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Cloud phone systems: Changing the rules of engagement

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These days, businesses must be agile to succeed. Each need to adapt to changing market conditions quickly and flex operations to meet evolving demands. Business communications, and particularly cloud phone systems, need this built-in flexibility and scalability to support these requirements and deliver competitive advantage.

Today’s cloud phone systems provide this flexibility, along with a host of smart, productivity-enhancing features. But the best solutions offer even greater agility through their ability to interoperate with other business systems and applications, such as billing or CRM platforms. In particular, cloud phone systems based on open-source technology offer the freedom to integrate with these platforms seamlessly, accessing previously siloed information and using it to improve the customer experience.

For example, in the travel sector, ticketing companies or booking agencies can aggregate data, such as telephone numbers and booking references, to ensure that customer call flows are optimised to provide a streamlined service. Likewise, features such as intelligent caller ID verification can help to determine whether a customer is in a particular resort so the call can be directly routed to the right specialist team.

In financial services, on trading centre floors customer calls can be prioritised by spend value through the ability to interrogate CRM systems. Customers who have performed a large number of share transactions can be immediately connected to a VIP team, while those who have been inactive for a certain time period can be automatically routed to a specific account manager. These capabilities are supported by CRM applications such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics, where APIs can be used to integrate into the application logic controlling a phone system dial plan and customer service queue.

Cloud phone systems that use open-source technology offer an unrivalled ability to interact with existing business systems and utilise data that can add real value to the customer journey. This capability helps to make businesses in all kinds of industries more agile, more cost efficient and more customer-centric. I’ll be exploring some of the benefits for a variety of sectors over the coming weeks. Join me!

James Passingham is a 20-year veteran of open source software development and CTO of Foehn, a provider of cloud phone systems built on open-source foundations.

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