Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cloud Telephony for Small And Medium Business

SMB/SME(Small & Medium Business/Enterprise)  plays a very important role in Indian economy, they contribute more than 45% to  industrial output, 40% of country’s total exports and create 1.3 million jobs every year  and currently there are more than 48 million SME in India (source: Ministry of MSME, GoI).  Looking at these data, we can say that the MSME sector plays a very important role in Indian economy.  Due to their importance in national economy, government has launched many schemes to motivate them, yet they struggle on multiple account, like financial, HR issue, technology, regulatory and many more.
Without knowing in detail, I cannot comment on all the areas, but being associated with telecommunication industry, I could like to put my thoughts about the new technology advancement in telecommunication sector, which would be very helpful for small and medium business owners.
Telecommunication technology has changed phenomenally in few years, also the dependency on communication has increased drastically, today complete sales cycle, i.e. from lead generation to sales closure and customer service happen over the telephone/mobile. One of the new technology that has evolved in few years is Cloud telephony or Cloud Communication or Cloud Call Centre.
Cloud Telephony is a data communications technology where all communication applications, switching and storage devices are hosted at service provider premise, organization wanted to start the service  just have to pay monthly charge and  the full-fledged (i.e. IVR, Recording, Analytics & many more) telephony service can be started  on traditional phones, mobile or system i.e. desktop, laptop or tablet.
The Cloud telephony is like a boon for SME’s, it solves many of the problems related to communication, at a very reasonable cost.
Let’s look at few of pain areas for Small and Media Enterprises & how cloud telephony can help to solve that.

  • Dependency on mobile phone: For small business owners most of the sales or customer call comes to mobile phone, due to this there is a high probability of missing a business call due to multiple reason like no battery, no signal while travelling etc., and “A missed call can be a missed opportunity”.
    • With cloud telephony business owner would never miss a call, even when mobile phone is switched off, the caller would be greeted with an IVR and the call would be recorded.
  • High Initial Capital: Cost of Setting up any traditional call centre is very high.
    • With cloud call centre, you don’t have to invest any capital in equipment, just pay the monthly charges and start a full-fledged call centre.
  • Don’t have call management solution:  Many organizations are totally dependent of employee for better call management and customer service, there are no automated mechanics to monitor call and quality of customer service offered.
    • With Cloud telephony all the calls would be recorded, which will make the employee’s more accountable and would improve customer service.
  • Multiple contact Number: As the business grows up, organization goes for multiple numbers to handle all the calls, which is very cumbersome.
    • With Cloud Telephony a single contact number (unified number) can be used,   irrespective of call volume, at the blackened you can have any number of representatives handling the call.
  • Unique number of each location: As organization expands to new location, each location gets a unique contact number, which is very confusing for customer and not advisable in long term.
    • With Cloud telephony a company can use the same number for all the locations.
  • Call not integrated with CRM : Most of companies customer calls are not integrated with CRM
    • With Cloud call centre, you can easily integrate customer call with CRM.

At the last, I would say that undoubtedly Cloud Telephony would not able to solve the fundamental problem faced by MSME sector, but it would definitely  equip them with best communication technologies, which will help them become more competitive and could serve their customers in a better way.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Telecommunication Revolution & Cloud Telephony

Telecommunication Revolution & Cloud Telephony
Every one talking that world power has shifted from west to east, next century belongs to India and China, as China is an aging country, everyone is betting very high on India. To find the reality, I have done a comparative study between India and western countries. The result was really depressing, in most of sectors/areas we are way behind the developed countries, except one sector i.e. “Telecommunication”.

