Over-the-top (OTT) communication in business

Johannesburg, 02 Mar 2020
Read time 3min 20sec

With the communication landscape in constant advancement, we are starting to see some major trends toward over-the-top (OTT) communication in business, as well as the termed omnichannel structure allowing for a single interface to communicate across multiple channels. These trends are starting to engrave themselves in all types of applications, from CRM and ERP to contact centres alike, and communication is becoming a value add more than a solution in many cases.

This movement is being seen to take a toll on legacy solution providers of IP PBX and call centre products. While these legacy solution providers are pacing forward and investing large amounts of money and effort into development and integration of OTT services, new competition is springing up like wildfire offering these services as native feature sets, causing major market dilution and margin recline. In many cases, these added services are offered free of charge in efforts to gain market share.

Developers and manufactures of solutions or products such as CRM/ERP/contact centre applications are trying to enhance their offerings to include OTT messaging services (such as Web chat, Facebook, WhatsApp) that require major development and resources, as well as increased infrastructure (in order to scale). This increases time to market and reduces potential margin, which in turn requires high subscription to the service in order to get any sort of ROI.

Many of these application providers these days are adding these services that get included as an enhancement and not necessarily a paid service. This is done to keep up with competitors so the ROI comes mostly from increased sales due to the added features.

According to recent studies, in the last year alone, the technological advancement in communication has progressed further than the previous 10 years combined.

The fast-paced generation of today and rise of the millennial workforce tend to prefer text-based communication and self-help services such as bots to direct human conversation; meetings are advancing to Web conference over in-person; and it is expected that these trends will keep advancing in this direction.

At ScopServ Integrated Services, we ensure our product offering is advancing every day to maintain the pace of customer needs in all areas of voice, UC and UCC with video conferencing. We offer collaboration tools with unique media features so as to expand any standard SIP-based PBX/call and contact centre feature set without integration requirements.

When focusing on omnichannel alone as an OTT solution, we can see it gives customers the ability to communicate seamlessly across service touchpoints, with a consistent quality of service and persisted context throughout the customer service journey. Customers can make use of the various available channels such as mobile apps for assistance with support, contact info or payments.

What are the benefits of using omnichannel service?

The major benefit that comes from offering customers an omnichannel experience is the fact that it empowers customers to personalise their own experience. The customer has the control to access the products, services and support options on demand, there and then. Over and above this, we can consider the following invaluable points:

  1. Improved service levels for businesses;
  2. Increased client retention;
  3. Contact with the millennials;
  4. Grow sales for the business; and
  5. Maximise agent productivity.

More and more businesses in South Africa are slowly embracing the use of technology systems to improve customer experiences and it is important that they do so because customers today know what they want. At ScopServ, we are giving turnkey solutions that are ever evolving while prioritising customer satisfaction and offering quality customer services.