Get a Good View of Call Costs say Alcatel-Lucent

Nigel Jones, business development director, Alcatel-Lucent , says that in today’s communication environment, every customer needs a good view on how to control call costs, as well as a more ‘joined up’ outlook on how their communications solutions are supporting the business as a whole.

“Trends indicate a move towards a ‘management dashboard’ approach which, at a glance, can show historical and real-time data across many criteria. While cost control is still king when demonstrating how a customer’s investment turns into hard ROI, discussions also centre on lowering the total cost of ownership of a complete solution. This means reducing the number of call management ‘boxes’ that hang off the telephony platform and the ability to centralise functions such as directories, which can then be shared across all applications including call management. Call statistics and trends have always been a key focus in the contact centre environment – now we’re seeing best practices from the contact centre space being introduced into general business telephony.

“Clear opportunities now exist for resellers to take a more holistic approach with customers – for instance, leading with the hard ROI return of basic call management, but through a more integrated approach, opens up new service opportunity by delivering an end-to-end solution for the customer. Such an approach could even open up to mobilising a call management dashboard onto smartphones via the web, displaying overall service performance and not just call records.

“Delivering higher value services whilst reducing overhead management costs demands tighter integration to the IP communications platform. One area that can benefit from rich CTI integration is call recording – simply connecting call recorders trunk side can serve a purpose, – however, customer demand now calls for more control and better granularity of management of voice recording systems. Compliance in market segments such as Payment Card Industries is one area that is driving this demand, but ultimately gives resellers better service upsell and stickiness with the customer.

“Email management and control is also emerging as a key priority – what was previously a hit and miss approach in many organisations is now attracting serious scrutiny as companies offer email as a primary contact media of choice for many customers. Having the optimum email view has become just as important as voice – particularly in terms of service performance and staff utilisation – and contact centre technology solutions can now be deployed in non-classic situations to provide organisations with better management visibility across multiple media, helping the entire business to thrive.

“It is evident that resellers need to approach call management and call recording from a new dimension, extending beyond simple call cost management and basic voice recording. Taking practical steps to understand how communications management is playing a key role across fundamental business processes will open up new revenue opportunity for resellers. Securing solutions that help customers monitor their costs and measure business performance more easily will then ultimately ensure buy-in from the main decision-makers.”