The digital transformation of communications – don’t neglect enterprise voice in transformation initiatives
Digital transformation has become a key trend in the telco industry. But, while there are huge transformation projects underway, it’s essential to ensure that existing services, such as voice, evolve in-line with other systems and processes to offer a richer, more integrated experience that draws upon elements such as context and data available from other systems. Don’t lose sight of core services even while launching major strategic initiatives.
Digital transformation is a much-used and much-abused term. It means different things to different people and many telcos have embarked on such programmes, even though they may differ widely. Helpfully, analysts STL Partners has suggested a more useful definition. Perhaps, as they suggest, a better way of looking at digital transformation is to consider it as an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of sometimes profound and sometimes mundane changes that lead towards a more universally “software-, computing- and IP-driven or –enabled” virtual environment for interaction, collaboration and transactions.
In this context, the evolution of classical voice services – particularly for high-value enterprise customers - is an inevitable consequence. Instead of classical, binary (person to person) conversations in which one person speculatively calls another, voice can be enriched with other information – contextual, multi-party and multi-media capabilities, triggered events, integration with business processes, and so on.
For example, in a classic mobile call, we cannot know if the called party is available, whereas in a typical IM application, we can see if the party is free and then decide to initiate a voice session, if we wish to actually speak to someone. However, what we cannot do is synchronise availability both with ad hoc session changes and with additional information such as scheduled absences.
However, the integration of status information to a mobile PBX application means that we can combine context (current, user-defined availability or absence as set by the user), device (user preference to receive a call) as well as time-dependent information (such as holiday periods, working hours, working week, etc.) to create a more accurate picture of the digital presence of a user. Thus, a user may manually set their availability during the working day but may also automatically set their holiday periods in a work calendar – the mobile PBX can use this data to determine how calls are routed for internal and external users by drawing on the information available from different sources.
Similarly, individuals in a company or in a team within a business can also use rules to determine what happens when someone calls them, which can co-exist with and even over-ride their availability settings. For example, if user A is unavailable, the organisation can ensure that calls are directed to a colleague or that a manager can bypass settings under certain conditions to reach the intended contact.
All of this is part of so-called digital transformation of telcos and provides an important aspect that must not be neglected when considering the overall approach. Rich or enhanced voice communications is as important as, for example, the overall path towards a virtualised network infrastructure, which means it must be part of any transformation initiative.
If you are embarking on a digital transformation programme, it’s essential to ensure that existing services evolve in parallel with other systems, processes and network elements – simply because voice, while it has suffered from declining value, still makes a huge contribution to overall revenues.
Enhancing voice with additional capabilities, such as context and team-based features adds value and provides a more integrated and flexible experience, which is a prerequisite for the “software-, computing- and IP-driven or –enabled” environment of the future. If you want to understand how to transform voice and to ensure it becomes an integrated part of your digital transformation strategy, why not talk to us and find out how?