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The Cloud Momentum

Industry Analysis – Australia, the wave of Unified Communications is coming our way.

This annual cloud collaboration industry analysis is conducted by BroadSoft, and it’s combined of 1,005 enterprise IT decision makers and seven countries on all continents – USA, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, UK, Germany and France. It’s covering Health and Social Services, IT/Communications, Manufacturing, Professional Services, Education, Retail Trade, Finance and Insurance sectors.

The key finding – massive Cloud Unified Communications adoption is happening right now. 

There are few groundbreaking changes in the world’s history, and one of them is happening over the last 20 years through the digital world, according to Seth Godin, worldly recognised because of the idea of making information available for everyone through the global conversation on business and its marketing. Key findings of BroadSoft’s analyses are showing Unified Communications are a part of this momentum, calling this adoption ‘A once-in-a-generation transition’.

  • 80% of companies are considering moving to Cloud Unified Communications,
  • 92% of buyers will select a vendor in the next 24 months, and when being asked when they plan to migrate,
  • 45% said in the next year, while 47% said in the next two years.

‘The usual suspects.’

Current costs, functionality and risk, are main worrying factors influencing this migration – with their figures showing 68% of respondents saying their current system is too expensive to maintain, 69% is troubled by the lack of advanced features, and 76% is questioning what would happen if their phone system fails.

The following is worrying businesses and teams:

  1. too much email reduces employee’s productivity,
  2. too many incompatible communication apps,
  3. employees use personal and unauthorised apps,
  4. if their current phone system fails, it may be to too long and costly to restore the service,
  5. they might have several locations with incompatible communication systems,
  6. it’s difficult to communicate and collaborate online with people outside our company,
  7. communication with remote and mobile users is not very reliable,
  8. it takes too long to find information and documents,
  9. meetings are inefficient due to missing information and documents.

Cloud Unified Communications, priorities and benefits of implementation.

The Survey is showing that Cloud UC addresses core business priorities;

  • Productivity 78% – a general improvement of employee productivity
  • Mobility 79% – better service for mobile and remote users
  • Agility 78% – no need for upgrades – the service will always be up to date

Operation

  • 70% reduction in IT staff effort
  • 79% we are worried about continuing support for their premise system.

Survey respondents would like to use all devices (76%) but one experience (78%) – Unified Communications for all communication should be the same on desk phones, smartphones computers and tablets.

Contact Centers – Digital world redefined the consumer

You might already have heard about ‘the micro-moment’. Defined by Google, it’s describing a moment of instant decision making; we have a new consumer who is ready to share even less but demands even more (or everything) in that particular moment. If you had any doubts yes, space is pretty tight, and you don’t want to miss the opportunity or the momentum of your potential customer either by not knowing enough of providing information in advance.

Another big step coming with the wave of Unified Communications is that Contact Centers are becoming accessible to small and mid-size businesses, opening the whole new scope for improvements of internal business processes. When it comes to benefits of integration between communication, team collaboration and contact centre, this is why users want a complete and integrated solution;

  • 78% higher overall productivity
  • 79% single vendor reduces cost and complexity
  • 70% more effective customer interactions.

Survey says how 68% of contact centre users are actively evaluating CCaaS, and 33% of non-contact centre users are willing to consider CCaaS.

End users ARE READY for digital channels, and service providers need to provide a digital buying journey.

  • 53% use at least one digital channel in supplier selection,
  • 57% want full or partly digital onboarding and service management,
  • 61% already use at least one SaaS service.

‘All devices – but one experience.’

The list of benefits and multi-device integration is long:

  1. lower cost of ownership,
  2. reduction of IT staff effort,
  3. more advanced functions and user experience,
  4. no need for equipment/software upgrades – the service will always be up to date,
  5. better service for remote and mobile users,
  6. service is accessible from multiple devices, not just phones,
  7. general improvement of employee productivity,
  8. service will not be disrupted by premise system failure,
  9. internal communication and collaboration functions interoperate with other external systems at clients, suppliers, etc.

Multiple location support

  1. service will be identical at all locations,
  2. the service will scale better as the number of users at each location changes,
  3. communication and collaboration between locations will be better,
  4. users will not need to maintain a special network between locations,
  5. their total cost and effort for all locations will be lower.

Features

  1. Users can answer calls on any device – desk phone, mobile phone or computer/tablet communication app,
  2. fixed and mobile phones should have the same number,
  3. the user interface for all communication should be the same on desk phones, smartphones, computers and tablets,
  4. the business phone number and communication features should be available on employees’ personal mobile phones,
  5. the employee should use just a desk or a mobile phone; they shouldn’t need both,
  6. we shouldn’t need desk phones at all – all communication functions should be available on a computer,
  7. close integration with applications such as Microsoft office or O365, social media, Google, SalesForce and other business applications.

Tailored for digital nomads – and Australia is the champion!

Upwork, the world’s biggest online work platform claims we are witnessing the constant growth of remote workers in sales, marketing, graphic design, but customer service, administration, translation and writing are booming as well. Information also shows that Australia is the world’s biggest supplier of online freelance workers!

