One of the biggest productivity killers is the having to expend manual effort on repeated and predictable tasks. It’s one of the many reasons automation is becoming a key focus for so many businesses as they look to increase operational efficiency – and accuracy – while freeing up team members’ time to focus on other core business needs.
I took some time to hear from Viirtue’s CTO Dan Rosenrauch heading up to ITEXPO 2020 about automation – and several other topics that will be highlight conference programs across the TechSuperShow events in Ft. Lauderdale. Here’s what he had to say. To hear more, make sure you stop in to visit the Viirtue team in Booth #104.
Give us a brief update on the latest news from your company.
It’s an exciting time at Viirtue! We just recently launched our highly anticipated B/OSS platform for our partners. This will make life simple for our partners and enable them to go to market quickly and efficiently and automate their tax processes.
What are the biggest trends driving your market today?
Our mission to enable our partners to provide a boutique level of service to their customers while offering premium UCaaS, CCaaS, and Microsoft (News - Alert) Teams Direct Routing as a Service has aligned perfectly with the times. MSPs and ITSPs are realizing the tremendous value of offering these services to their existing client bases – keeping their customers happy and in tune with the latest trends.
What are the most interesting or exciting innovations in the space in the past year? Why are they important?
Microsoft Teams and Automation have taken our industry by storm. By offering things like Intelligent, API-driven spoken IVRs and a turnkey Teams solution, we are enabling our partners to stay ahead of the curve and drive this innovation.
What is the biggest communications challenge businesses have? What is keeping them from communicating as effectively as they should?
As the communications industry shifts focus to user experience, some folks seem to be left behind. Our goal is to encourage the adoption of things like intelligent call routing, spoken IVRs, chat, SMS/MMS, and video collaboration in the workplace. These tools help business communicate faster, clearer, and more efficiently than ever before. Sometimes you have to teach an old dog new tricks, as painful as it may be.
How is this impacting their customers’ experiences?
Users who are accustomed to simple landline or basic hybrid PBX (News - Alert) technology are needing to adapt and understand the other methods people use to communicate in 2020. As Millennials and even Gen Z start to take over the workplace, this is going to change dramatically.
How is your company helping address those challenges?
By driving innovation and encouraging adoption of new tech. At Viirtue, we pride ourselves on becoming early adopters of anything we believe applies to our space. Whether it works or not, we test the waters.
What tools are emerging in the market that are creating more effective communications capabilities?
One of my personal favorites is the ability to integrate your workflows together via API. The Viirtue platform for instance has the ability to integrate with over 200 applications!
How can businesses most effectively leverage the massive amount of data they collect about their customers to their advantage?
Depends on the data! For example, we study traffic patterns within our network to optimize our platform from a cost standpoint. Those cost savings are then passed directly to our partners, and in turn their end users.
How can businesses use AI to improve their operational models?
Depends on the use-case. We try and understand our partners needs so we can help them engineer “out of the box” solutions for their clients. For example, we had a partner who works with a large insurance company. By integrating their IVR with their CRM to automatically check the status of a claim, this partner was able to automate over 60% of incoming calls to their clients call center with over 100 employees.
Why are so many businesses experiencing intrusions and data breaches? Are companies not taking cybersecurity as seriously as they should be?
Yes and no. I think most business owners I speak to are mindful of cybersecurity risks – but, they also are not willing to heavily invest in protecting themselves until after they’ve been a victim. As our CEO Rob Finch always preaches here at Viirtue, we strive to be proactive – not reactive.
How much do they really need to run on-premises these days?
We have had nothing besides a switch and a firewall in our data closets at both Viirtue offices since 2015. As long as it is done properly, everything can be virtualized.
How have customer demands and expectations changed?
Instant gratification. When I first started in this industry more than 10 years ago with Nortel (News - Alert), the rollout process took 1-2 months at minimum. Now, we enable our partners to spin up clients almost instantly. To the same extent, customer service has had to adapt to be able to provide faster responses to a less patient audience.
There is an incredible amount of data about users. How can service providers capitalize on that data?
We use data and analytics to drive almost every decision we make. Things as simple as “based on the data when is the best time/date for me to send this email.” In the AdTech space, mining data is becoming the equivalent to mining oil – and there is a real reason behind it.
What impact does a constantly evolving mobile device landscape have on service providers?
Mobile is already just as, if not more, important than a physical workstation. For example, end users are no longer looking to us for simply a mobile app to make and receive calls. They want to chat with colleagues, SMS their customers, adjust answering rules, and even collaborate via video from mobile.
What services present the greatest revenue opportunities for providers?
Basically, anything MRR. Whether its traditional UCaaS/voice services, subscription-based firewall and SD-WAN, internet. There are tons of products providers can serve that generate scalable, recurring revenue.
How are regulatory changes impacting service providers (i.e., Kari’s Law, robocalling regulation, anti-spam legislation, etc.)?
Robocalling regulation is going to be huge for our industry. Robocalling is devastating to the voice industry as it kills the trust a user has with answering the phone. Now, we instinctively feel like a number we do not recognize is a robocall/spam and ignore it. If we stand by and do nothing, that could tremendously impact our industry. Also, Kari’s Law should have been in place for some time. There’s absolutely no reason such a young innocent life should have been lost over something so trivial.
Please make one interesting, surprising, or unexpected prediction for the enterprise communications and tech space for 2020.
I think we will see an increased adoption of Microsoft Teams in the enterprise space, especially as it matures into a more complete UCaaS product. I also think we will see an increase in use of AI driven programmable IVRs.
What would you tell an ITEXPO (News - Alert) attendee if asked, “Why should I visit your booth?”
Come see how Viirtue can offer you a turnkey high-margin product in a boutique relationship driven manor. Our partners are truly treated as partners – not numbers. Come meet us and I think you will quickly feel that energy.
Why are you coming to ITEXPO?
To meet some great people and learn more about other trends in the tech space.
Edited by Erik Linask