September 30, 2015
ITEXPO Presenter Weighs In on Innovations in Communications
In this day of multi-channel communications, we sometimes overlook the importance of live interaction. Even millennials, who tend to prefer the self-service option, want a live and informed agent available to help if they get stuck during a transaction or when looking for information. As a result, the call center will maintain its relevance, as long as innovation remains at the forefront and industry trends are upheld through value-added features and seamless support.
This is an area where 3CLogic spends a lot of time. The company offers a full suite of inbound, outbound and blended call center solutions that reside in the cloud, enabling clients to select solutions that fit their needs and scale according to shifts in demand. With a focus on increased contact rates and improved agent productivity, 3CLogic is shaking up an industry once steeped in limited technology and stagnant processes with innovative, cloud-based solutions.
Still, as much as we continue to see cloud innovations delivering value, accessibility and expansion opportunities for companies of all sizes, there are quite a few that limit their movement into the cloud due to a lack of understanding, fear or a simple hesitation to make change. 3CLogic aims to change this trend and president Raj Sharma will be on hand at this year’s ITEXPO event to share the latest in communications in the cloud and an honest examination of both the cloud and in-house options so company leaders can make the best decisions going forward.
In a recent interview with TMC’s Rich Tehrani, Sharma also shared his insight on the adoption of unified communications, collaboration, network security, wearable tech, WebRTC and so much more. At ITEXPO, he’s excited to see Skype for Business in action now that Microsoft has rebranded Lync and business users latching onto a platform that was once feared due to lack of control and the ability to monitor.
Check out his interview in full below:
- Have we finally reached an inflection point with Unified Communications adoption? What is driving or hindering the market?
Yes, we have passed the tipping point and the momentum is gaining speed. The main driver is consumer expectations around multi-channel communications as an integrated and consistent offering from the businesses with which they interact. However, Contact Centers are hesitant to change or upgrade to a UC platform due to the potential cost and training related to any new platform adoption.
- How do you feel collaboration software/services are helping workers today? Productivity is increased and Customer Satisfaction is improved (due to the ability to communicate based on their own preference) which allows for the Contact Center worker’s role to be easier, more pleasant, yet effective.
- Has corporate awareness of security threats increased over the past year? Have security practices been adjusted as a result?
Absolutely. As liability transitions to every layer of the communications onion (main Company, Contact Center, communications platform provider, carrier), each player is gaining awareness of their vulnerabilities and how they must address them. Whether liability is legal, financial, or just business relationship-driven, the consciousness of it is the driving force of change. In fact, the massive growth in cyber-security is a good indicator. Case in point, the Cyber Security Market is expected to reach $170B by 2020 by a MarketsandMarkets study. As a result, pro-active partners are gaining relationship capital by being ahead of the game and helping their partners.
- If your mobile device had integrated software that allowed you to separate your business and personal apps, would you use it? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Nobody wants to carry two devices, but everyone is conscious of the separation necessary between professional and personal activity. By having separate communications and social media personas, a person can support the distinction and avoid unintended crossover.
- How is cloud computing shaking up your product/service offerings?
3CLogic is a true cloud solution built completely on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in conjunction with our own distributed software architecture (VTAG). We were the first evangelists in the Contact Center space and have led the charge ever since. In many ways, cloud computing is not shaking our product/service offering but rather the call center environment we operate in. The majority of the audience we cater to is still very much dependent on old legacy servers and platforms but increasingly looking to migrate to cloud to benefit from the reliability, scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency it provides.
- Are channel partners keeping up with the latest products and services or is more training required?
It depends on who you speak with. Many large channel partners are still married to the relationships they share with the larger service providers (Cisco, Avaya, etc.). And yet, we are seeing an increasing amount of interest for cloud-based call center solutions driven by customer demand and inquiry. At this stage, more training is required, both in the business operations aspects as well as technology
- Samsung Mobile is making a direct move into the enterprise market with its latest line of corporate-centric devices. Can Samsung successfully take the corporate market share that once belonged to BlackBerry or will the enterprise mobile market remain entirely fragmented?
I believe Samsung can take the market share, especially if they have a neutral or positive relationship with Google/Android as they do it. Nobody else has the breadth of exposure and the innovation to pull it off.
- What, if any, wearable tech products do you use? How do they make you more productive?
I am hoping to get iWatch as a Christmas gift this year. I hope my wife reads this.
- Will wearable tech become a major enterprise technology? What will drive or hinder adoption?
It will take years for wearable tech to become a major enterprise technology. Enterprises will first look for tangible ROI for wearable tech. And then there are a lot of security issues around wearable tech that will have to be worked out. By definition, wearable tech will communicate with other devices wirelessly, which poses its own sets of security threats and issues which the IT departments will have to get comfortable with.
- WebRTC went through a very significant hype cycle. Will its use cases and adoption live up to that hype?
Not only will it live up to it, it will far surpass it as it becomes the primary communications standard for all inter-human interaction, replacing VoIP and its predecessors in the coming years. The most telling aspect of its inception is the fact that Google / Microsoft / Apple made it versus Verizon and AT&T. Communications is now an aspect of ‘the data driven world’ and not a standalone industry.
- What technology has had the greatest impact on your ability to perform your job in the past year? Explain.
Remote collaboration (voice / video / computer sharing) has changed how we work together by becoming a staple of business versus a cutting edge.
- What technology has had the greatest impact on your personal life in the past year? Explain.
WebRTC has had the greatest impact on my personal life because it is around us and we don’t even realize we are using it. For instance, I use Chromecast at home and in my office all the time to project my browser on a TV screen. Chromecast uses WebRTC, but I don’t think of WebRTC every time I project my presentation on a screen or watch a YouTube video on a TV screen. It is technologies that get deployed non-intrusively, and yet have a major impact on our daily lives that are most successful and exciting.
- What innovations do you expect to see in the business communications world in the next year?
Wider adoption of integrated communications into core business systems, following the 3CLogic model of being ‘the best communications engine for your successful business model’.
- What are you looking forward to at ITEXPO Anaheim?
Microsoft has completely rebranded Lync. I am looking forward to seeing Skype for Business in action at ITEXPO Anaheim, which reflects the fruits of this rebranding effort. When Skype first came out, it was feared in the Enterprise because of its roots in P2P technology. A lot of Enterprises ended up blocking Skype traffic because it was impossible to monitor, control and manage. It is going to be interesting to see a brand hat was once feared and blocked to now being fearlessly and openly positioned in the Enterprise.
- Why should attendees come to your session/visit your booth?
Enterprise customers are having real debates about whether to move to cloud, stay with premise based equipment or adopt a hybrid model. My sessions will cover the pros and cons of each approach and also share practical approaches to decision making that we have seen our customers adopt. Call Centers have traditionally lagged behind their PBX brethren in adopting VoIP technology and moving the ACD to the cloud. We may be at a point where Call Centers can learn from the examples of PBX deployments in the cloud, and actually accelerate the migration of ACDs to the cloud.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere