Educators are scrambling to find solutions to ensure students continue their learning paths. Healthcare providers are challenged to provide care and communicate effectively in real-time with their patients and with each other. Nonprofits are creating awareness and connecting communities locally and globally with the right information, care, and help.

RingCentral has seen these industries will struggle if they haven’t got the right communication tools in place, their technology enables mobile and distributed teams and entire organisations to communicate, collaborate, and stay productive while minimizing risks to health and safety. RingCentral has been focused on making communications more accessible and seamless.

RingCentral Office will provide all those impacted with video conferencing, team messaging, business phones, and even SMS and fax—all modes of communication needed by teachers, students, healthcare providers, and non-profits as they come to terms with the impact of COVID-19.

For teachers who now have to ensure students remain on their educational paths through distance learning, RingCentral’s video conferencing capabilities, team messaging and screen sharing enable them to stay connected with their students while they learn from home. RingCentral’s cloud-based phone system also provides phone numbers to every faculty member, teacher, and student, enabling them to call and send/receive SMS using those numbers (rather than personal mobile numbers).

Similarly, healthcare providers who need to check in on their patients’ well-being can also leverage RingCentral’s business phone service. In addition, faxing any documentation, whether that’s prescriptions, billing details, previous health records, etc., is also offered to ensure that the health and safety of patients are not compromised.

Non-profit organizations are offering services to impacted people mainly via phone and text, and the RingCentral solution—which can be enabled within minutes to the entire organization—makes it a viable option so those on the frontlines of the crisis don’t lose time.

For assistance in getting signed up, get in touch with Excelien and we’ll be able to set you up within 24 hours.

 

 

 

We genuinely hope that you and your co-workers remain safe and healthy during these unprecedented circumstances. As a leading advisory organisation, we have worked side by side with our eco-system of vendors within the network services and cloud communications space, alongside Masergy we have a created a unique offering to accelerate your virtual workforce strategy further. We have created a short-term offer with a minimum 3-month commitment, and available for immediate response to build a productive and secure remote workforce for your global company.

VPN Offer: Fast and Fully-Managed Remote Connectivity

Require secure connectivity over the public internet to enable your workforce? Masergy Networking as a Service (NaaS) Virtual Private Networking (VPN) offers a turnkey solution for securely connecting remote workers to your corporate WAN. Entrust Masergy for fast and fully-managed connectivity.

  • Get bulk VPN connections spun up within 24 hours
  • Employees can use their home internet securely by connecting directly into Masergy’s software-defined network for high-performance application delivery.
  • A global team supporting 24/7 network performance monitoring

Unified Communications Offer: Empower Remote Workers

Companies want a seamless transition from office to home and maintain the productivity of the workforce while working at home. Masergy’s remote collaboration solutions support your team to stay productive wherever they are and on any device. To collaborate effectively, your workforce needs a seamless experience and the same resources and communication options they have in the office. Masergy makes it easy for you to deliver a work-from-home business model.

  • Masergy’s Remote Productivity Suite includes face-to-face meetings over video, softphone, presence, chat, and even desktop sharing
  • UCaaS technologies are embedded into Masergy’s software-defined network, so users get high-performance application delivery

Cloud Contact Center Quick Deploy Offer: Enable Remote Agents

Ramp up remote agents in just one week using Masergy’s Quick Deploy Offer. Powered by Cisco Webex Contact Center, this solution cost-effectively implements critical cloud-based services to facilitate the world-class experience today’s customers have come to expect.

This offer includes:

  • Rapid installation that typically occurs in five business days from order to live service
  • A FREE softphone or you can continue using your existing end-points
  • Tiered service options for standard and premium agents
  • VoIP, PSTN, and fully managed services with 24/7 network performance monitoring
  • Free toll/local number access and PSTN call, respectively for the first 90 days

 

Our cloud advisory team at Excelien are experienced in a range of Unified Communications and Contact Centre rollouts. Please speak to one of our cloud consultants today to see how we can increase productivity, manage costs and move to a futureproofed solution, whether temporary or permanent.

 

 

 

 

 

Excelien has been observing its clients and how they’ve managed the impact of the current Coronavirus outbreak. Increasing numbers of IT and Operation teams are now concentrating on delivering business continuity and ensuring the workforce can continue business as usual through remote working, whether it be local or international users.

This article intends to give business leaders a perspective on the developing circumstances and implications for their companies. This outbreak is advancing swiftly, and so, these views may become out of date. We will ensure to keep readers updated as solutions continue to develop.

The main focus is to protect your employees from COVID-19, which will probably challenge organisations who have not drawn up a plan to support employees for working remotely. This plan involves various elements, from connectivity to security. We would suggest drawing up and delivering a program to support employees that meets company guidelines and culture to minimise disruption to business as usual services.

The most common issues we’ve come across and will be addressing with this article are:  

  • Availability of systems and files from a remote location securely
  • Availability of a compliant and business-grade telephone system

Ready to make the call?

Excelien is working with a broad range of vendors to deliver these critical services faster, securely, and where possible free of charge. We have lined up several providers who will provide a free cloud-based telephony system to ensure that home users can experience a business-grade system and quality for Voice and Video from Dialpad, 8×8, RingCentral, Cisco and Vonage.

Remote access to systems

The biggest challenge our clients have experienced is having a system accessible for the workforce, and hoping a public cloud service will be the answer. With compliance and security always an issue for cloud vendors, Bare Metal services will be the quickest to spin up, meeting the requirements of your security compliance, and locality to users wherever needed, UK, Germany, Singapore wheresoever it is required. With INAP you’ll receive route-optimised IP (Performance IP) a patented technology which maximises your network’s potential by leveraging INAP’s robust global network and proprietary route optimisation engine. It enhances the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) by assessing the best-performing routes in real-time, simply meaning your users continue to receive applications as fast as usual. 

Cloud-based Telephony can be live as promptly as the application can be downloaded or logged into via a browser. INAP can provision Bare-Metal services within 2 hours, to the specification, performance and location required.

Excelien is working with INAP to provide a 14 day trial of their bare metal service to get you up and running.

Vendor Trials

Dialpad – https://www.dialpad.com/blog/wfh-business-phone-solution/

8×8 – https://www.8×8.com/uk/products/video-conferencing

RingCentral – Please reach out directly, Ringcentral is offering their platform for free to not-for-profit and Education

Vonage – Please reach out directly, Vonage is offering their platform for free to not-for-profit and Education

Cisco – https://www.webex.com/video-conferencing

GoToMeeting – https://www.webex.com/video-conferencing

 

To begin your free service with these providers, fill in our quick enquiry form below or contact Excelien.

Which services are you after?

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Excelien will be hosting one-to-one advisory sessions at #ContactCentre Expo, get a first-hand look at how companies are taking their customer experience to the next level by investing in and leveraging the productive capabilities of omnichannel marketing and automation.

We will have our consultants at hand to understand your goals and requirements, on which we’ll deliver an overview of the Contact Centre market. We currently work with 30+ contact centre providers, and we aim to ensure we connect you with you those who will meet and exceed expectations.

We support companies of all sizes to achieve their goals in Digital Transformation programmes, maximising value and minimising risk. We aim to deliver Digital Transformation Goals by empowering powerful collaboration and interaction throughout your company, allowing you to provide to your staff, partners, contractors and customers become more connected.

We’ll also throw in a £10 Costa voucher for each attendee!

If you’d like to arrange a advisory session on the day, fill in the below and we’ll be in touch with available sessions.

Register Today!

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We commissioned a survey of over 2,000 consumers within the UK to understand what challenges people encountered when attempting to chat to a company on the phone and discovered that one in five people who call a company doesn’t actually get through.

 

Even worse is that 35% of the consumers surveyed that didn’t get through to someone were prospective buyers seeking information on products, attempting to create an account or make a purchase. Companies are consequently squandering a large number of inbound inquiries from potential customers who have gone out their way to call them directly.

Adopting Technology To Enhance Customer Service

Now it is not an industry secret make sure someone picks up the phone when a customer calls! We understand it can be difficult for assistants in a busy office or a hectic contact centre, but ensuring you have the appropriate technology in place can mitigate that pain. With the right technology, you can route calls to the first qualified person who can answer to the inquiry, regardless of the agents located whether they’re based at home, a remote office, a different country or even continent. 

However, the study also reports this:

  • When consumers do get through to someone and experience lousy customer service companies jeopardise losing them to a competitor, more commonly than not, more often than not, when they’re on the phone.
  • One in eight states they have begun researching for competing products or companies online while on a call, and a tenth has posted live on social media to label a company during a poorly managed call. The problem is more common amongst people aged 25-34.
  • Over a quarter have gone online while on a call to find competitors or complain.

You Only Get One Shot, Make a Great Impression

It’s crucial companies make a great first impression, and there’s only one chance and beginning that journey on the wrong foot can diminish any customer relationship for good. This is the primary reason it’s imperative to ensure each interaction counts. When customers are quickly steered to a suitably proficient agent who is qualified to manage their call stops them from being passed around to multiple agents and ultimately, getting frustrated. When customers are frustrated, they’re more inclined to switch to your competitor.

As Excelien continues to grow its vendor eco-system becoming working with 8×8 as one of its fasting growing partners. 8×8 has offered a solution to all shapes of companies from SMB to Enterprise, from finance to legal to public and globally across 100+ countries. 8×8 can deliver unified communication services as well as contact centre rather than piecing various platforms together, eliminating silos and managed from a single UI. We look further into our partner 8×8.

8×8 is remodelling the future of business communications as a leading Software-as-a-Service provider of voice, video, chat, contact centre and enterprise-class API solutions driven by one global cloud communications platform.

 

8×8 is recognised industry-wide by experts such as Frost & Sullivan for “Innovation in CCaaS and UCaaS”, IDC for as a significant player for CCaaS and UCaaS, Gartner as Magic Quadrant Leader for eight years consecutively and verified by Tolly as the provider with the highest call quality at 4.2. The accolades carry on with recognition from Deloitte, Silicon Valley Top 150, IHS, Infonetics Research and Forbes.

8×8 enables workforces worldwide to connect individuals and teams so they can collaborate faster and work smarter. Real-time analytics and intelligence provide businesses unique insights across all interactions and channels so they can delight end-customers and accelerate their business.

8×8’s hosted UCaaS and CCaaS solution enables businesses to swiftly, efficiently and reliably migrate telephone systems to the cloud. Unifying communications in the cloud on 8×8’s global communications platform, you can enhance customer satisfaction and external and internal collaboration regardless of location.

8×8 removes information silos to reveal vital, real-time intelligence across all clouds, applications and devices to increase individual and team productivity, customer experience and business performance.

8×8 has security and compliance at the forefront, ensuring it’s a fitting solution across all verticals from finance to the public sector to legal. 8×8 has 15 data centres globally, and both data sovereignty and GDPR compliant. 8×8 also offers voice recording and storage functionality to help MiFID II regulated customers meet their regulatory obligations.

8×8 guarantees high reliability and business continuity by delivering its cloud-based communications through the use of secure, fully redundant data centres. SSAE 16 certified, these top-tier data centres are placed in geographically diverse locations around the world. More than a million users rely on the 8×8 to reduce complexity and cost, accelerate high performance and enhance customer experiences.

Our cloud advisory team at Excelien are experienced in a range of Unified Communications and Contact Centre rollouts. Please speak to one of our cloud consultants today to see how we can increase productivity, manage costs and move to a futureproofed solution.