You can see in the above picture the call rate, which was at Rs 15.5/min has dropped to less than a Rupee/min. The telephone subscriber base has also increased a rate of 40% YoY (approx.).
According to Mar’15 release by TRAI, India has 999.71 million telephone subscriber, now we are in Sep’15. We would have crossed 1 billion mark. This is the overall picture of telephone subscriber, but if we look internet and broadband subscriber base it is also very optimistic. Apart from that recently Airtel has launched 4G services in 296 town at a rate of 3G and coming dec’15 Reliance Jiu is going to start 4G services across India.
Let’s see the telecommunication revolution in B2B segment, undoubtedly the business segment also benefitted from government telecommunication policy, but new technologies have also drastically changed the communication in business segment. I am talking about “Cloud Telephony” or “Cloud Communication” or “Unified Communication Technology”.
Cloud Telephony is data communications technology where all communication applications, switching and storage devices are hosted at service provider premise, organization wanted to start the service just have to pay monthly charge and the full-fledged (i.e. IVR, Recording, Analytics & many more) telephony service can be started on traditional phone, mobile or system i.e. desktop, laptop or tablet. It has also integrated text SMS, voice SMS, video and social media services, so organization can reach their customers via any channel.
If we look at the need of business segment, it is very different compared to consumer segment, Business segment needs.
  • Easy & Faster deployment
  • Less initial capital expense
  • Flexibility in scaling
  • Customization
  • Reporting & Analytics
Cloud telephony satisfies all the above mentioned need, so it is like a boon for business segment. But many big players, for whom call centre is “bread & butter” can’t rely on another party for call centre maintenance, they can go for local setup or private cloud telephony, in which all the devices will be installed on their own premises.
Apart from providing next generation call centre solution, cloud communication is also very helpful in running innovative marketing campaign, you can start a missed call campaign, voice SMS campaign and any innovative digital campaign, the marketers have to just come up with campaign idea.
The best example of Innovative marketing campaign is “kan khajura Tesan” campaign started by Hindustan Unilever, the objective of this campaign was to connect with customers at “bottom of pyramid” who don’t have access to a computer or TV. With this campaign Hindustan Unilever was able to connect with 37 million people, the campaign was powered by Ozonetel a cloud telephony solution provider.
Cloud telephony has changed the world of communication no matter whether you want to build a large contact center, want to replace legacy business phone system, want to start a marketing campaign or if you are small player wants to start a toll free service, want to convert your mobile phone into business phone without missing any call everything is possible with cloud telephony.
The new telecommunication technologies are undoubtedly a boon for India, as they provide the backend support for the start-up ecosystem, whether it is Flipkart, Snapdeal, Practo or InMobi all have leveraged the potential of telecommunication and digitization, the success of these organizations has acted like a catalyst to start-up environment, many innovative ideas and start-ups are coming from every part of the country.
At last, I can say that leveraging telecommunication technologies and Start-up revolution are the only way by which we can transform India from a developing nation to a developed country. US has done this in 1990’s now its turn for India.

Note: This post is done by Abhay Kumar from Ozonetel Systems.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Unsexy CEO Profile

Currently in India, its sexy to run a startup. But there is a small catch. You have to fit the narrative.

1. The younger, the better. In fact it will help if you are a drop out.
2. You should be building something in the B2C space.
3. You should have raised VC money(loads of it) and should be burning it like crazy.
4. You should have a pedigree. IIT, IIM etc
5. You should be brash and it helps if you scold your VCs publicly(Well this is not exactly true, but I am trying to make the narrative spicy :))

Our CEO, Mr. CSN Murthy is the anti thesis of all the above. He is above 50, building a startup in the B2B space,bootstrapped and one of the most mild mannered and humble person you will find.

So dont worry if you are above 50
Dont worry if you are doing something in B2B space or NGO or social service
Dont worry if VCs cannot see your vision and are not buying into it.

You can put your head down and build a company the best you can and in 3-4 years you can build a profitable multi million dollar company.

