Virtual Office Featured Article
January 23, 2013Phone.com Talks Tech Trends of 2013
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor
These days, when major technology changes take place in the IT space it is not necessarily clear what the implications will be. Organizations tend to have a “wait-and-see” attitude in anticipation of the impact. But, some technology changes offer significant cost savings, improvements to operations, or new ways to tackle business problems. The biggest benefit is the potential that this change will have on the bottom line.
Today, cloud computing is truly changing the way businesses operate all over the world. Cloud computing is drastically changing how IT and business services are delivered and managed.
Cloud computing is especially affecting Phone (News - Alert).com, a provider of VoIP and cloud-based telephone service specializing in small-sized businesses and home offices (SOHO), as the company operates its own private cloud for hosting and telephony, providing cloud telephony services to business customers.
“Replacing a PC for an employee requires almost no data transfer as all the data is on the cloud. Since most tools are browser-based today, switching from a PC to a Mac is no longer a problem,” explained said Alon Cohen, EVP/CTO of Phone.com (News - Alert) in an exclusive TMCnet interview.
According to Cohen, when it comes to cloud security, the concerns are always there, but it seems that the cloud is not less secure or more hackable than an enterprise network.
Whether from a security, policy or device or app management perspective, BYOD has become pervasive and will heavily influence several businesses in 2013. Phone.com is constantly increasing the list of devices that it supports, but the list of endpoints is huge and supporting them all without degradation of features is not possible.
“We try to ensure better service on fewer well-tested devices,” he said. “From network perspective, we try to expand our ability to support different LAN configurations and on the flip side we learn how to configure new LAN devices to optimally work with our network.”
With cloud computing, many technology trends have also stemmed to impact the way businesses conduct operations today. Specifically, the use of Application Programming Interface (API) is becoming very pervasive. “APIs enable businesses to get more integrative and more effective solutions for their businesses,” said Cohen.
As of recently, there has been a lot of talk that 2013 will be the year the laptop dies, but Cohen doesn’t believe the laptop is dying at all.
“If anything it is replacing the desktop and is gaining more power. iPads still do not provide the full range of applications one might need for all situations, and since laptops become lighter and lighter but yet offer more power than iPad they certainly will stay. The combination of cloud-based storage with the iPad and laptop is currently a solution that covers most of the professional needs for an enterprise employee,” he explained.
In addition, the unprecedented growth of social media has changed the way companies manage their customers. The most important change for Phone.com is that it now monitors and responds to a customer’s questions over social media like Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter. Phone.com also tries to engage customers through those channels by sending updates and asking them questions.
With the rise of social media, “Customer Experience” has become buzzword and 2013 may become characterized as the Year of Customer Experience (CX). Currently, Phone.com is working hard to improve its CX.
“We are constantly measuring our call center performance and optimizing the way we handle calls. We changed our website to simplify the user experience and by doing so, we almost doubled our conversion rates,” said Cohen. “This work is ongoing and our short-term goal is to enable new customer boarding and provisioning of a new phone number in less than three mouse clicks.”
To find out more about Phone.com and CEO Ari Rabban (News - Alert), visit the company at ITEXPO Miami. Taking place Jan. 29- Feb 1, in Miami, Florida, ITEXPO is the only gathering where the community of communications and technology buyers, sellers, resellers, and manufacturers meet to forge relationships and close deals. Rabban is speaking during “ Customer Engagement and Loyalty: How Personalization Impacts a Call to Action” and “Mobile Virtual Agents/Assistants: Creating a Consistent Customer Experience.” For more information on ITEXPO, click here.
Edited by Brooke Neuman
Phone.com Transforms Small Businesses Using VoIP and the Cloud : TMC podcast with Joel Maloff, vice president of Channel Development at Phone.com, about how to transform SMBs using VoIP and the cloud.
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