This month our Mystery Caller wants to do something about the way his team are collaborating in and out of the office. There is no structure and his employees are using several different consumer services to get the job done. Although he likes the ‘free’ nature of the applications currently in use he realises they aren’t really getting the job done in the most efficient way as the process is so fragmented. He wants to know what is out there for him to connect with his roaming workforce and enable them to communicate with their office based colleagues so they are at their most productive.
I decided to call head quarters first and I was met with Sophie who listened to my problem and then promptly said she didn’t really understand what I was after. This stumped me, all I could do was reiterate what I said but talk a bit slower and use words with fewer syllables… which also happens to be my tactic for communicating abroad! Second time round she got it and transferred me to someone else. Unfortunately all I got was a voice mailbox… not a great start!
Undeterred by this false start I rang the regional number for London and got through to Mark, he instantly understood what I wanted a transferred me to the sales team. I was pretty much half way through explaining my situation for a third time when Simon the salesman pretty much shouted “Office 365” at me!
Simon didn’t beat around the bush, he said 365 would cover all of our needs and they were selling a metaphorical shed load of it at the moment. Between Skype for Business, OneDrive, Sharepoint and then our regular office tools there wasn’t a lot we couldn’t do with it. Simon told me they use 365 throughout the business and it’s great for those people in the office or those on the move.
I wanted a bit more on pricing but got a “it sort of depends” answer, everything Unified World generally do was through Vodafone so if we were looking for some mobiles they could potentially provide those and tie in the 365 with that which would give us a discount. If we didn’t want that then we would just end up paying retail for it directly from Microsoft.
Simon asked me a few questions regarding users and where we were based etc. I tried to pin him down on prices and he said for a generic user we are looking at around £15/m if we went with Vodafone. Generally they lead with Vodafone’s OneNet proposition and then tie in Office 365 but that would require quite a large refresh of the office phone system. Simon acknowledged this is quite a big step for businesses but it’s better to do the whole lot in one go. Simon then pointed out if we gave him the whole lot then we would have an account manager to support us which we wouldn’t get if we just choose the 365 option, although they implement it when it comes to the support we would be left at the mercy of Microsoft’s support team.
Helpfulness – 4/5 Manner – 4/5 Knowledge – 4/5 Understanding – 3/5 Sales Technique – 2/5 Clarity – 4/5
Total 21/30 – Decent call. Although this call got off to a false start, Simon saved the day! His knowledge of what Office 365 could do for a business was excellent and he understood the pain points we were experiencing. He even got me talking about replacing a phone system which I hadn’t asked him about. It would have been nice to have an alternative to Office 365, also it was interesting that he said we could potentially end up dealing with Microsoft if we didn’t take additional services from them.
Lee picked up the phone at Rock Networks and listened to my request. He said he knew who I needed to speak to and took my number so someone could give me a call back in five minutes when they were available… this didn’t happen.
The next morning I decided to try again. This time I was directed through to Craig who seemed a little suspicious. He asked how I came to find Rock Networks and I told him that I was on the Vodafone website and was looking at the OneNet proposition and I came through to their website.
Craig asked me a few questions about the size of the business and what our current set up was. I explained that about half of the staff are out on the road most of the time and we were looking at ways of connecting them back to the office based staff so they can engage in work via collaboration tools. Craig said OneNet would be something that could do that because it was essentially full integration of our phone system and mobiles.
Craig also asked me about our current set up with mobiles and I explained we all currently used our own devices and then billed the company back for the calls we make for the business. Craig was obviously a little baffled and explained the time we would save the finance team processing our claims and our time sifting through our bills each month would easily justify bringing the team under a business contract.
At this point Craig said he needed to leave the office and proceeded to take some details from me and explained he would call again the following day to discuss in more depth… after failing to call me back the first time I wasn’t going to hold my breath this time around.
Helpfulness – 2/5 Manner – 4/5 Knowledge – 3/5 Understanding – 3/5 Sales Technique – 2/5 Clarity – 3/5
Total 17/30 – Could do better. The scores for this call were low as the company failed to call me back after my initial enquiry and then when I did finally get someone I had five minutes of chat before Craig had to leave the office.
Boosh365 was a finalist at the Comms Business Awards last year in a few categories so I wanted to get a feel for the company. The website is sleek and I was met on their homepage with a video message from company director Mark Rose. In this message, Mark talks about his company, experience and what they offer the business community. It makes a change from the usual shoddy websites or even the overly corporate web pages I see every day. Also, he has instantly personalised his company and put his face behind the whole operation. I was eager to call these guys!
After a bit of explanation to the receptionist I was put on hold while the appropriate person was located for me to talk to. Interestingly, the on hold voice told me a lot of great things about Boosh365 and how they had been helping businesses for over nine years! Wow! That’s a long time, they must have also invented some sort of time machine because their website clearly states they were founded in 2012! Deciding not to dwell on the mathematical competence of the company I decided to press on with the call.
Gemma picked up the phone and was happy to listen to my request. Unfortunately Gemma seemed a little unsure of how to respond to me and just started rattling off the services they could offer. I said that Office 365 seemed like the obvious bet but I wanted to see what else was out there. Gemma said they do offer conferencing services via WebEx which was basically “conferencing for corporate” as she put it. Gemma asked me if it was just conferencing or did I want something else too. I reiterated my request again and explained I needed everything from conferencing through to collaboration across any device all in the same place.
I got asked what they would recommend and the “it depends” answer. I was running out of road in the conversation so I asked straight out what they would give us if we got Office 365 from them rather than going directly to Microsoft. Gemma said they could offer full IT support depending on our requirements which we wouldn’t get directly from Microsoft. I wasn’t getting a lot of information out of Gemma and I think I asked one too many questions because finally she explained she wasn’t really the expert but would send me some information and get someone to call me to go through things in more depth.
Total 14/30 Oops! Oh dear, what went wrong? After a promising start via the web it was all downhill afterwards. Gemma was clearly a bit out of her depth and although she did her best to address my questions she didn’t seem too sure what I was after exactly. She took my details and did explain that another member of staff would be of more help.
Varying responses this month. Simon from Unified World was head and shoulders above the rest of the field but it was very interesting his response to my question was simply “Office 365”. He had excellent knowledge of the product and how it would help solve a few of our business problems going forwards. Unfortunately I had a few issues with Boosh365 and Rock Networks. Getting a call back from Rock Networks was apparently too much effort and poor Gemma from Boosh365 wasn’t really equipped to deal with my request. If I was a real customer, I would have gone elsewhere.
1st Unified World
2nd Rock Networks