Telcoinabox Blog

Unified-Communications.png

Unified Communications as a Service

Posted by Jo Conder on 07-Nov-2018 09:00:00

The definitive guide to Hosted Voice. 

The UK and a changing telecommunications landscape.

Substantial technology progress

Telecommunications services have hit record-high levels of penetration for both residential and businesses users; but most importantly, we are benefiting from faster ‘fixed’ networks. As well as terrestrial connectivity; 5G is on the horizon for 2020, which is a game changer due to high bandwidth and incredibly low latency on this new mobile technology.  So, what does this mean for the UK Market and the ever-shifting telecommunications landscape?

The improved availability of these services, as well as the eventual shut down of the traditional copper network by 2025[1], are the main forces behind businesses moving to hosted voice solutions. Industry analysts and market research has predicted that there will be a 9.8% growth of this technology in the next 4 years [2] and we are already starting to see these market shifts in conversations with our partners.

The changing face of the workplace

The speed that technology has evolved, means that business people are able to not only take their work
 

around the city as they move from meeting to meeting, or home in the evening; but they are also able to carry out these tasks and remain cost-effectively connected with their colleagues. In fact, over 50% of UK workers work outside the main office for 2.5 days a week or more. [3]

Its clear then that a full Unified Communications solution is going to be needed – for businesses of any size - to succeed in our hyper-connected and professionally competitive world.  Businesses and users will need to be available from anywhere on any device to facilitate flexible and international working,

Real business challenges – Solved

Hosted phone systems are replacing traditional desk phones and are taking advantage of today’s high-grade connectivity and integrated mobile technology. The next evolution of this is ‘Unified Communications as a Service’ (UCaaS) – where users can take calls on mobiles and use a variety of integrated applications to help them work with colleagues – no matter where they are. The main reasons why a company would be compelled to move to a Hosted Voice service are:

  • Savings: Remove the need for ISDN services and use more cost-effective network connectivity like broadband
  • Simplicity: Easy and quick user administration and better user self-service options
  • Productivity: Provide the tools that allow people to communicate easily through instant messaging and conferencing tool
  • Security: Built in security at each network layer, including encryption of calls and fraudulent call monitoring
  • Low CapEx: Minimal upfront investment, even on new hardware and no charges for maintenance contracts like old on-premises systems.

Artboard 1 copy-2

Regardless of where you fall on this scale, hiring a vendor that offers the full suite of VoIP add-on features can transform your business communications. A few popular add-ons to consider include:

 
  • Data Integration: Voicemail-to-email transcription, click to dial from browser and email clients, track and manage calls with CRM integration
  • Mobility: switching seamlessly between your mobile and desk phone, using your existing mobile as though you are in the office even presenting your Direct Dial In (DDI) number
  • Contact Centre Management: For contact centres or high call volume businesses, manage calls and queues via wallboards
  • Interactive Voice Recognition: Smarter call routing powered by intelligence built into the system, to help calls reach the right destination quicker
  • Chat: For internal and external communications, which may be integrated with your customer relationship management (CRM) tool
  • Conferencing: Using both voice and video, utilise an unlimited conferencing bridge and share secure joining and login details with customers and suppliers.

Customer use cases matched to technology options

This is where Telcoinabox comes in. We work with all manner of partners throughout the UK; all with different target customers, in different communities with varying requirements for their telecommunications services. This means that as an aggregator we need to provide a host of cost-effective and flexible solutions to suit all these different customers.

Blog-Image-1

We’ve designed our product portfolio around common types of businesses and the way they use hosted voice technology, which allows our partners to pitch different solutions for different types of businesses and budgets. Let’s look at the different types of customers that our agnostic product portfolio can support [4].

 

Good

Better

Best

 

A cost-effective solution for businesses that have a basic voice and network requirements.

A mid-range solution for businesses that need bundled calls, high-quality handsets and stable networks.

An enterprise-grade solution for businesses with high call volumes, need 24x7 support and see their voice service as a critical part of doing business.

Size

1-20 staff

20-50 staff

50 or more staff

Locations

1 location

2 locations

3 or more locations

Target Budget

£20/user/month

£25/user/month

£30/user/month

Roaming users

None

Some

Many

Functionality

  • Make/Receive Calls
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Extension Dialling
  • Call Hold, Forward, Transfer
  • Speed Dial
  • Do Not Disturb (DND)
  • Office Intercom
  • Handset
  • Make/Receive Calls
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Extension Dialling
  • Call Hold, Forward, Transfer
  • Speed Dial
  • Do Not Disturb (DND)
  • Office Intercom
  • Handset
  • Voice & Video Conferencing
  • Instant Message
  • Presence
  • Desktop Softphone
  • Make/Receive Calls
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Extension Dialling
  • Call Hold, Forward, Transfer
  • Speed Dial
  • Do Not Disturb (DND)
  • Office Intercom
  • Handset
  • Voice & Video Conferencing
  • Instant Message
  • Presence
  • Desktop Softphone
  • Mobile Softphone
  • Mobile Integration
  • PCI Compliant Call Recording

Connectivity

Can be shared, if bandwidth available

Dedicated network

Dedicated private network

Quality & Stability 

Similar voice quality as a mobile call

Higher quality due to dedicated network

Best quality due to dedicated private network that doesn’t touch the internet

 The difference between VoIP & UCaaS

It’s often confusing for customers with so many different terminologies for similar technologies. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This term is correct to describe the technology, however its received some bad press over the years. A lot of this can be attributed to the internet services it was run across not being as stable or fast as we have access to now. A professional UCaaS implementation is at the other end of the scale. It often runs over separate private networks and also offers better functionality for business than VoIP.

Commercial flexibility

Image-again

We recognise that while not all our Partners’ customers are the same – and neither are our Partners. For this reason, we’ve kept our products as modular as possible, allowing you to choose the pricing constructs that suit you and your customers. 

Advanced Product Flexibility

We want to remove the barriers to sale for Partners

 

and recognise that some businesses will want the flexibility to choose their customers’ configurations. Likewise, this flexibility is required for mid-size to large businesses.

Prescribed Plans

For SPs who are newer to selling Hosted Voice services, we will benchmark plans against competitors in this space. These plans will cover small to mid-size businesses in a /per user/mth packaged format with financed hardware to keep up fronts to a minimum. We will come up with ‘hero’ plans that are competitive, perfect for customers that have basic phone requirements.

Focus on working with your customers, not telecoms operations

One of the differences of being a Telcoinabox partner is not having to worry about employing your own provisioning, support and billing staff – we do all of that for you. We’ll work with your end users, even answering the phone with your brand to assist them with enquiries any time of day.

 Aside from the financial benefits of not having to employ staff, you also don’t need to create products, agree to strict carrier commercial terms that often have prohibitive minimum spends or build portals and connect with various supplier APIs. This means that you can focus on what you do best; creating relationships and matching businesses with the correct Telecommunications service for them.

Sources:

[1] www.theregister.co.uk/2018/04/19/bt_pushes_ahead_with_plans_to_switch_of_traditional_telephone_network/ [2] www.telnyx.com/voip-trends-2017/ [3] www.regus.co.uk/work-uk/the-workplace-revolution/ [4] The above is an example of a customer type and the technologies they may need. It is not an example of a fully bundled offering

Topics: Telecommunications, Telcoinabox, technical support, sme, small business, customer support, Telecoms Market, Cloud

Author:Jo Conder

Recent Posts

Subscribe to our blog