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INOVO officially lands in the UK – Supercharging growth in partnership with inovo

2Connect helps resellers develop new business opportunities and maintain a point of differentiation with the launch of the 2Connect INOVO cloud contact centre

On November 1, 2Connect Digital Solutions unveiled an expanded product offering and new partnerships, including a major UK distribution agreement with South Africa-based cloud contact centre vendor INOVO.

This partnership is now bearing fruit with the UK launch of the co-branded 2Connect INOVO Contact Centre, which will enable UK resellers to meet growing demand for enhanced customer interactions with a versatile, proven solution widely used by leading brands in Africa, among them Capitec Bank, Woolworths Financial Services, Sage Pastel Accounting, PSG and Truworths.

Although INOVO cloud contact centre is used by large enterprises with thousands of seats, its modularity and flexibility also make it an attractive option for smaller businesses with 15-20 contact centre seats that don’t have big budgets but still need to improve business efficiency and provide the high levels of customer service demanded by today’s consumers.

The INOVO cloud contact centre brings together several elements on one integrated, scalable platform:

  • Interaction Channels (voice, email, web chat, WhatsApp, social media etc.);
  • Cloud Contact Centre Capabilities (supervisor interface, scripting, Intelligent Routing Designer and Microsoft Teams integration);
  • Compliance and Business Intelligence (voice authentication, interaction recording, speech analytics, post- interaction surveys); and

  • Self-Service and Business Optimisation (IVR, chatbots, business process automation, document management, workforce management and quality management).

More than a contact centre

Founding Partner and CEO Wynand Smit says that INOVO gives organisations of all sizes the ability to drive efficiencies in three main areas – customer service, collections and sales and acquisitions – and for this reason INOVO should be seen as more than just a contact centre company.

“We’re not really a contact centre business in the traditional sense. Instead, we help our customers improve interactions with customers, which could be via digital channels, chatbots or the contact centre. We sell outcomes, not just features and functionality.”

As an example, he cites chatbots.

“Today, after a financial services provider has sold a product to a customer, they spend 10-15 minutes confirming the financial information the customer has provided and reading them the terms and conditions of an agreement. That’s not the best use of someone’s time. So, in making the case for chatbots, we would show a business how we can move that part of the customer interaction to a digital channel (such as WhatsApp), so that it can be handled by a chatbot. Instead of reading the Ts and Cs over the phone, the agent simply tells the customer that they’re going to receive a WhatsApp confirming the details of the agreement. The result is a better customer experience and a significant reduction in the cost of acquisition.”

Business experts

Smit points out that since the company was founded in 2006, a key differentiator has been its focus on combining technology with services delivered by people with operational and commercial acumen who understand the business problems customers face and are adept at showing how INOVO can be used to deliver business outcomes.

“As part of our solution, we give access to a Business Services team staffed by subject matter experts whose only KPI is to provide continuous improvements for the customer and to identify additional benefits they can get from our technology.” He points out that this adds value for customers and has clear commercial benefits for INOVO and its channel partners.

“A customer might initially have bought our solution for acquisitions, using an outbound dialler, but as part of their engagement the Business Services team might point out an opportunity for them to improve the customer experience, reduce the cost of acquisition or increase revenue. They are there to help the customer find opportunities for continuous improvement and to deliver it for them.”

Successful integration

Smit adds that the reason so many businesses struggle to improve the whole customer experience is that they use a multitude of channels to engage with customers and have numerous systems to manage different aspects of the customer interaction – the acquisition, the documentation, the logistics and so on. An off-the-shelf contact centre, he says, is simply unable to pull together all these disconnected, siloed systems and automate end-to-end processes, with follow-ups should a submitted scan be illegible, for example.

