Inside Track - getting to know the vendors

Editorial Type: Interview Date: 2017-09-01 Views: 2,088 Tags: Networking, CRM, Voice services, Natterbox AVS, Natterbox AVS, Salesforce PDF Version:
Ray Smyth discusses the emergence of Voice with Neil Hammerton, CEO and Founder of Natterbox AVS

It seems to me that Voice as an IT service isn't discussed that much anymore, which is strange because it's a critical component of digital transformation. Neil explains that, "When founding Natterbox 8-years ago, we wanted to integrate Voice with the rich sources of available data and enhance the customer experience."

Talking to Neil, he explained that, once you deal with an incoming call within a possible context, you can deliver a service that is relevant and efficient. For example, a call from a UK landline two weeks prior to the renewal of a car insurance policy might indicate that the caller wants to discuss renewal. On the other hand, a call from the same customer using a roaming mobile number might suggest a possible claim incident and, using available data, the call can be routed differently and handled in an efficient and more sensitive manner.

With so much talk about data, it's easy to see why Voice has fallen off the agenda. Natterbox AVS - as reviewed in the July/August edition of Network Computing - snaps seamlessly into Salesforce, and this tight integration of a leading cloud based CRM solution and Advanced Voice Services is the platform for creating a highly specific context to enhance customer interaction and deliver business objectives. Neil adds, "With communications management embedded into Salesforce, organisations can provide real-time, drag and drop business logic based call routing. And critically, there is no training overhead."

Voice is probably the most taken for granted of IT services: everyone expects it to work and IT operate with limited resources, so provisioning, access and configuration must be intuitive and simple. Neil explained how a complete PABX telephone estate could be moved to Natterbox overnight, how they can quickly provision telephone numbers, manage and report outgoing calls and facilitate remote working. In fact, all users need do is log into Salesforce.

The transition from analogue to digital telephony moved the responsibility to IT, but Neil points out that, "With the simplicity offered, business managers can decide on and implement their own telephony requirements and flows. They don't have to ask IT and IT doesn't need to respond, devolving responsibility to the frontline specialist."

It would be easy to think that this is the end of the Voice story, but it isn't. "Voice is nowhere near its limit," says Neil, adding that "AI over the top of voice offers many possibilities: for example transcription of multi-lingual conversation emailed to participants after the call. Expectations are technology driven and when done properly, this makes Voice services less complex and much more functional."

With voice and data so inextricably linked and the IT role reduced, cyber security cannot be overlooked. Neil says, "This is of critical importance and should start with security basics, for example making certain that accidental breaches and access to recorded calls cannot happen. At the next level encrypting calls and actively controlling access using permissions is essential."

Neil also reassures that, "As you would imagine Salesforce set very high standards for security and integrated solutions such as AVS are thoroughly tested; we consider this a good thing."

Neil has the last word on futures: "In the short term, translation of languages, detection of key words and phrases and automatic synopsis of conversations are coming. Longer term, we will be able to hear foreign language calls in our native language, combine video with superimposed images of the corporate office, and add subtitles."

Line of business specialists can be now be self-sufficient when it comes to Voice services, making it realistic for the business to deliver this critical element of its digital transformation with style and agility. NC