ISDN’s Day of Reckoning is Coming…

BT ISDN Switch-off

Prepared for the big day?

Several years ago, BT announced it’s switching off ISDN in 2025 with the last customer orders in 2020. 

Judgement day is creeping closer. 

Despite rising rates of UC adoption, plenty of businesses still rely on ISDN technology, and even more so when backup lines are taken into consideration. How will BT’s decision affect your business? 

Well to start, BT isn’t leaving you high and dry.

The company has been gradually migrating voice traffic over to VoIP. They have been removing their dependence on costly copper lines and restrictive contracts. Are you avoiding switching to an alternative provider because the process is too time-consuming rather than your satisfaction with BT? 

Much like what’s happening with more accessible bank and utilities switching, businesses now have access to more straightforward IT procurement thanks to independent technology advisers (ITAs)

ITAs are independent technology sourcing experts. They are ready to identify your needs, search for the best solutions and source the right partnerships to meet your business objectives without any financial commitment from you.

ISDN’s impending retirement creates an ideal opportunity to assess your communications estate. Are you looking to invest in new cloud solutions, review ageing network protocols or consolidating disparate services from the likes of BT and other voice providers into one unified service?

Whatever your business driver, it’s imperative that your workforce has the best communications system possible

After all, team productivity directly affects market competitiveness. Productivity that’s influenced by how easy it is for people to sync up, make decisions and stay in touch wherever they are in the world.

Marketlinx recently delved into another communications dilemma facing CTOs (Zoom’s rapid rise). ISDN’s inevitable decline is another flashpoint for IT departments tasked with refreshing communications systems cost-effectively. 

These pinch points are only going to increase as more and more legacy technologies retire. 

However, remember, you don’t have to tackle them alone.

Zoom and the CTO dilemma

Zoom and the CTO Dilemma

Many organisations are faced with the question “to Zoom or not to Zoom?”. Are you ready for the answer?

Unified Communications

Zoom isn’t slowing down any time soon so is it time you took the solution seriously?

A soaring valuation. Healthy financial reserves. Much has been written about Zoom’s impact on the unified communications and collaboration market since debuting on the stock market last month.

Are you a fan of the solution? 

It appears many are. In a relatively short space of time, the company has spread rapidly across small and large companies due to its user experience, attractive price point and extensive integrations. 

Much of this growth has been user-led – a classic example of shadow IT – where people have taken matters into their own hands, choosing to use a solution that’s more intuitive than many legacy unified communications systems.  

It’s textbook disruption. 

What does this mean for IT departments and CTOs? 

Life is hard enough already when you’re tasked with investing in collaboration. A seemingly endless list of suppliers makes the technology sourcing process incredibly difficult.  

Even when you do battle through months of supplier evaluations and tenders, pick a flexible solution with the capabilities required, and carefully implement it across the business, end-users decide they’d rather use something like Zoom. 

Or, perhaps Zoom actually is for you?

Sometimes the best solutions come in unexpected packages. 

They may not be your shortlisted choice, but if people are willing to spend time sourcing a solution themselves and then drive adoption across the business off their own back, then it’s time to listen.

We understand this as an independent technology adviser and build this employee and cultural feedback into our process when sourcing you the best solutions for your business needs. 

And that’s the advantage of working with us – it’s no effort for you. We do all the legwork, filtering through hundreds of suppliers to identify the most effective choice for your objectives. 

Currently, many organisations are faced with the question – “to Zoom or not to Zoom?” and it’s difficult to answer, especially within the context of IT security policies and whether solutions are fit for purpose from this perspective, but we can help provide you with some clarity and help with your evaluation.

Customer Experience Excellence – Identifying the best partner for you

Identify the right partner for CX excellence

NOTE: This article was initially published by Compare The Cloud

Organisations that can offer competitive prices, a seamless and personalised purchase journey and high-quality customer service are leading their industries.

The customer journey is becoming increasingly valued; customer service significantly influences the purchase decision. Whether inquiring about new functionality or asking vital questions regarding a product’s specs, customers expect to be assisted by reliable experts that can solve their issues immediately. Under these circumstances, managing customer relationships is a critical priority for all companies that want to thrive and stay ahead of the competition.  Furthermore, organisations are starting to grasp the vital importance of truly listening to a customer’s voice and are using the insight they learn to adjust their strategies, not only to meet expectations but to exceed them by providing flawless pre-sales and aftersales journeys.

Sourcing the right CX partner

A key component of delivering excellent customer experiences is a high-performance contact centre. One where companies communicate with clients and ensure their needs are addressed quickly and easily.

Organisations that have adopted the right methodologies and technologies towards CX are winning, and can:

  • Manage customer journeys and optimise their experience to improve satisfaction
  • Build efficiencies to lower costs
  • Reduce employee churn and engage staff
  • Improve customer acquisition to fuel growth

Workforce Optimisation is integral to the success of any CX solution. Open platforms that integrate omnichannel functionalities and connect their contact centre with multiple CRMs and communications systems are paramount. When implemented correctly and with proper training, they empower agents with easy access to all the data required to resolve customer issues quickly. As a result, contact centres have become a sophisticated ecosystem of processes, technologies, data, knowledge and people.

However, sourcing the partner for a high-performance contact centre and negotiating best-in-class pricing, beneficial terms and conditions is complicated, time-consuming and a resource-intensive process.

