ca­tions. It can be added to the sub­scrip­tion cost, as and when re­quired.

On other hand, pri­vate cloud tele­phony has a lower monthly op­er­at­ing cost over a long pe­riod of time as monthly sub­scrip­tion cost is not ap­pli­ca­ble to pri­vate cloud tele­phony. It pro­vides bet­ter in­te­gra­tion op­tions with other ser­vices in your net­work as these types of sys­tems tend to op­er­ate with mid­dle­ware or com­puter tele­phony in­te­gra­tion op­tions, which you may not see on the ma­jor­ity of man­aged plat­forms. The pri­vate cloud tele­phony helps in de­vel­op­ing own in­te­gra­tion APIs.

Boost­ing Ver­ti­cals

Cloud tele­phony is the need of the hour in In­dia, ir­re­spec­tive of the na­ture of busi­ness. It is a tech­nol­ogy that uses a vir­tual num­ber to con­nect var­i­ous de­part­ments and lo­ca­tions, and pro­vides var­i­ous call man­age­ment fea­tures. Tra­di­tion­ally, busi­nesses were re­stricted only to fam­ily busi­ness. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion used to hap­pen over a land­line phone and a sin­gle call can be at­tended with one de­vice. The prob­a­bil­ity of miss­ing the call was higher.

Look­ing at the cur­rent sce­nario, it is im­per­a­tive for a busi­ness to reach their au­di­ence be­yond one city. This raises the need of cloud tele­phony in the tra­di­tional busi­nesses. The key fea­tures like, “toll­free num­ber” and “vir­tual num­bers” have made the busi­nesses more accessible to cus­tomers. It is im­por­tant for busi­nesses to have a point of con­tact for their cus­tomers and at the same time han­dle mul­ti­ple calls. Af­ter BPO came into ex­is­tence, cloud tele­phony was used mainly in the call cen­ters.

Pen­e­tra­tion of in­ter­net in the busi­nesses has given birth to many e-com­merce plat­forms, and hence a startup ecosys­tem. The e-com­merce and startup in­dus­try is grow­ing by leaps and bounds with the help of call man­age­ment fea­tures like IVR, bulk SMS and re­mar­ket­ing.

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