Mitel works with organizations of every shape and size to assist them as they design a phone system that meets their needs at a price they can afford. Mitel is consistently a leader in their industry, well-known for developing solutions of the highest quality. And for the past 25+ years, Marco has been a proud vendor of Mitel products. I had the opportunity to chat with Josh Haslett, a Mitel VP, about the changes in telecommunication technology and his tips for businesses looking to invest in a phone system.
As the Vice President of Business Development at Mitel, Josh identifies trends that improve Mitel's ability to deliver seamless communication and collaboration solutions to our customers. Working with lighthouse customers to understand the application of new technologies to enable digital transformation and improve customer experience.
I’ve asked Josh four questions I often get when working with customers, but if you have additional questions for him when you get to the end – please share them in the comments section.
Q: Josh, how has the standard business telephone system changed in the last few years?
A: Business telephone systems have made some major improvements. While many of the customers we meet with still have digital phone systems - phone systems with limited interoperability and limited ability to upgrade - there are three major changes to note.
Allows customers to invest in a common network for voice and data as well as deploy applications to enable collaboration tools that work from mobile devices as well.
- Virtualization of the Phone System
Gives customers the ability to move to common servers for phone systems and data applications, while providing portability to hosted cloud environments. This enables a better capability to upgrade and extend the life of the voice solution.
- Unified Communications as a Service
Gives customers the option to subscribe to voice and collaboration services from the cloud, getting regular upgrades and limiting the capital investment for the solution.
Q: What do you think businesses need to know when they're looking to buy a phone system?
A: To be successful, businesses need to do three things when looking at investing in a phone system.
- Start with evaluating the capabilities of the System Integrator. Phone systems integrate with a lot of technologies in the business; networking, data center, security, CRM systems and moving forward custom application development with third-party systems. Selecting a capable vendor that can help you implement the most effective solution is key.
- Look for solutions that focus on interoperability and openness. Closed systems that require the same vendor end to end don’t typically provide the best value or flexibility to the business.
- Focus on how to improve customer experience when evaluating a new solution. New solutions might empower you to meet your customers’ needs in ways you hadn’t thought of previously. It is now possible to support customers leveraging social media, SMS or chat from your website. And don’t limit yourself to external customer experience. Look inward as well to see how you can improve interactions to support employee productivity.
Q: Do you have any tips for businesses looking to choose a technology partner? What should they look for?
A: Beyond technical competence, look for a partner that takes interest in understanding your business. The best way to improve the way you communicate is to understand your processes and your customers. Business communications systems are advanced and feature rich, their greatest value is realized when the technology is implemented to support the core values of the business.
Q: In your opinion Josh, what is the most significant shift in technology that has affected business communication?
A: Collaboration and mobility. The most effective communication leverages that ability to use chat, voice, video and desktop sharing. When you can effectively show what you are discussing with your customers, vendors or remote teams; the ability to communicate effectively is greatly improved.
Q: What is your favorite customer success story?
A: To me, the best customer success stories are the ones where we truly helped transform businesses by driving out waste and improving customer experience. Here's one of my favorites:
When working with a large pest control company, we learned that most of the pest treatment they did was on a scheduled basis. When the time came, they would dispatch technicians to treat whether the treatment was needed or not. The Mitel partner understood IoT (Internet of Things) systems, so we looked at how to map IoT events to workflow triggers.
As it turns out, water plays a large part in pest outbreaks. When it rains here in Dallas, for instance, fire ant mounds pop up all over the place, and when it's dry, ants go indoors searching for water. By putting water sensors in their customers' lawns, the pest control company now knew exactly when a treatment should occur.
For this same customer, we were able to put motion sensors in mouse traps and pheromone sensors in grain silos which trigger an IoT sensor that communicates to a contact center when a technician should be dispatched, and when a customer should be notified. As a result, they have cut back on wasted chemicals, unnecessary truck rolls