And someday, CSN will tell his story. I will make him tell it :)



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cloudagent launches Predictive Dialer

"A predictive dialer is an outbound call processing system designed to maintain a high level of utilization and cost efficiency in the contact center. The dialer automatically calls a list of telephone numbers, screens the unnecessary calls such as answering machines and busy signals, and then connects a waiting representative with the customer"--Web Definition

Today we are happy to announce that Cloudagent, your trusted cloud call center supports predictive dialing. This will help sales teams and outbound calling teams improve their efficiency by more than 400%.
Cloudagent predictive dialer improves your outbound process by completely automating the dialing process. And since this is a cloud based system there is nothing to be installed on premise.
Cloudagent predictive dialer supports multiple modes. The basic mode allows you to control the dialing process based on a ratio. The advanced mode uses a statistical engine to control the dialing pattern based on call connect ratios, talktime and other variables.
All this is configurable from the supervisor screen and agents can go into the predictive dialing mode by just choosing the mode in the agent toolbar.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cloudagent Call Center Integration with Salesforce

If you are using Salesforce, then you know how important proper communication is for the success of your sales and support teams. It becomes all the more imperative to have a call center system which properly integrates with your CRM to assist you with the right tools.

You have to make sure that the right problem of the customer is addressed and the right points are made in a sale. To do this, access to contextual information is a must. Ozonetel's call center solution, Cloudagent, with its deep integration with Salesforce(Open CTI) now provides your sales and support teams with a full featured call center solution at their fingertips. The integration is available in the Salesforce marketplace. This is the only solution which provides a full featured call center solution inside Salesforce. There is no need to install anything else. This includes an agent toolbar for call transfer, hold and other advanced features. Supervisors can login to the supervisor console and use barge in facilities and monitor the call center.

This integration provides you with the following features:

1. Screenpops:
Context is everything. When you get a call from a customer/prospective customer, it is very important to know the context so that you can answer better. What was the last call with this customer? Are there any pending requests from this customer?
Cloudagent manages your customer profiles and updates the info after each call. This way, the information is still in one place, your Salesforce and you can access it when needed. Cloudagent does not access any of your data and your data is safe inside Salesforce. 
2. ACD:
Cloudagent provides all the features of a full fledged call center including ACD. You can define skills and other routing logic to manage your callers. You can even set your queue size and hold music. You can create skill groups similar to your groups in your Salesforce. You can create groups related to similar tickets.
3. Call flow(IVR) Control:
Since Cloudagent is integrated with KooKoo, you can use the full power of the cloud telephony platform to build complex IVR flows to your callers. A visual IVR designer is also included to create drag and drop flows. You can even configure what to do with missed calls or calls that go to voice mail Cloudagent integrates with Zendek to create a ticket and update the activity for the contact.
4. Call Control:
Your agent is speaking to the customer. Unfortunately, he cannot answer some queries. He needs to get a technical person/manager involved. What to do? With Cloudagent and its call control toolbar,its easy. Just click a button and conference another agent. Or transfer the call to an expert so that you can continue with other calls. Or place the caller on hold while you go get the details. All this and much more can be done with the agent toolbar.

5. Call end triggers:
At the end of the call the agent can have options to add a new contact or update existing contact. He can even set up follow up tasks. All from the same screen which saves a lot of time.


In addition to all this, Cloudagent provides a click to call facility inside Salesforce so that agents can click on a contact phone number from inside the system to initiate a call.
You can try all these features today. 
Ask For a Free Demo 
It takes 5 minutes to get your call center started on Cloudagent. Once setup, it can help your sales teams to close deals faster and your support teams to close tickets faster.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

IVR Speech Recognition- KooKoo can now hear you

When we acquired Yantrasoft, the goal was to integrate their speech capabilities into the core KooKoo platform so that KooKoo developers can start building speech applications.

We took a first step towards that goal today with the release of a new KooKoo tag, <recognize>. The tag is free for all users of KooKoo and all developers can immediately start using it.

Our vision is to solve the customer communication problem for businesses. This is another big leap in that direction. This will help your user communicate a lot more easily. 

Entering touch tones is inconvenient, where user has to move the phone from ear and back to press digits or has to put it in front on speaker phone. Imagine the same to be done when using handsfree in car. Our first release of digit pack solves this problem. Now user can just say the digits, confirm saying yes or no and navigate the IVR hassle free.

This would sound miniscule as compared to google and siri that recognize the natural dialogue. While we can talk about the tech that enables such recognition, I would just say that we are solving diffrent problem which has its set of challenges, that limits similiar recognition. Just to make a point, here is demo of how google works when on a phone call  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN0q8SvlQAk. India with many dilalects makes it even harder.

