United By 'Voice' Telephony For The Connected and Collaborative Workplace

Braham Singh, SVP - Global Product Management, Reliance Communications Limited & Global Cloud Xchange

With over 30 years of telecoms experience, Braham is presently designated as SVP- Global Product Management at Reliance Communications Limited & Global Cloud Xchange. He is responsible for the global product portfolio across RCOM India Enterprise and GCX and also manages the company’s National Long Distance (NLD) and Data Center businesses.

As enterprises cross geographical boundaries in pursuit of growth, keeping the ‘human connection’ alive and vi­brant within and around the organization is crucial to collective productivity. Voice telephony has been a key enabler of the human connection in the business ecosys­tem, but the future demands more. Thankfully, voice technology con­tinues to evolve fast, opening up new possibilities and gearing up to meet the demands of future workspaces.

Nothing really connects us the way a good conversation does. Even in this era of highly sophisticated communications technology, ‘pick up the phone and talk’ is an oft repeated advice, particularly in the corporate corridors, and for good reason. Technology that makes com­munication over distances possible can also make work relationships impersonal and purely transactional. Curiously, it is technology again -  albeit with a little orchestration - that can make human interactions more ‘human’.

"By integrating telephony intelligently with customer databases, applications and processes, cloud telephony is redrawing the boundaries of possibilities in the digital era"

At the workplace, the importance of verbal communication has be­come critical as more and more geographically dispersed teams are re­quired to work together, often without ‘seeing’ each other for months or even years. A large number of customers never get to meet their sell­ers. Enterprises are now beginning to appreciate the unstated demands of this dispersion and have started to focus on orchestrating ‘Voice’ to enhance collaboration as well as customer experience.

The Telco Advantage

Delivery of Voice, that was once the mainstay of the tel­ecoms industry, has undergone (and continues to undergo) rapid changes. With the advent of Internet Protocol (IP) Voice, the ability to offer voice telephony is no longer the sole preserve of tele­coms companies. Communication applications from OTT and Cloud players find widespread use today. However, communication needs of the workplace world hinge on a delicate balance of convenience, security, user experi­ence, collaboration enablement and cost. It is here that telcos can play a very focused role. On the one hand, they have to offer user experience and convenience equivalent to- if not better than- those offered by OTT players, while taking into account the specific needs of the workplace on the other.

As the world moves towards an IP-centric future, services like SIP Trunking and IP Centrex are helping enterprises make this transition smooth­ly without having to make major changes in their network investments. For instance, Reliance’s IMS-powered Enterprise SIP Trunking service received a very enthu­siastic response in the market at launch and now has an array of customers with a wide variety of busi­ness applications.

Cloud Telephony

Voice technology has significantly widened its scope over the last few years. What was once only a mode of one-to-one conversation now eas­ily facilitates one-to-many and many-to-many interactions. It is now pos­sible to use Voice innovatively and effectively in almost every business function. The technology that has brought this ability within easy grasp of large enterprises as well as SMEs is Cloud telephony.

While cloud telephony offers the quintessential Cloud advantages (capex-free, on-demand scalability, freedom from technology obsoles­cence, etc.), its biggest impact is making things possible that were erstwhile impossible. Here’s an ex­ample. A leading stock broking com­pany was using manual tele-calling to seek mandatory customer confir­mation for its daily trades. At the end of every trading day, the com­pany’s tele-calling executives in mul­tiple offices across the country would make thousands of calls manually to investors, and would then manually update records. Reliance’s cloud te­lephony solution - AutoCall Noti­fier- enabled the company to com­pletely automate the process. Now, investors receive personalized, au­tomated calls and con­vey their acceptance by pressing a button on the dial pad. The company has access to call reports at the click of a button.

By integrating te­lephony intelligently with customer databases, appli­cations and processes, cloud telephony is re­drawing the boundaries of possibilities in the digital era. It helps enterprises add significant efficiencies to almost every business process, whether it’s data-driven Marketing, lead genera­tion at the ‘moment of interest’, per­sonalized customer service, or any other process that relies on verbal communication. For instance, by us­ing our cloud telephony solutions, companies are able to get exact data on campaign Return On Investment (ROI) by each media ve­hicle, connect with leads the moment they click on a website link, manage incoming calls with great efficiency and convert impersonal text messag­es to automated, personalized voice messages for bulk calling. A com­prehensive cloud telephony port­folio from an established telecom player has the crucial advantage of seamless integration with traditional voice channels.

Voice of the Future: Loud, Clear and Connected

The Voice of the future is on the digital wall: Companies that take a strategic approach to creating a con­nected ‘human’ workspace despite geographical dispersion will have a clear advantage in productivity, in­novation, and collaboration. The change has already begun. The clus­ter of divided spaces in physical offic­es is morphing into a collective, flex­ible, fluid, collaborative environment that doesn’t let distance come in the way of conversations. Over a layer of complex technologies, the reassuring human voice is playing the role of an expert anchor, making instant inter­actions more effective and produc­tive. Technology is helping us reap the advantages of being human!