BroadSoft’s survey showed how 80% of companies have some remote or mostly mobile employees and 40% of companies have 1% – 25% of employees that have remote or mostly mobile employees.

Consultants-influencers are challenging the work-life balance myth as well, saying that we need to feel safe at work, to feel good in both places. And that safe place is created by good, flexible, transparent and collaborative workspaces within the companies. It’s needless to say, that will attract and retain top candidates as well.

Conclusion – The Cloud Momentum and priorities

A large majority of businesses are considering Cloud Unified Communications, and their buying decision is expected in the next 24 months. Unified Communications addresses digital priorities and premise systems are poised for cloud migration.

Key points

  • Cloud unified communications (UC) adoption is accelerating; buying decisions are imminent.
  • Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is core to customers’ digital transformation strategy.
  • Customers want complete, integrated and innovative service bundles.
  • Service providers are strongly positioned to capture the cloud transition opportunity.
  • Digital engagement and delivery channels are essential.

Source: BroadSoft Cloud Collaboration Survey 2017, conducted in Q4 2017. End User Perspective on the UCaaS, CCaaS and Team Collaboration Market.

UCaaS provider Access4 awarded for delivering innovation to market

Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) provider, Access4, is celebrating a key win at the recent BroadSoft Annual Australasian Achievement Awards. Access4 Director of Sales & Marketing, Ruy Franco, said the company was proud to be recognised at the BroadSoft Connect event in Melbourne last week.

“It was an honour to receive the Millennial Leadership Award. This award recognises Access4 for providing all the latest BroadSoft features fastest to market. From day one, we made the commitment to our partners that we would deliver any new BroadSoft feature within six months of its release by BroadSoft and we have delivered on the promised time and again. This award both recognises and rewards the significant effort undertaken by the Access4 team to deliver on this key promise to market, something we made clear from the moment we started the business in Australia and New Zealand.”

Rob Wyatt, Managing Director, BroadSoft ANZ said,

“We congratulate Access4 on receiving the 2017 BroadSoft Millennial Leadership Award, which recognises their leadership and innovation in the Unified Communication market in Australia and for the breadth of services Access4 offers from the range of BroadSoft solutions.”

The Annual Awards highlight achievements by BroadSoft Australasian customers and partners and were announced on 24 May 2017 at the BroadSoft Connect Event in Melbourne. The event was attended by over 250 telecommunications professionals from the Australasian Region.

BroadSoft UC-One integration into Apple call kit a game changer for mobile Unified Communications

Employees are looking for greater flexibility and work-life balance whilst businesses need to continue to be more competitive and increase productivity. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) helps achieve this balance and provides businesses with the ability to meet the needs of a changing workplace. UCaaS solutions such as BroadSoft’s UC-One from Access4 provide the ability for users to have ubiquitous connectivity to anyone, anywhere, at any time from any device.

The advantage of being able to communicate whilst mobile by using chat, voice, video and conferencing mean that employees are not tied to a desk. By using a mobile application such as UC-One Communicator, the user is able to be reached via their fixed business phone and the user can then act further on the call, such as transfer to another user or start a conference call. This, then overcomes the issues faced when a traditional call comes in to or is transferred to a mobile and nothing further can be done with the call, as it literally reaches a dead end. The challenge with previous mobile UC applications for a long time was that they were considered Over The Top (OTT) applications. This meant that they used the data connectivity in the phone to make calls as a SIP or Data call and if a mobile (GSM) call came in, it would take precedence and disconnect the data (SIP) call or at the very least put it on hold.

Additionally, as the mobile UC is an app, to accept an incoming call, the user would need to unlock the phone to be able to take the call. Depending on the time before a call would go to voicemail, often this makes the mobile UC application impractical for taking calls in real life.

The latest version of UC-One Communicator addresses this by integrating with the Apple iOS call kit framework. This means that data (SIP) calls to the UC application come into the native dialer and can be answered from the lock screen like a normal mobile call. If the user is on a data call (due to the integration) an incoming call from the mobile network does not end the call or put it on hold, the user has the option to activate call waiting as normal.

This ability to make the mobile UC experience seamless opens the way for businesses to really adopt mobile unified communications as a real solution for business, not a technical gimmick. Users can take calls on their mobile device using their office landline number as if they were in the office. More importantly, once on a call they can conference in others, transfer the call, or “pull” the call to another device like their desk phone or PC UC-One application. Think about how many people you see in the office whilst on a call on their mobile phones, with a desk phone or headset in reach but as the caller dialled the mobile number the call stays trapped on the mobile.

The integration into the call kit framework, also allows the user to make calls from their mobile contacts using the native iPhone dialler by simply holding the call button and the option to make a call using UC-One Communicator presents itself. The call is then made over data as a SIP call and the caller sees the businesses fixed line, not a mobile number. Now every iPhone in the business has a work persona and a personal persona. Employees can bring their own device into the business, the business can simply provide a collaboration licence and the business only ever needs to publish a fixed business number for their staff.

Design + code by Jalapeno Creative.

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