How to Choose the Right Solution for Your Enterprise Communication Management

Three Key Considerations

by Michael Stahl, Vice-President

Speed to solution is a challenge for every enterprise. With leadership poised to pivot post-pandemic, communications technologies changing fast, and a hybrid workplace becoming the new reality, there’s more need than ever for IT to innovatejust to keep the business running smoothly.

For telecommunications managers, sustaining operations today means provisioning new collaboration tools; migrating resources to new target systems, including cloud-based environments; and, of course, on-boarding and off-boarding end users and agents. Teams must complete both routine MACDs and strategic projects as quickly and accurately as possible, while also ensuring continuity of service for the enterprise.

Process Inefficiencies Cost Time and Money

Managing unified communications and contact centers with all manual processes is time-consuming and error prone. That’s just unsustainable over the long-term, especially for a large enterprise.

Whether the staff member is an engineer or help desk analyst, completing MACDs one keystroke at a time leads to re-work and inconsistencies. That contributes to drift and, in turn, leads to possible security and compliance concerns. In addition, without the right tools, enterprises lack of visibility into allocations for phone numbers, licenses, and physical inventory; and they also can’t easily monitor station aging.

Most telecommunications teams can’t solve the innovation dilemma on their own. No one can be getting ready for the next thing when they’re bogged down with manually provisioning end users and agents, resetting user passwords, and trying to track phone numbers, licenses, and inventory on a spreadsheet. The drive to innovate can be overmatched by the daily management needs of multi-vendor systems that are increasingly complex. So, despite best efforts, some businesses retain inefficient UC and CC processes and can lose significant time and money as a result.

Automating Communication Management Increases Efficiency and Can Save Headcount

Automating communication management workflows produces tangible results and, with the right partner, that can happen quickly. Starfish customers have cut in half their overall ticket resolution times, and one measured a 74% reduction in total ticket requests and 21% reduction in annual telecommunications spend. Another customer was able to repurpose more than 2,000 idle stations spread across their multiple locations as well as locate more than 1,000 idle agent ID’s. That produced immediate savings.

Whether the goal is migrating to new collaboration tools; mapping all existing resources to a new target platform; or ensuring routine MACDs are completed quickly, accurately, and consistently, the market offers several products and solutions. Customers sometimes wonder how to choose among them.

Key Points to Consider When Deciding Whether an Automation Solution Works Best for You

  1. Proven Technology
Will the solution work with your multi-vendor platform and in your environment? Not just in a recorded demonstration but live, “in the wild,” and over time? Some studies are examples of pay-to-publish opportunities. However, industry recommendations and case studies built from earned results are good guides.
  1. Seamless Integration
With any automation solution, the more direct the connections to your platform and other business applications (such as Active Directory, ServiceNow, Workday, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom), the more seamless the integration, and the better the automation solution will really fit your needs, now and into the future. In addition, direct connections provide deeper insights into resource use, and that’s key to managing waste and optimizing savings.
  1. Built Using Your Existing Processes

A true solution really fits your businessand delivers maximum efficiencyonly when it works with the processes you already use. An automation partner who works with you to analyze your existing workflows can help you improve them with automation. Otherwise, the automation tool just replaces a workflow with a new process that may adversely affect related workflows and future integrations. It will also require more training to effectively implement.

Improving an existing process and controlling that process workflow into the future is what a true IT solution should do. Getting there with today’s complex systems requires engineering expertise and knowledge of many platforms. That’s when it’s important to have an automation technology partner such as Starfish Associates.

The Importance of Engineering Expertise

With the Starfish platform, large enterprises automate millions of transactions each year and for the world’s most successful businesses. Those who had provisioning automation tools in place were more agile in the face of disruptions related to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Then they also had a partner to rely on when they needed more help, such as when Starfish quickly delivered a SIP migration tool to help a customer scale their VPN.

 In 2021, our work with the Avaya CPaaS team is another example of the deep bench of engineering expertise at Starfish. In Layered Innovation When Customers Need it Most, Davide Petremala describes how sales engineer John Lucas was able to very quickly develop a use case and application to ease the pain healthcare companies were experiencing with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. As Davide details, first we asked customers how Avaya OneCloud could best help them: 

We heard healthcare companies [tell us they] were getting crushed by logistical tasks around managing and processing vaccinations in local markets. They needed immediate relief to respond to massive spikes in customer calls, emails, and texts to book, schedule, and coordinate vaccinations for different population segments. Armed with open access to our carrier network and the Avaya library of open API’s, the Starfish team wrote an application that first routes [phone] calls into a Cloud-based Virtual agent that would allow callers an option to book and schedule their vaccination appointments.

That “illustrates the power and agility of the Avaya OneCloud network, but, more importantly, it illustrates how much and how potentially fast innovation will come from partners such as Starfish Associates.”

Every day, the team is helping enterprises streamline processes, automate workflows, optimize their resources, improve security, and realize the kind of cost savings that our partners tell us helps maintain headcount and grow their business.

 
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