The Benefits Of A UCaaS Partnership With Console Connect
By Alex Hawkes|22 August, 2022
We know availability, scalability, and security are top priorities for end-users of Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) and Contact Centre-as-a-Service (CCaaS).
We also know UCaaS and CCaaS providers are facing increasingly fierce competition and therefore connecting with and retaining customers is becoming more important.
In this blog, Console Connect’s AVP of Partner Ecosystems, Richard Parker, discusses the latest industry trends and how our partners are meeting challenging market demands.
AN ACCELERATING CALL FOR CLOUD COMMUNICATIONS
It will come as no surprise to most that the demand for UCaaS and CCaaS went into overdrive as a result of the COVID pandemic.
A prolonged period of enforced remote working ramped up demand for UC capabilities everywhere.
It’s worth noting that it was an acceleration rather than a complete change of direction, due to the enforced removal of barriers to adoption imposed by global confinements. The growth of cloud computing in combination with an overall increase in remote or home working has been pushing more demand for flexible, cloud-based communications capabilities for some time. But the global pandemic has taken it to a new level.
Almost overnight organisations the world over needed to deliver communications and access to business-critical tools to their workforce wherever they were located.
According to industry analyst Gartner, the market for social and collaboration software grew 17.% in 2021 compared to 8.7 the previous year. The pandemic also ushered in a change in requirements in terms of the roles that needed to be serviced.
Where working from home prior to 2019 tended to be the preserve of the knowledge worker, the pandemic required organisations to enable their frontline employees to carry on servicing customers. Contact centres, ERP, and CRM systems needed to connect seamlessly with a dispersed workforce.
Many parts of the world have or are returning to what resembles pre-pandemic life. Whereas, pre-pandemic, the ‘work from anywhere’ capabilities of UCaaS was the preserve of a privileged few, the new normal for a lot of organisations is a hybrid world of office and remote working.
And subsequently the demand for remote working solutions is only ever going to rise, whether that be UCaaS, CCaaS or other mission-critical capabilities, the ability to connect seamlessly, securely and reliably to those capabilities is of paramount importance to every business.
The increased demand and shift in the market has not gone unnoticed at Console Connect. We have partnered with Cloud Communications market leaders to help bring stakeholders together in a more efficient manner. We’re working closely with the likes of Netsapiens, 8x8, RingCentral, Monday.com and Tango Networks to deliver a new breed of UCaaS services.
THE EVOLUTION OF UCAAS
UCaaS has evolved in recent years from being a rigid set of communication capabilities to delivering real value to the end users.
There has been an important shift to not only facilitating internal business collaboration but pushing that capability into customer-facing communications, with the likes of chatbots, omni-channel workflow management and video communication which deliver a far better customer experience than before.
The solutions that our partners are providing are geared towards bringing together a stack of technology that combines an underlying telephony and collaboration capability with the valuable tools that people need to perform their day to day activities. It is a verticalization of what you might experience in the office. It is not just calls, messaging and email. It’s the whole package.
The pandemic has helped drive significant innovation in the UCaaS field too, for example remote healthcare consultations are commonplace now.
The technology existed pre-COVID, but the adoption and development of these types of innovative solutions was accelerated overnight. The pandemic forced the issue. Necessity is the mother of invention after all.
Figures show that even in the pre-pandemic world larger enterprises were becoming a lot more open and enthusiastic about moving productivity tools online into a cloud-based environment. According to industry analyst IDC over 50% of mid-sized companies in 2018 were already moving their contact centres to the cloud.
It is something they had been reluctant to do in the past. Their feeling was that maintaining control of everything on-premise was relatively risk free, whereas there was simply a different set of considerations.
The pandemic though has tipped a lot of enterprises over to accepting that cloud is the future. Those that resisted before were forced into a new way of doing things and it worked.
ADDING ENTERPRISE ASSURANCE TO UCAAS
As more business critical applications race into the cloud, enterprises need complete reassurance that the underlying communications infrastructure is capable of providing guaranteed availability, low latency, and highly secure connections across a global footprint.
A recent report by Console Connect and analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, highlighted the shortcomings of the public internet for accessing critical apps that require heightened privacy protocols, better bandwidth and latency, and potential traceable routing for compliance and security.
When it comes to accessing their UCaaS applications, businesses are increasingly on the lookout for enterprise-grade networking. Console Connect provides dedicated, high-performance connectivity, but with the flexibility of an on-demand, pay-as-you-go model.
For our UCaaS partners, this means being able to serve global clients with local, secure, and high-performance connectivity that they can scale to meet the needs of their business.
Our UCaaS and CCaaS partners are leveraging Console Connect’s capabilities in a couple of ways.
Firstly, they are securing, reinforcing and expanding their underlying infrastructure to ‘shrink the world’ by virtually pushing their platform closer to their reseller and customer networks using Console Connect’s direct, private, on-demand interconnections.
This increases performance, improves Quality of Service and secures customer and partner data whilst reducing the need for expensive infrastructure deployment.
Secondly, Console Connect’s MeetingPlace provides a platform for engagement, sales and marketing as well as enabling self-service interconnection between partners, vendors and customers at the click of a button.
What all this means for enterprises is a premium solution delivered globally combining cutting edge communications capabilities, guaranteed QoS and secured communications from the service platform to the customer network, effectively the platform and the end-customer become on-net.
HOW WE WORK WITH PARTNERS
Today, customers can use the Console Connect Software Defined Interconnection® platform to create private and direct connections to our partners’ UC environments, improving overall network performance and security for end-users worldwide. The automated Console Connect fabric is underpinned by PCCW Global’s high-peformance network.
We extend our partners’ global sales channel via PCCW Global and the Console Connect platform, which provides direct access to more than 800 data centres worldwide. Carrier and service provider customers can also directly order our partners’ UC solutions through Console Connect’s MeetingPlace.
If you want to find out in more detail how we’re working with partners or how you can work with Console Connect in the UCaaS space please drop me (Richard Parker) a line.