The Year Ahead: What The Channel Can Expect For UCaaS

2019 has been rife with consolidation and partnerships. During 2020, resellers need to minimise the uncertainty that comes with such a dynamic and unpredictable industry and look for service providers that have a clear strategy and can deliver scale, reliability and future-proof solutions. Whilst emerging technologies are exciting, they will not add value if they are not relevant to the market in terms of pricing, functionality and ease of deployment.

As cloud-based unified communications as a service (UCaaS) becomes more established, we expect to see service providers and their resellers taking stock and focusing on delivering integrated and solid propositions that are commercially viable, relevant, add value and ultimately impact customer requirement and ROI.

Every provider has their own way of taking customers on this journey to the cloud. At Tollring, a major element of our business strategy for 2020 is to offer the huge on-premise world a hybrid solution to enable them to start their journey to the cloud as pain free as possible and to allow them to take advantage of the advancements that the cloud brings to the market.

What is the channel demanding in 2020?

We are seeing a growth in OTT services and some of our SPs wanting to buy CAPEX services delivered over the top. We are starting to see different requirements emerging and we look to improve our support for these different models to meet the flexibility that our partners require. We will work with SP partners on how they wish to procure our products based on customer demand and we will build in greater flexibility around procurement and delivery.

We see that customer acquisition will be a significant focus for SPs and their reseller channels during 2020 as their UCaaS service offering has solidified and forms part of their primary offering. SPs will seek to deliver value to their customers as a way to differentiate their proposition. Tollring call recording and business analytics are added to our partners’ propositions for exactly this purpose, to add value and meet customer expectations and requirements.

In the pursuit of new customers, our SPs are demanding contact centre features for the mid-market; a cut-down version of the more formal, expensive and complex contact centre solutions that serve many hundreds of seats. The ability to offer a more streamlined solution for organisations in the 20 to 100 seat range presents a huge opportunity for our SP partners and their channel of resellers.

In terms of AI and speech analytics, although capability exists today, it’s a balancing act. We want to introduce new and exciting capabilities and enhance our services with new technologies, but we need to make it affordable and self-service enough to reach a wide audience and meet a wide array of needs. It’s all about scalability, usability, robustness and meeting the evolving security requirements versus commercial expectations. Our SPs need to innovate but they must also address their current customer demands.

We are taking our SP partners on the journey with us. They want to be involved in our roadmap across our entire portfolio and they are looking to us to guide them in terms of their own roadmap stories and what they are pushing back to their customers. Tollring’s development strategy is always driven by market demand and opportunity and our features set will continue to be enhanced dramatically to reflect current demands.

How will Tollring meet these demands in 2020?

In 2020, iCall Suite will become one of the most innovative products on the market and it will enable Tollring to expand into some exciting new territories due to our work around localisation and partner management. We are scaling our proposition to meet commercial considerations with robustness, resilience and security at its heart.

In tandem, our channel support is going to take a leap forward. We will make it much easier for our SP partners to work with their resellers and customers, removing any issues around customer journeys and thus helping to improve adoption rates. The partner programme is focused on delivering everything the channel needs from product through to improved language support and education as well as enhanced APIs, interoperability and self-service.

Tollring’s new functions are built on our existing set of products and includes new call recording capabilities, a supervisor console and agent call control tools. These will be available for BroadSoft providers first, followed shortly after by our other platforms.

The new services will enable our SP partners to go to their customers with an improved user interface and enhanced analytical reporting capabilities. And from a customer perspective, this will deliver some powerful additions across the iCall Suite feature set.

What features are coming in 2020?

Tollring’s new and improved call recording services are built within our standard proposition and are designed to meet the mid-market’s commercial constraints. It has a more user-based experience to widen the SP’s addressable market and help increase adoption of call recording across their entire user base.

Call recording compliance continues to be extremely important. The new 2020 features include much tighter GDPR and MiFID II capabilities to give customers a far stronger and more joined up experience. Compliance has been integral to Tollring’s solutions since GDPR came in last year, but we are now joining up our compliance with our SP’s applications and tools to deliver a more streamlined customer experience.

Other features that will complement our existing portfolio of products include a lighter touch around supervisor and agent controls with some capabilities around workforce management. These tools have until now been limited to just the very large, heavy and feature rich contact centre applications.