Ask the Expert: What Should Businesses Look for in a Modern Phone Solution?

“Ask the Expert” is a series where RingCentral interviews key influential consultants from around the world as part of the RingCentral Consultants Relation Program. We examine key areas in customer experience and unified communications and explore what experts see as top priorities for organisations.

Today, voice communication is easier and more accessible than ever. Gone are the days when we were limited to landline systems or hindered by network problems. Both personal and business calls are now made via the internet and benefit from the stronger bandwidth of the cloud.

Modern telephony solutions offer a wide choice of providers, ranges and features. So how do you select the one that will make a difference?

We spoke to Philippe Sidommo, Deputy Managing Director of the Intescia Group and CTO of DoubleTrade. Having recently changed his telephony system, he shares his feedback on the elements to take into account and the opportunities to look for to make telephony performance-driving.

Can you tell us a bit about Intescia?

Our group is mainly involved in data, with services such as market intelligence with DoubleTrade, sourcing with Corporama, company scoring with Scores et Décisions, and tender management with Spigao.

We have 12,000 customers and 420 employees, including a large R&D department with 70 engineers. We have a presence in France, Spain, Tunisia and Mauritius.

Why did you change your telephony system?

We were in a delicate situation with our previous system, experiencing outages, sometimes lasting 30 minutes, which put us out of business. In addition, the quality of the communication was very average. The need to change became urgent, and we looked at what improvements we could make to our communication system moving forward.

We wanted to bring in new functionality and complement our other communication solutions, and what we found with RingCentral was beyond our expectations.

How do you judge the value of a solution?

I’m willing to pay more for an open system that evolves regularly and offers optimum service.

Another important point is the presence of the supplier in the market. RingCentral, for example, works across many channels, and its ecosystem is well-developed, including a marketplace of ready-to-integrate applications to enrich the solution. These are also elements to take into account when evaluating an offer.

How did your deployment project go?

The RingCentral consultants listened very carefully to our needs right from the start. They ran an in-depth analysis of the existing system and developed a POC, during which we had a lot of discussions. Everything worked well in the planned scenarios, especially the integration with Salesforce, an essential tool for our salespeople.

We weren’t going to change operators just to make a “small jump”: the new solution had to bring more value, and we involved the users in verifying this.

That’s why we also wanted to integrate Modjo, a tool our salespeople use. It is a real-time conversational analysis solution that evaluates the behaviour and quality of the exchange by identifying keywords in real-time conversations. This was a real challenge for us, and RingCentral made it possible to integrate it thanks to its APIs.

To achieve this integration, RingCentral’s R&D team approached Modjo to develop a custom integration, and very quickly, in 4 or 5 days, we had a functional POC.

We also involved all the departments in the deployment and the deadlines were met while we were in the middle of Covid. The customer support was remarkable, and RingCentral mastered the exercise very well.

Why has the integration of telephony with business applications become crucial for you?

This integration allows for the automation of several very useful processes. For example, when a salesperson has completed a call, a summary of the telephone conversation is sent directly to the Salesforce prospect file. When a call is received, the customer record is opened to provide the user with all the relevant information. These automated processes are very important because they make the user journey more fluid.

Is fluidity of communication essential for other uses?

Yes, it is. We are starting to implement a device used by sales staff during telephone conversations: we offer the customer the possibility of going directly to video to demonstrate our services with screen sharing. This makes our exchanges more dynamic and transparent without disrupting the call.

What benefits have you observed since you switched solutions?

With RingCentral MVP, communication has become truly transparent at Intescia. The user interface is simple and ergonomic, which contributes greatly to the adoption of the solution. We’ve seen a very good uptake from all users.

Furthermore, the interfaces are homogeneous, whether between desktop and mobile or between the PC application and the web version, and our employees switch from one to the other naturally.

When it comes to reporting, everything is clear and precise. The KPIs are well thought-out, and we know who is doing what, which allows us to check that the tool is being used properly.

The administration is also very simple. You don’t have to be hugely technical to understand how to change settings, and you can feel that it is part of RingCentral’s mission to make its tools accessible to all.

I’d also like to highlight the level of security. We exchange very sensitive information with our customers, so communications must be encrypted from end to end.

How do you rate the relationship with RingCentral today, particularly in terms of service?

We have experienced a few small bugs, which were actually due to Salesforce version upgrades. But we have a very good relationship with RingCentral support, and the problems were quickly resolved.

We are a small organisation of 450 people, but we experience the same issues as the larger organisations. With RingCentral, we feel confident because even if a bug occurs, and it is inevitable, we know that the support team will react quickly.

What are the next steps?

Intescia is expanding internationally across Spain, Italy and Germany, and we have asked RingCentral to extend the deployment of its solution. We are also very interested in the new features of the solution, such as the AI that allows us to summarise video meetings automatically.

Thanks to Philippe Sidommo for his feedback and advice. Visit this hub to learn more about the RingCentral Consultants Program.

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Samantha is RingCentral’s Content Manager for EMEA Marketing. Before joining the business, she worked in content and public relations roles. She has worked with companies in ed tech, marketing and advertising, connected home, telecoms and publishing.
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