Our insight


In my previous post, I discussed why contact centres are widening their reach to include non-voice channels such as e-mail, chat and social. I also discussed the difference between multichannel, which handles these as separate silos within the business, and omnichannel, which integrates the channels into one overall customer experience.

If we accept that only omnichannel contact centres will enable companies to remain compliant while they maximise the opportunities of the digital revolution, we need to examine how we put the seamless, frictionless omnichannel concept into practice. We also need to consider how to make the most its potential benefits.

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Cisco's unified communications (UC) and telephony systems are pretty much the gold standard for reliability, quality and features, but until now they've been overkill for a startup or many smaller SMEs. If you're running a company of, say, 25-100 people, you need a great phone system, but you probably don't need full-blown Call Manager - or the hardware, software and days of configuration work involved in an enterprise system like Cisco's Business Edition 6000. To be honest, you probably can't afford them either.

That's why we're excited to be offering Cisco's brand new Business Edition 4000 (BE4000): a quality, full-featured IP telephony system in one easy-to-configure box.

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I wrote last month about Gartner's Magic Quadrant on Unified Communications (UC), and not long afterwards it's the turn of corporate telephony to come under Gartner's spotlight. In this Corporate Telephony Magic Quadrant, Cisco - as you'd probably expect with its background - remains a clear leader. Meanwhile, with its focus on the cloud, Microsoft has fallen back to challenger status.

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We're currently in the final stages of an 18-month UK telephony project for IKEA, the world's biggest furniture chain. As my thoughts turn to writing a project close down report, I'm in the truly enviable position of being able to ask "why did this work?"

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