As the enterprise communications landscape evolves, it’s changing the way businesses interact with their customers. Today’s consumers expect speed, flexibility, and integrated user experiences, and this expectation is driving more enterprises to prioritize digital transformation of communication solutions as a way to meet changing preferences and build their industry positions.
According to 451 Research, improving the customer experience continues to be a top driver for enterprises when investing in software. Enterprises are shifting toward cloud-based communications offerings because they provide a host of benefits, including enhanced user experiences, lower costs, greater scalability, and increased flexibility of services.
As the everything-as-a-service (XaaS) model continues to grow and drive innovation in the cloud, enterprises are looking to partner with cloud-based communications providers that offer more personalized, customer-centric approaches than traditional providers.
Below are the top three criteria enterprises should consider when vetting communications partners in the XaaS era.
1. Complete control and increased access -- Enterprises are highly focused on meeting customer preferences. Control over communications capabilities and access to telecom resources help them provide their customers with the flexibility to interact in the method and frequency that aligns with those preferences.
For example, through access to resources such as telecom APIs, enterprises can directly obtain and control deployment of phone numbers, inbound and outbound calling, messaging, and advanced signaling data. These features also allow developers to launch new offerings more rapidly, as well as minimize or eliminate hardware investments, custom integration, and delays in service delivery.
Achieving increased control of telecom resources is possible because innovative cloud-based communications providers offer enterprises complete autonomy over voice and messaging services. Additionally, enterprises have a variety of deployment options they can tailor to meet their unique business and industry needs.
Companies such as Rover.com and Lyft have taken advantage of telecom APIs for the routing and masking of phone numbers. This capability allows customers to contact drivers via their preferred modes of communication, and gives the company control of phone numbers to maintain privacy for its users and partners.
2. Quality performance and support -- Performance and service quality is paramount. If your service providers can’t ensure carrier-grade voice and messaging services, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Enterprises should partner with cloud-based providers that can operate at the enterprise-grade performance levels critical to meet customer expectations. Businesses can evaluate performance quality by confirming the provider supports the markets they operate within and has localized access in operating markets. When evaluating performance, enterprises should additionally consider technical expertise and solutions for support and customer service functions.
Whether through its own cloud call center or through a dedicated contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) vendor, the availability of accessible and high-quality customer service communications is critical to the long-term success of enterprises today. For example, businesses that can offer 24/7 customer agent support and leverage technology to provide immediate responses to customers’ needs are better able to build credibility and trust, and develop customer rapport and loyalty.
Other performance-related functions to evaluate include E911 emergency service, caller ID, troubleshooting, and compliance with telecom regulations and tax laws. A provider with attention to quality and technical expertise is a must-have, as these criteria can seriously impact the customer experience and a business’ bottom line.
3. Speed of deployment and ability to scale -- In addition to control and performance, the ease and speed of integration of services are important for enterprises to evaluate in cloud CSPs.
Given more cloud-based voice and messaging services are deployed in the as-a-service model instead of as an on-premises solution, enterprises can provision telecom resources within a matter of clicks. This provides cost savings by reducing the need to invest in dedicated IT staff and infrastructure. Applications and services that used to take months to be processed can now be completed instantly through APIs and software developer kits.
Additionally, through the deployment of telecom APIs, developers are able to scale operations and services more efficiently to keep up with customer preferences and industry demands. This capability allows enterprises to automate the process of rolling out or updating product offerings, saving time and resources, while also evolving the user experience.
Enterprises are under constant pressure to keep pace with the rapidly evolving competitive landscape. Evaluating CSPs with control, performance, and scalability in mind will help businesses differentiate their communications capabilities, enhance user experience, and maximize the benefits XaaS has to offer.