Robin Hayman, SpliceCom’s Director of Marketing & Product Management says the 50-100 extension PBXs represent his core market for maximiser and it’s the applications that their platforms support that’s proving to be the real key to channel partners winning business in this sector.
For some time now we’ve seen the ability to deliver seamless and flexible remote and mobile working, using Extension Anywhere to deliver and control on-switch calls through GSM/3G, IP and existing home phones, become increasingly important in discussions with medium sized businesses. We only have to look at events in the UK over the past four years to see why. There was terrorism in the shape of the 7/7 London bus bombings in 2005, widespread flooding during 2007 and 2008 followed by heavy snow in February of this year. And now there’s the threat of Swine Flu, which, if the country’s Chief Medical Officer,
Professor Sir Liam Donaldson’s to be believed, will lay low up to 12% of the UK workforce by the end of this month. All of these occurrences have forced business leaders to seriously consider how they can continue to trade effectively when employees can’t get in to the office – and that’s not even taking into consideration the interest generated by the green, ethical and cost-saving aspects of such practices.
Likewise our business productivity & planning tools are proving to be a key differentiator in the present economic climate. Just as maximiser’s in built Call Recording is now being deployed across a broad range of business types – not just those needing compliance – we’ve found that real time call information is increasingly being demanded outside of Call Centres.
This has led us to develop Vision Live, a browser-based, business dashboard that delivers real time information on key areas of performance to those that need it. Allowing potential issues to be clearly identified and resolved before they can impact operations, Vision Live provides the business critical information that enables companies to optimise their resources for maximum productivity and facilitate a smooth running operation.
Vision Live allows “the information behind the information” to be easily accessed by “drilling” down further and provide an immediate investigation and/or response to any abnormal occurrence. In particular, we’ve found that companies are using information relating to calls waiting and lost calls – with the ability to return any such calls – to increase overall customer satisfaction and convert as many enquiries into sales as possible.
The topic of Unified Communications generates much interest and discussion in the 50-100 extension sector, but as Microsoft’s OCS 2007 R2 doesn’t prove a realistic proposition much below 100 users, sales of our cost-effective OCS Gateway are unsurprisingly lower than those integrated with maximiser systems over 100 extensions. However, in the Apple Mac environment, the cost-of-entry for Unified Communications is significantly lower. We’ve further extended our comprehensive support for businesses deploying Apple Macs by adding iChat presence compatibility to our PCS 60 Personal Productivity application.
This automatically changes a user’s iChat status to “On The Phone” when they’re handling an active call. This functionality, in conjunction with our existing Unified Messaging support for Apple Mail and “click to dial” Address Book integration has allowed us to maintain our Mac leadership position, whilst continuing to deliver on our promise to continually offer new telephony features and benefits, totally independent of the operating system, or systems, companies choose to deploy at the desktop.
In terms of hosted solutions, yes we do come across them as competitors at the point of sale, but not very often and then only when it’s a very simple “dial-tone” requirement. From a commercial viewpoint we make sure that the prospective customer looks at the relative costs over a three-year period.
The hosted solution will inevitably be more expensive, deliver less functionality (and therefore less benefits to the business) and leaves the customer with nothing tangible at the end of the period. And if they’re worried about Capital Expenditure? Well that’s what Finance is for.