Our approach allows speech to be helpful, but not blocking i.e we enable press or say. It may happen that speech may not work for someone, that doesnt stop him from using IVR, its his choice to say or press the button like regular IVR. Both will work seamlessly.

Our approach to speech is to make it easily available to our user, without they having to know about how speech recognition works, similar to what we did for telecom when we launched KooKoo. 

Ozonetel will be rolling out multiple domain specific word packs for e.g. cities/state, grocery, banking, insurance etc. These would be already trained and tested for accuracy, and our team would continuously monitor and improve it for better accuracy. Kookoo users just have to use the tag to add speech recognition to their application. 

The recognize tag allows you to include speech recognition capabilities into your IVR application. To start with we are just supporting a couple of grammars.

1. "digit" grammar: This will allow you to recognize digits spoken on the phone. You can use this to recognize pin numbers, OTP, phone numbers, IVR choices.
2. "yesno" grammar: This will allow you to recognize "yes/no". A little surprise, this grammar also accepts hindi. So it recognizes even "haan/naa".  Very useful to ask questions and get a yes or no answer from your callers.

Documentation

You can check out a small demo by calling 040-30247041. It will ask you to say a number from 1 to 9. Say a number from 1 to 9 and wait. The IVR will repeat the number spoken by you.

We are moving from "Please press 1 for sales or 2 for support" to "Please say 1 for sales or 2 for support". It will not be long before you can say "Please say sales or support" :)

Yeah Baby!

Signup for KooKoo
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cloudagent Call Center Integration with Zendesk


If you are using Zendesk, then you are in luck. The world's best cloud call center is now available in the Zendesk app store
Proper communication is most important for the success of your sales and support teams. It becomes all the more imperative to have a call center system which properly integrates with your CRM to assist you with the right tools.

You have to make sure that the right problem of the customer is addressed and the right points are made in a sale. To do this, access to contextual information is a must. Ozonetel's call center solution, Cloudagent, with its deep integration with Zendesk now provides your sales and support teams with a full featured call center solution at their fingertips. The integration is available on Zendesk at https://www.zendesk.com/apps/cloudagent/
This integration provides you with the following features:
1. Screenpops:
Context is everything. When you get a call from a customer/prospective customer, it is very important to know the context so that you can answer better. What was the last call with this customer? Are there any pending requests from this customer?
Cloudagent manages your customer profiles and updates the info after each call. This way, the information is still in one place, your Zendesk and you can access it when needed. Cloudagent does not access any of your data and your data is safe inside Zendesk. 
2. ACD:
Cloudagent provides all the features of a full fledged call center including ACD. You can define skills and other routing logic to manage your callers. You can even set your queue size and hold music. You can create skill groups similar to your groups in your Zendesk. You can create groups related to similar tickets.
3. Call flow(IVR) Control:
Since Cloudagent is integrated with KooKoo, you can use the full power of the cloud telephony platform to build complex IVR flows to your callers. A visual IVR designer is also included to create drag and drop flows. You can even configure what to do with missed calls or calls that go to voice mail Cloudagent integrates with Zendek to create a ticket and update the activity for the contact.
4. Call Control:
Your agent is speaking to the customer. Unfortunately, he cannot answer some queries. He needs to get a technical person/manager involved. What to do? With Cloudagent and its call control toolbar,its easy. Just click a button and conference another agent. Or transfer the call to an expert so that you can continue with other calls. Or place the caller on hold while you go get the details. All this and much more can be done with the agent toolbar.

5. Call end triggers:
At the end of the call the agent can have options to add a new contact or update existing contact. He can even set up follow up tasks. All from the same screen which saves a lot of time.

In addition to all this, Cloudagent provides a click to call facility inside Zendesk so that agents can click on a contact phone number from inside the system to initiate a call.
You can try all these features today. 
Ask For a Free Demo 
It takes 5 minutes to get your call center started on Cloudagent. Once setup, it can help your sales teams to close deals faster and your support teams to close tickets faster.