Why unified communications, voice assists businesses in cost-saving, spearheading revenue-generating opportunities
By Deon Geyser, Chief Executive Officer, Liquid Intelligent Technologies South Africa
With digitisation being fast-tracked in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations have had to relook at their working structures and tools to sustain and increase productivity while still keeping the best interest and new dynamics of the business in mind.
What also stirred the shift was bill shock, with mobility becoming an important trend in the marketplace as consumers and businesses continue to embrace smart devices.
Bill shock can occur for a number of reasons, including unclear or misunderstood advertising, unanticipated roaming or data charges, and other problems. It can be difficult to know when you're running up a surprisingly high wireless bill, especially if you don't monitor your usage or receive automatic usage alerts.
Exorbitant data roaming charges continue to exasperate mobile users, and their first response is to look for someone to blame for those unexpected charges. A survey by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveals that one in six mobile users has experienced bill shock – leading to frustration, heated calls with customer care, customer dissatisfaction and customer churn.
With the growth of ‘always on’ data and customers not being totally aware of how much their data consumption costs are, the adoption of unified communications (UC) offerings makes work environments more streamlined and adaptable.
Firstly, let’s touch on what UC is – it is a business and marketing concept describing the integration of enterprise communication services. It is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types.
UC allows an individual to send a message on one medium and receive the same communication on another medium. For example, one can receive a voicemail message and choose to access it through e-mail or a cellphone. If the sender is online according to the presence information and currently accepts calls, the response can be sent immediately through text chat or a video call. Otherwise, it may be sent as a non-real-time message that can be accessed through a variety of media.
And that is what Liquid Intelligent Technologies South Africa offers – real-time communication alerts and notifications to effectively make organisations and employees reachable and communicable, without an overhead cost.
Liquid’s hosted PBX paired with the Microsoft Teams suite means there is a collation of information shared with an individual or group of people with a set of skills suitable to answering a query. This is effectively managed through an active directory.
All you need is to purchase a package and the back-end, management, servicing, patching, security, upgrading and downgrading are managed by Liquid Intelligent Technologies, while providing both voice and cloud PBX services.
Using the Microsoft platform means Liquid is able to service customers on a Microsoft journey. For instance, Microsoft Teams allows you the capability to do outbound and inbound calls. If you receive a call on your landline and are not in the office, it will immediately come through Microsoft Teams either on your laptop or mobile. This means that you can automatically reply without delay or missing the call.
What Liquid offers differently is the ability to provide UC in Microsoft Teams or generic application. Most competitors offer one or the other. The six licences available include:
- Basic PBX – desk phone
- UC licence for desk phone, laptop and mobile application
- MS Team Business Voice
- Support licence
- Fully-fledged inbound call centre licence
- Fully-fledged outbound call centre licence
Currently supporting the largest law firm in Africa across different regions, Liquid has given the company a PAN-African on-net UC and Voice experience for international calling,, creating a single point of contact and reducing the number of people that need to manage and operate these platforms. The benefit being using a cloud PBX to do international calling instead of using a normal phone that could result in bill shock.
It is estimated that some customers have experienced bill shock of up to 890%, with one of South Africa’s largest insurance, medical and financial providers being among the reported cases.
The reality is that most people will not be going back to the office and they have amply demonstrated they can support customers and clients from home. There is no doubt that hybrid working is the norm. What businesses need to figure out is how they can create a mechanism to leverage off productivity while managing the cost of owning a UC.
Liquid takes away that responsibility of keeping the PBX running. We remove that administration and back-end maintenance, allowing time for IT and other business units to actually focus on processes and be a revenue-generating centre.
For more information about our UC offering, please reach out to us at email@example.com or https://liquid.tech/digital-services/cloud-services/unified-communications.