“We overcome that problem without having to replace everything the customer already has by combining a great contact centre capability, a self-service capability, a visual drag and drop workflow and a business process management capability into a single solution. We can drag in a connector to connect to the HR system or we can drag in a connector to connect to another data source. By having a BPM or visual workflow capability with hundreds of pre-built connectors as part of the solution, we can leverage the customer’s own environment and manage the cost of acquisition or customer experience end-to-end. We may be querying five different locations, but to the customer the experience is seamless.”

INOVO can provide this level of integration because of the best-in-class technical building blocks on which the platform is built: AgilePoint business process and workflow automation, Verint customer analytics and Enghouse Interactive contact centre functionality.

“We’ve combined these into a single technical and commercial offering so the customer doesn’t have to buy licences for the individual solutions. They subscribe to the INOVO product and get access to all this capability.”

UK partners

This approach has proved very successful in Africa, where INOVO has long-lasting relationships with two prominent network partners, Vodacom, which has been a reseller in South Africa since 2010, and Liquid Intelligent Technologies, the pan- African digital infrastructure and technology group, which has a presence in 20 mainly sub-Saharan countries. In addition, INOVO has partnerships with a number of business process outsourcing (BPO) providers who deploy INOVO for their clients.

2Connect Digital Solutions will be INOVO’s third regional distribution partner, giving it a footprint in the UK and EMEA with UK-based first-line and second-line support and local business services teams and reseller enablement.

Ali Mohsin

Ali Mohsin, Growth & Strategy Director at 2Connect, is confident that INOVO’s ethos of prioritising customer need over features and creating solutions optimised for each customer’s requirement (and budget) will prove equally successful in the UK and EMEA.

“One of the reasons we decided to work with INOVO is because every customer requirement is different, and the UK needs a vendor that can customise their proposition based upon what the customer asks for. It shouldn’t be a case of ‘You don’t have this licence type, so you’re not going to get this feature’ or ‘By the way, we don’t integrate with this CRM’. INOVO’s platform is designed, built and implemented with the customer in mind. That’s why we’re using the strapline ‘build your own contact centre’.”

Free pilots

Mohsin adds that this, allied to INOVO’s outcome-driven approach and proven pedigree, will give UK resellers a strong point of differentiation in a crowded market, enabling them to maintain good margins and avoid a race to the bottom on price, while also holding out the prospect of additional sales in the future.

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KEY CAPABILITIES

  • Omni-channel Communications
  • CRM & ERP Integration
  • Workforce Management
  • Automated Quality Management
  • Experience & Workforce Optimisation
  • Interaction & Process Orchestration

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“Once customers implement the INOVO contact centre they tend to expand their utilisation of it, giving partners wider and deeper wallet share. At the same time, the focus on business outcomes enables partners to adopt a consultative selling approach rather than an aggressive, often price-driven hard sell.

“In support of this, we are saying to all our partners ‘Bring your contact centre requirements to us and we will build a pilot environment for you completely free of charge. Once this environment is up and running and the prospect has used it and tested it, they can decide whether it warrants a full rollout across their entire organisation’. That’s the value we bring to our partners.”

This approach has worked well for INOVO in South Africa, and while there is less demand for pilots now because of the number of reference sites available in the region, Smit says they still do a few each month and have maintained a 100% success rate.

Act now

Mohsin is targeting three types of partner in the UK: distributors, for reselling to their partner ecosystems; value-added resellers, ISPs and MSPs for integration into their own environments and infrastructure; and resellers/dealers for reselling to their customers, with the option of billing customers themselves or leaning on 2Connect’s bureau billing capabilities.

Whichever category you fall into, Mohsin says it is vital to act now and find out more about the 2Connect INOVO cloud contact centre while you still have the chance.

“The UK market for cloud contact centres is not yet fully mature and there are still opportunities out there, but partners must realise that is a conversation they need to have with their customers. If they don’t, someone else will and then it might be too late.”

To find out more about the scalable, omni-channel 2Connect INOVO cloud contact centre, please call 03300 770070, email info@2connect.co.uk or visit 2connect.co.uk.

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