Cloud Telephony: What It Means To Enterprises

by Preeti S    Dec 16, 2014

CSN Murthy

CaaS (Communciations As  A Service),  an enterprise communications solution, is fast catching up in India. Taking cloud telephony to the next stage is Ozonetel, which is supporting its customers across 20+ verticals in sales, marketing and customer support functions. 

In an exclusive interview with CXOToday, Ozonetel Founder and CEO CSN Murthy estimates the multichannel communications on the cloud to be a $1 billion business on recurring basis in India. While explaining the benefits of cloud communication, he says the adoption among Indian businesses is yet to see the growth rate that matches the global rate.

Explain how cloud communications works and its advantages

“A missed call is a missed business opportunity”. A business engages with its customer in more than one way – voice, email, and social media. There is a huge capital expenditure which enterprises have to bear to handle both internal and external multi-channel communication seamlessly. Also mobility is  becoming a norm in enterprises today with employees handling customer calls be it sales, marketing or service on their mobile phone as opposed to desktop phones. ‘Communication as a Service (CaaS)’ on the cloud supports businesses to handle their multichannel communication points productively with no capital expenditure thereby showing an immediate ROI and an improved top-line. 

Cloud Communication is Internet-based voice and data communication where all telecommunications applications, switching and storage are hosted by a third-party outside of the organization which is accessed over the public Internet. However, in India since VoIP is not legal, Voice is delivered on PSTN cloud. The customers accessing the cloud communication platform pays for services or applications they use. Cloud services are easy and quick to implement v/s the legacy hardware based solutions.

The Indian market is still evolving, it has over 900 million mobile phone users communicate & transact on businesses. The global market is around $4 billion just for contact center alone. Ozonetel estimates the multichannel communications on the cloud to be a $1 billion business on recurring basis in India.

How has the Cloud adoption been in India?  

Acceptance for Cloud applications across businesses both enterprise and small medium businesses is growing. However, the adoption among Indian businesses is yet to see the growth rate that matches the global rate. This could be due to the earlier investment in ‘legacy technology’ or due to lack of awareness about the benefits brought in by being on the cloud. The trend is however quite encouraging in smaller businesses.

In India, Ozonetel has over 500+ Enterprise class customers across 20+ verticals. The platform is also being used by customers for reaching out to South East Asian countries. Besides supporting multichannel communication, the platform provides live dashboard with graphical representation of data/scheduling reports which are very helpful for the managers to update their respective management on the performance analysis of the contact centres, when required.

Ozonetel is said to be the first cloud communications platform in the country with speech recognition features - Do explain how can businesses take advantage of such feature.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems enable 24×7 automated services from anywhere. IVRs are very beneficial to businesses, as they enable uninterrupted service and reduce cost of human resources involved.

However, IVRs are highly dependent on the inputs that the user keys in using his phone dialpad. This makes IVRs unfriendly and tedious to use. Sometimes the users have to go through multiple menu levels and long messages before they can get the information/help they are looking for. IVRs are traditionally designed to have multiple levels, with varied choices at each level. Users have to remember all the options and the digits assigned to these choices. Many times users just drop the call half way as they get frustrated going through the multiple IVR options.

With the extent of Mobile penetration in all markets, IVRs are the best medium to reach people in English or local languages, but getting the correct input from the users remains a huge challenge. Also, there is a usability problem because while using IVR on mobile phones, user has to move the handset away from his ear to punch the key and then move it back to his ear to hear the next IVR option.

Speech recognition addresses all the above issues

User can just speak the option of his choice. This makes entire dialogue much natural, the probability of keying in the wrong choice is reduced by 50%. The IVR system becomes more flexible as the user is not restricted by the fixed number of options. Users can speak in their own language and yet the system can recognize. Users can use the IVR even if they are in hands-free mode.

Thus Speech recognition, can help increase efficiency, reduce call time, and enable lesser call drops.

Explain verticals which can use the Ozonetel platform? 

Cloud allows pay-as-you-go so the demand can grow as the customer’s business grows. Organizations adopting these services are experiencing numerous benefits which may include Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) advantage, built-in business continuity, lower risk of infrastructure obsolescence and the opportunity to refocus highly-talented IT resources on strategic business initiatives.

Ozonetel has customers across 20 verticals. An FMCG customer saw an immediate saving on the operating cost by 40 percent in month one along with a 15 percent increased brand value on the campaign they run on Ozonetel platform.

A logistics company that runs its operations pan India, has been on the platform for three years – and ever since they have been on the platform, they have not ‘missed’ any sales call and is showing a run rate of 46% increase in revenue year on year.

An ecommerce venture is running all its support and communications on Ozonetel platform – this includes voice, email, social media. They did not implement any legacy technology and have seen a saving of Rs  5,00,000 in 18 months from the time they have been on the platform.

What are the considerations made by the CEO/ CIO to take their communication on the cloud?

CaaS (Communication as a Service) is emerging as an answer to the issues organizations experience trying to keep up with rapid changes in both technology and capability in the unified communications and collaboration space. Virtualization, centralization and robust cloud services along with a need to streamline and optimize operations are causing organizations worldwide to seriously consider communications as a service. The key benefits include:

• No missed calls so no business loss

• The cost & time of adoption is much lower than the legacy box solutions

• No upfront cost, no impact of technology obsoletion

• Scalable, device agnostic and flexible as you can operate across multiple locations across the globe seamlessly

• Live dashboards and graphical representation of data and scheduling reports with even access to historical reports