 

If your company has a presence across multiple locations, the term SD-WAN should have come across your desk.

As companies move away from traditional compute to the Internet and the cloud, the conventional way of building WANs has become outdated. Costs for MPLS have been too expensive, service configuration commonly known for their poor punctuality and lengthy deployments. Companies have had over-compensate on their capacity, or limit performance due to inadequate bandwidth. 

 

SD-WAN acts to address the problem with smart routing for the right application. This is achievable as SD-WAN creates a virtual overlay over the underlying data services, distributing the upper protocol stack from the network. All networks have some independence from the underlying data service. It’s what allows us to run IP across Ethernet as efficiently as we do across MPLS.

 

Benefits of SD-WAN

1) Business Efficiency 

Deployment timescales are drastically reduced with the agile deployment of WAN services, such firewall and bandwidth. This means sites with no IT staff can roll-out services to branches without local IT staff. Companies can also benefit from enhanced agility with the capability to increase and reduce bandwidth based upon demands without the need for lengthy configurations, more often than not with the click of a button.

2) Commercial Rational

SD-WAN delivers firms an added layer of reliability, assuring that internet connectivity (cable, DSL, and Ethernet) is widely accessible and fast to roll-out. This can be achieved at a margin of the cost of a similar MPLS circuit, delivering a secure and reliable WAN service which is inexpensive and within constrained budgets.

3) Optimal Cloud Architecture

SD‐WAN augments networks to effortlessly and efficiently connect to cloud-based applications. It eradicates the backhaul penalties of conventional MPLS networks providing secure, low latency, high packet delivery (FEC), high‐performance pathways to the cloud. Implementing SD-WAN will increase the end-user experience with cloud and SaaS-based applications. 

4) Effortless Management and Adoption

Speed is the principal advantage of SD‐WAN, it makes implementing WAN services quick and uncomplicated. SD‐WAN solutions are incomplex to roll-out and offer traffic monitoring and automated setup, making them simple to handle.

5) Move to Hybrid WAN

The common myth is if businesses have already invested into MPLS for branch offices, it’s not necessary to roll-out SD-WAN. But, the advantages of operating a hybrid network potentially is something to have you rethinking your strategy. Businesses can seamlessly deploy SD‐WAN solutions without modifying the current MPLS network. Companies can migrate traffic increases toward a more inexpensive Internet bandwidth.

It’s common knowledge that Cloud technology transformed the industry for many organisations, the ability to deploy almost instantly, adaptability and customisation at your fingertips at an economical price; SD-WAN is no different. SD-WAN is shifting the network paradigm to deliver enterprises what they need and when for the ability to take full advantage of modern computing. The actuality is that companies without SD-WAN are not performing at their optimal level. It’s like only using 30% of your brain; imagine what can be accomplished if you utilise the other 70%. 

6) How to execute that shift from 30% to 100%

Our team of SD-WAN experts are experienced from delivering all kinds of solutions from a small store with multiple national stores, moving away from broadband and the pains associated with changes for their busy season such as Christmas that take up to 2 weeks. Or a global asset management firm where it was imperative to have that split second advantage over their financial competitors – Get in touch for a complimentary SD-WAN advisory session!

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has never been higher with current spend more than $35.7 billion in 2019 and predicted to more than double by 2022 to $79.2 billion. 

Excelien looks into how AI will make an impact in 2020 in the Contact Centre space, looking into growing trends and future predictions.

Increasing your AI-focused workforce 

Organisations that embraced AI and ML ahead of their competitors will be in a prime position. They will have their data sets in place and skills within the workforce to a point where they can begin to drive the results out at scale.

Research by McKinsey illustrates that up to 58% of companies have implemented at least one AI capability into a process or commodity in at least one function or business unit, an increase of 47% in 2018.

The importance of AI and ML will change from cost minimisation exercises and operational productivity to focusing more on growth projects.

