Paul Taylor, Sales and Marketing Director at Voiceflex, a SIP & Hosted telephony service provider, picks five tools he couldn’t do his job without
1 Apple Devices
I’m not a techie, so I want applications to work out-of-the-box or with minimal effort, which is what you get with Apple devices. I have an iWatch, iPhone, iPad, Mac and recently ordered an iPad pro 12in. Having the whole family allows me to use the most convenient device wherever I am and whatever I’m doing.
Most devices are now a window to the cloud, which is where applications and storage increasingly reside. I’m old enough to remember floppy discs and data storage units; we still have a very large box full of music CDs but nothing to play them on. The ease with which platforms and applications can be accessed is staggering. Everything is instant; if I download an app and it’s not working within five minutes, it’s gone. The market is so competitive, you need to get it right and right first time.
2 Salesforce CRM
This won’t come as a surprise, given my previous comment; cloud-based applications make my working life so much easier. I travel a lot around the UK and without CRM I wouldn’t be able to keep track of our extensive channel partner base and see who our account managers are meeting (and when). Sales hasn’t changed over the years, but the way we prospect potential customers has. We need to communicate with our customers and, with OPEX now the preferred model, it’s even more important to communicate regularly. CRM keeps you focused on what needs doing and when. Time management is one of the most important aspects of sales; you can’t buy time.
3 Siri & Alexa
Gartner predicts that this year 30% of web browsing will be done by voice rather than through a screen. Voice-activated personal assistants can make calls, turn lights on, send messages, reply to messages, tell you the time of the next train home and give you a weather forecast. Most importantly, APIs into business applications continue to grow.
Over 70 billion messages and 2.5 billion voice and video calls per day are testament to how easy it is to send and resend pictures, videos, docs and web links via WhatsApp. If you’re going to an event with customers and/or friends, it’s easy to set up a group – the banter starts before the event and you can share pictures between the group at any time. All in all, a fantastic unified communication application.
5 Circuit from Atos Unify
Circuit is a Unified Communications & Collaboration platform on steroids that has completely taken over the way we communicate internally. Very much like WhatsApp, I can have conversations with individuals or groups, written and verbal; project groups can be set up easily, with information sharing; the platform is federated – one Tech group has over 2,000 members; and, arguably its most important aspect, if someone leaves the company, they no longer have access to Circuit and won’t be included in or have access to past, present or future conversations. I could talk all day about the product.