The telecommunications industry never gets tired of launching what it considers breakthrough technology. This continued innovation is the cornerstone of technological evolution. However, the never-ending wave of new offerings has severely shortened the lifecycle of currently available solutions, including those in the contact center.
This phenomenon has created a quandary for businesses, one that hinders the reseller’s ability to make new sales. Obsolescence is a constant threat in the field, hanging over our customers’ heads like the sword of Damocles. Not long ago, the typical technology lifecycle was three to five years. As the rate of innovation continues to accelerate, a particular system now has perhaps two-and-a-half years before it becomes outdated. This is far too brief a window for many businesses to digest. It has become financially and logistically prohibitive to refresh infrastructure.
This dynamic has led the market toward a state of paralysis. Business owners procrastinate on new purchases that can extend their capabilities and even reduce their operating costs, based upon the expectation that even newer technologies are likely to launch at any time. This climate creates obstacles for resellers, who are forced to wait out a company’s reluctance to invest in current technology, mainly due to the belief that something better maybe just over the horizon.
The real worry for businesses should be about offering a superior customer engagement experience through their contact center solution. If that is hampered by business owners’ reluctance to upgrade, that’s not just a disservice to their end customers, it’s a strategic misstep, and one that resellers should help them avoid.
A new approach to positioning contact center technology is sorely required if we want to shake business owners out of their stultifying reticence. Companies may be more willing to invest in new, productivity-boosting technologies if we transition toward a platform-based sales approach, as opposed to an application-based model. Instead of pushing a new software-focused solution, which may quickly become outmoded, resellers need to provide a malleable framework that can be built upon as needed.
Rather than sell the latest and greatest software, let’s offer a more modular ecosystem for our business customers that will accommodate new capabilities while maintaining their legacy environments. Such an ecosystem – which leverages the cloud infrastructure – should be flexible enough to seamlessly integrate new modules and capabilities whenever the customer wants them. This ushers in a significant opportunity for resellers, who can serve as an advisor throughout the process, providing not just a technology solution, but continued IT services as the solution evolves.
WebRTC-based solutions go a long way to facilitate platform-based solutions in the contact center. A browser-based protocol utilizing real-time communications requires minimal integration with a legacy environment, and can more easily support new and third-party solutions as they are introduced to the market. Depending upon the solution, this protocol allows companies to add breakthrough features without a laborious and expensive retooling of their network infrastructure.
The platform-based methodology is a future-proofed one. It puts control of the contact center solution back into the hands of the business owner, who might otherwise be at the mercy of a rapidly developing marketplace that doesn’t take the time to understand business needs. It also positions the reseller as a trusted ongoing partner.
As a result, companies can embrace innovation while protecting their investment, and preserving an effective customer engagement offering. It may help to allay the fears that are keeping business owners from pulling the trigger on new technology purchases. In short, it’s what’s best for end customers. That should always be the primary goal of both technology developers and resellers, especially if we expect to maintain long-term relationships with the companies we serve.
Will Melendez, executive vice president of global sales at Voice4Net. (News - Alert)
Edited by Alicia Young