CIOs and contact centre managers face a wealth of sourcing challenges and an overwhelming number of vendors and distributors. Moreover, while a competitive market allows businesses to compare products and negotiate prices, it can take significant time to evaluate vendors, understand what technology to invest in and find the right fit for the company’s needs and development plans.

The process becomes exponentially more complicated when companies migrate from on premise-based solutions to the cloud. CIOs now must consider a higher number of functional capabilities and have to decide what will be needed immediately, in the mid-term and the longer term.

And while migrating to the cloud is a significant challenge for many companies, adopting solutions leveraging Machine Learning, RPA (Robotic Process Automation), the Internet of Things and Blockchain, it’s not a ‘nice to have’ anymore but a ‘must have’, if companies want to deliver personalised customer experiences that increase brand awareness, loyalty, and revenue.

Because there are so many variables involved in configuring a contact centre, in many cases, companies get lost on vendors’ features and functions, losing sight of the primary purpose of the contact centre – improving customer satisfaction and retention rates by managing all communications from customer inquiries to distributing marketing collateral via email or social media and other channels.  The ability to handle the customer on their terms, whether it is by phone, email, live chat, social media or text has become crucial. In addition to being able to handle multi-channel communications, contact centre analytics and Workforce Management Software are also vital components in operating a world-class contact centre.

At the same time, every business has unique KPIs, traits, strengths and weaknesses and needs a personalised contact centre configuration to deliver the desired business outcomes.

Agnostic expertise

Under these circumstances, partnering with sourcing experts who understand the company, its products and services but also the importance of customer satisfaction becomes a critical step that can have a significant impact on a company’s future development.

Thankfully, sourcing services available to the contact centre market have kept pace with technological advancement, and nowadays companies can use agnostic sourcing companies that can help CIOs and procurement navigate the complexity of choosing the contact centre technology that is the right fit for the specific needs of an organisation.

A significant benefit of using an agnostic tech sourcing agency is that they do all the heavy lifting with researching available technologies and top-tier suppliers, and the organisation can ditch cumbersome and expensive tender programmes, reduce costs when negotiating prices and save time with vetting suppliers.

Furthermore, in many cases vendors and suppliers are driven by sales quotas they have to fulfil while a sourcing agency acts as an adviser, only focusing on the best technology for the project.

Additionally, a CIO doesn’t have to deal with numerous contracts, SLAs and providers – they can manage everything within a single agreement with one point of contact whose team manage the delivery of the agreed outcomes.

The bottom line is that many new-generation technologies can and will provide practical solutions to common day-to-day challenges faced by contact centre managers but matching the right technology to the company’s priorities and goals might make the difference between a highly successful organisation or a struggling one.

ScanSource Grows Cloud and UCaaS Offerings in Europe

ScanSource, Inc. acquire Intelisys Global

Launched in July 2016 in the UK, Intelisys Global provides sales partners with a portfolio of cloud and connectivity services to sell in a predictable monthly recurring revenue model.

ScanSource, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCSC), a leading global provider of technology products and solutions, announced the expansion of its capabilities in the cloud and UCaaS space with the acquisition of Intelisys Global, Europe’s first technology services distributor of telecom, connectivity and cloud services.  Launched in July 2016 in the UK, Intelisys Global provides sales partners with a portfolio of cloud and connectivity services to sell in a predictable monthly recurring revenue model.

In August 2016, ScanSource broadened its capabilities by entering the telecom and cloud services market in the United States with the successful acquisition of Intelisys, the industry’s leading technology services distributor. As resellers begin or grow their cloud and UCaaS practice in Europe, ScanSource can provide access to telecom, connectivity and cloud services suppliers, in addition to the tools, processes and systems that enable them to sell via the “as-a-service” model.

In support of its partners looking to grow their cloud and UCaaS practice, ScanSource has appointed Paul Emery to Vice President of Cloud Solutions and Services. In this new role, Mr. Emery will be responsible for managing the systems, processes and programs for the cloud and UCaaS business. Mr. Emery has been with ScanSource for more than 12 years, most recently leading the growth and direction of the Company’s Communications business in the UK. “We are thrilled with the acquisition of Intelisys Global, as it immediately opens up opportunities for our partners who are ready to grow their cloud and services business,” said Paul Emery. “Our goal is to not only help our resellers grow their traditional premise-based business, but also to provide the tools, suppliers and support they need to build their cloud and recurring revenue business.”

Stephen Hackett joins ScanSource as Director of Cloud Solutions Development, where he will be instrumental in implementing these new processes, programs and tools, while also overseeing cloud supplier relationships. Mr. Hackett is a European channel veteran who led the launch of the Intelisys Global business in the UK.

For more information on ScanSource and Intelisys Global, please visit www.scansource.eu.

About ScanSource, Inc.

ScanSource, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCSC) is a leading global provider of technology products and solutions, focusing on point-of-sale (POS), payments, barcode, physical security, unified communications and collaboration, cloud and telecom services. ScanSource’s teams provide value-added solutions and operate from two segments: Worldwide Barcode, Networking & Security, which includes POS Portal, and Worldwide Communications & Services, which includes Intelisys. ScanSource is committed to helping its customers choose, configure and deliver the industry’s best solutions across almost every vertical market in North America, Latin America and Europe. Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, ScanSource was named to FORTUNE magazine’s 2018 List of World’s Most Admired Companies. ScanSource ranks #653 on the Fortune 1000. For more information, visit www.scansource.com.