AI and ML will continue to deliver automation and operational efficiencies, though 2020 is set for companies to deploy AI in ways that support business advancement.

Chatbots increasing the bottom line and helping agents

Automating suggestions of relevant products and service resolutions to the agents at the pace of the conversation is the most common way that chatbots are being used more productively in contact centres.

Chatbots are known as the most common form of AI. There are more uses for AI within Contact Centre and as AI matures and continues to embed into more technologies such as self-service, interactive voice responses (IVRs) and analytics systems, the more data, AI and ML will have to grow.

AI is continuously growing in the contact centre signifying a shift from a “nice to have” to a technology meriting of substantial investment.

The silo mentality – The “unknown” reason for poor customer service

In the common contact centre, silos will exist at the individual agent level, team level, senior level and across the business, with each level having little or no idea what’s occurring beyond the immediate co-workers.

AI solutions will rapidly develop, and particular silos of data inside the contact centre will be consolidated with data sources across the business to produce more precise and improved results.

Customer-focused businesses will realise that this adaptability and integration with a broader spectrum of AI solutions can be a vital key to their success and retention of customers.

Contact Centres will combine their knowledge alongside AI

When customers call into the call centre, customers expect to have answers – and with AI they won’t have to. AI has a significant function in assembling the collected data pool within the organisation to deliver results faster and more efficiently.

Moving into 2020, we’ll frequently recognise AI connect the data gaps among cloud-based communication solutions and contact centres, enabling consumers to receive and benefit from the information of various departments within a business in real-time.

It includes the conception of virtual assistants and the use of video applications to enhance the outcomes and promptness of customer experiences.

Enhance your data with better management

When we think of AI now, attention is drawn commonly to self-driving smart cars, Apple’s Siri or Amazon Echo, but 2020 will see a greater focus on AI and how organisations utilise its most expensive commodity, data.

Using AI and ML, businesses can gain more profound insights into their data give logical clarity and direction to make more informed decisions. 

Ultimately, guiding the business into the future, faster and quicker.

In summary, the journey for AI has only just begun for many organisations; however, to reap the rewards, organisations will need to look at significant investments and not the short-term goals. In 2020, there will be an increased need for data engineers to meet the AI and ML demand for an evergrowing market. 

Research from the leading cloud-based telephony providers finds six in ten (59%) consumers have stopped shopping with a retailer due to poor customer service in-store, on the phone, or online.

The most common issue is that queries are not being solved quickly enough. Consumers are continually experiencing being “passed around the houses” and having to re-explain the problem multiple times, the majority have had to speak to three different people on average to solve just one query, and some have talked to as many as 12.

The relationship with the consumer has been rapidly evolving for several years. It is essential to offer a personal service when communicating with customers to increase confidence and instil trust.

Sustaining quality during the customer journey is a vital part of protecting your brand, building loyalty and generating repeat sales, so this commitment needs be mirrored within the contact centre environment and underpin all customer service processes.

Cloud-based contact centres are serving a growing number of retailers to boost capacity and improve functionality without having to invest in expensive infrastructure costs. You can have real-time visibility and control of contact centre operations to guarantee that the necessary performance is delivered and maintained.

Excelien works with the leading contact centre cloud-based solutions to help businesses transform their customer and employee experience. With one system of engagement for voice, video, collaboration and contact centre using one system of intelligence which can utilise AI, voice analysis, CRM integrations and more. The platform can determine which agent is best-suited to answer an inbound call based on a comprehensive range of parameters. It ensures any query is acknowledged and resolved promptly and to the satisfaction of the customer. Added functionality, such as the SMS tool, empowers retailers to enhance customer communication with proactive marketing alerts, reminders and confirmations.

Businesses can now address the connection between online and in-store, resolving queries quickly, getting a human response and answering questions the first time. Contact Centre allows companies to communicate faster and smart to exceed the speed of customer expectations.

Get in touch with Excelien for more information on our market analysis for Contact Centre.