Selling to Business Verticals

Hosted PBX

Selling to Business Verticals

By Micah Singer, CEO, VoIP Logic  |  August 10, 2016

In my monthly articles and our corporate blog postings, we have been investigating some of the dynamic trends that are making the business communications market challenging, exciting, and opportunistic. Summed up these are an overall decline in voice communications, the emergence of unified communications as a way of centering communications tools in the middle of business processes, and the overall trend toward commodity status of the standard PBX – whether delivered on premises or hosted. What I have markedly noticed – primarily among service providers that use VoIP Logic’s (News - Alert) PaaS – is that operators that focus on specific industry verticals like financial services, health care, hospitality and others increase their odds of winning business against the competing providers. 

We recently published a white paper where we investigated this unsurprising phenomenon to understand how these verticals are unique and what you can do as a service provider to meet their specific needs. Below, I am going to share a few of the insights extracted from the much longer format research paper; you are invited to download the complete white paper for more background color.

In the U.S. market, financial services, health care, and hospitality are industry segments that each generate more than a trillion dollars in annual revenue and are comprised of millions (and for health care, tens of millions) of workers who have unique and in some cases regulated needs for communication. Smart PBX (News - Alert) tools integrated more tightly into other business process requirements can literally save billions of dollars, loads of time, and allow them to do what they do better overall.  Here is a brief analysis of the opportunities in each of these three sectors.

Health Care

The characteristics of the industry that are significant from the telecom service provider’s perspective are numerous – emergency services, sophisticated contact centers, and privacy regulations most notably. Some of the categories of customized business communications services are as follows:

  • hosted PBX solutions, which provide reliability, encryption and resiliency in the event of service impairment or a catastrophic event;
  • interactive voice response systems, which have the ability to adjust to crisis situations, to manage emergencies with priority, and to provide integrated access to health records for internal and external purposes;
  • health care call recording and quality assurance, which can record and playback calls for legal purposes and for QA, and protection of call recording to ensure HIPPA regulatory compliance;
  • telemedicine solutions, which allow for remote consultation with patients using voice and video links, and are particularly useful in rural areas or for an elderly patient base;
  • patient management software integration, which allows for telephonic, yet secure, access to patient management software files, and is useful when integrated with IVRs as noted above; and
  • HIPPA-compliant network hardening and encryption, which provides phone authentication and encryption, data encryption at all levels.

Some of the notable telephony services that address the health care vertical are GreatCall, which supplies proprietary flip phones and smartphones that are automatically incorporated into a health care communications network; LifeWatch, an Android-based smartphone that is capable of cardiac monitoring and INR testing; and mHealthAlert, which delivers monitoring service and custom-tailored healthy living program for hospital patients that aims to improve patient outcomes and reduce readmission rates.

Financial Services

The characteristics of financial services that are significant from the service providers’ perspective are a business-driven need for security, instantaneous order processing/confirmation, and support of a distributed multi-jurisdictional workforce.

Some of the categories of customized business communications services are:

  • dedicated servers and infrastructure, which provide the utmost protection against compromised real-time communication at the core;
  • VoIP packet encryption, which enables financial institutions to ensure that if and when their voice communications pass through the public internet backbone, they will be secure from the threat of packet interception; and
  • Dodd-Frank mandated automatic call recording and filing software, which is non-intrusive, secure call recording and tagging that’s accessible for audit purposes.

Some of the notable innovations in VoIP telecom for financial services are Verba, a voice-recording solution that operates in the background without disrupting employees, and allows for 5 years of searchable records; and Truphone’s Global Mobile Call Recording solution, which seamlessly – and without degrading client call quality – ensures that mobile phone calls are recorded in compliance with regulation wherever the phone may be located in the world.

Hospitality

The characteristics of the hospitality industry that are significant from the perspective of service providers are high-density phone coverage, highly variable usage rates, and integration with other guest services.

Some of the categories of customized business communications services are:

  • a hosted PBX integrated with the hotel property management systems that manage upkeep, cleaning, reservations, and other logistical issues associated with operating a hotel;
  • integrated guest services, including voicemail management, wake-up calls, do-not-disturb functions, along with concierge, room, and spa services  bundled into the integrated service package; and
  • multi-source call record synthesis and tracking, which automatically tracks, aggregates, and invoices guests’ phone usage.

Some of the notable technology for communications in the hospitality industry are Alcatel-Lucent’s (News - Alert) Smart Guest Application Suite which combines room IP phones with mobile and desktop softclients; and BroadSoft’s (News - Alert) UC One Hospitality, which allows for the coordination of hotel operations and guest events through mobile devices.

The business verticals, services, and innovative technologies I have presented are a small subset of what is possible and needed by these industries – an appetizer, if you will, to the many courses of innovation that will appear to cater to specific needs within industry verticals. 

Micah Singer (News - Alert) is CEO with VoIP Logic (www.voiplogic.com).




Edited by Alicia Young

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