No one could have predicted a pandemic of this magnitude. The world came to a stop in record time, leaving no time to respond. Economies contracted at alarming rates and communication was forced to embrace an underdeveloped, fully virtual model.
Did you know … 66% of companies believe the pandemic exposed the weaknesses in their digital strategy? (Cisco AppDynamics).
The paradigm shift in communications affected both individuals and companies, who needed to (or still need to) learn the new rules that will guide how we relate to one another over the coming years.
Are you ready to bridge the digital divide between customers, partners, and employees?
During a crisis, there is often scant time to develop something new, and hitting the breaks is not an option. Now we are presented with a critical situation: We must evaluate commercial tools, check their capabilities, justify their existence, and implement the right solution.
In this article, we present the case for why you should invest in a communications platform as a service:
- easons to invest in a complete cloud communications solution
- Benefits of implementing a communications platform as a service
- How to prepare the ideal business case to justify your investment in CPaaS
Reasons to invest in a complete cloud communications solution
Communication is constantly evolving. Today, our customers want more intimate and direct communication than ever before, even going so far as to demand forms of real-time interactions that go beyond voice calls.
Chatbots, two-way SMS, voice messages, and even services like WhatsApp for Business are all communication channels that need to be accessible in an omni-channel environment. This is where a cloud communications solution is vital.
Typically, such communications solutions are integrated within a company’s tech stack, enhancing its existing systems to help automate and expand mobile communication.
Did you know: Frost and Sullivan define this as any cloud-based platform that allows developers to programmatically incorporate voice, video, chat, and messaging services into their business or consumer applications.
When a series of communication channels are strategically implemented, a company often sees an improvement in their relationship with customers, partners, or employees, including an increase in sales ratios, improvement of satisfaction rates and enhanced public opinion of the company.
What are the benefits of implementing a communications platform as a service?
1. Reach a larger audience faster
Customers expect to be contacted through their devices on their preferred channels at a time that suits them. A cloud communications tool guarantees that businesses can reach their customers, and vice versa. Interaction is carried out through preferred channels at the touch of a button, which allows you to reach a larger audience faster.
Contacting your customers through different channels ensures your message arrives faster, and this can improve brand perception. In fact, customers who see consistency across messaging channels increase the positive perception of their brand by up to 68%. Whether it is an urgent notification, a two-factor authentication code, or an appointment reminder, you will know that the message will arrive quickly, safely, and securely.
2. Automate processes using messaging workflows
Digital transformation initiatives are automating workflows and processes, so every point of automation represents an opportunity to communicate information. For example, the Soprano platform has templates and workflow creation tools that help you send and/or receive critical information at each point of automation.
3. Eliminate human error with automations
Communication counts, especially in large companies. Managing a vast number of contacts manually with multiple fields to complete in your CRM, and then sending individual communication can be a painstaking and costly taskwith the opportunity for human error.
Employing a CPaaS tool to automatically send notifications eliminates human error, ensures messaging is consistent, lowers operating costs, and allows employees more time to focus on pressing tasks.
4. Diversify communication channels
The ability to communicate has never been so important. However, the current limitations and restrictions around physical interaction have made communication very difficult. The only avenue for optimizing communication at present is to expand the number of communication channels available.
A CPaaS tool provides one-way or two-way interactions (depending on the channel used) via SMS, RCS messaging, Email, automated voice calls, WhatsApp Messaging for Business, AI-based chatbots, secure IP-based messaging … and more.
5. No new hardware required to get started
As with any cloud tool, the initial investment in hardware is zero. In fact, platform maintenance, hardware replacement, and security testing costs are typically carried by the service provider. An ideal CPaaS provider should offer a turnkey platform to unify all communications in a single cloud environment.
6. Integrates Unified Communications within IT Systems
A CPaaS tool allows you to easily integrate different communication channels without costly implementation fees. At Soprano Design, we offer different models of integration, including low-code integration, and no-code integration.
Did you know … Global Spending on CPaaS is expected to grow from $5.6 billion in 2020 to more than $17 billion by 2024, according to the IDC.
How to prepare the ideal proposal to invest in CPaaS?
Our marketing and sales teams have provided a useful checklist for creating an effective business case proposal to persuade stakeholders at your company to invest in a communications-as-a-service (CPaaS) solution.
1. Tell a good story
Necessity arises from a problem that needs solving. Take a piece of paper and a pencil, or a spreadsheet, and structure the narrative. Create a schematic, then a mind map, to ensure your reasoning flows naturally from the problem to the solution.
Any business case can be created to read as a good story with an exciting introduction, a great plot, and a solid conclusion. Be aware the first impression matters greatly, and if the narrative is well organized and high quality, then your call-to-action will be much easier to convey and comprehend.
2. Clearly define the problem
When defining a problem, we must always consider those who will scrutinize our solution. One tactic is to clearly identify the problem so that all relevant stakeholders understand the context.
Simplicity and transparency are vitally important at this stage, and to win acceptance of the whole business case, you should consider all stakeholders in the decision and form your arguments around the needs and interests of those stakeholders.
3. Always think about ROI
ROI directs projects. Budgets are tight in a crisis, and your chosen tool must not only solve problems, but also provide economic benefits. Remember, no one gets excited about a business case that is too conservative or financially risky.
You may need to estimate the ROI of gross profit. This will be better received than ROI arguments based purely on revenue or costs. For this, you need to prepare what fixed and variable costs the tool entails and what cost and benefit savings it can provide over time.
4. Be realistic when preparing a business case
Avoid overly optimistic charts, and be transparent about predictions and observations. This allows stakeholders to suggest ideas or challenge assumptions based on their understanding of the business.
Within the business case, productivity is a measure of efficiency that typically improves with this type of project. Demonstrating a significant improvement in productivity provides you with the opportunity to win the project. Think about the most time-consuming steps, from the first to the last, and explain cost savings. For example, the time you would save on visiting a vehicle repair shop with a CPaaS tool (uncancelled visits, video conferencing, automatic reminders, etc.) Want to see a full case study?
We recommend presenting time breakdowns in minutes to be more accurate. Plus, you will always have the option of changing it to another measure later.
5. Describe scenarios where the tool is effective
Demonstrating what could happen if the company continues to function without any further investment is an effective way of qualifying the tool. This is often referred to as a business-as-usual case, or BAU. At this point, it is highly recommended you display a comparative table with real benefits demonstrating how results will improve with the tool in operation in contrast with BAU.
6. Present analysis of all the partners
The last piece of the puzzle is to present a recommendation about the investment. This includes demonstrating the technical and associated options you have researched to form a clear and accurate recommendation. Think about the strengths of each provider, the functional requirements your ideal tool should have, and present this in a comparative table where columns include providers, and rows include features and functionality.
Once you reach this point, you should consider a verbal justification for the project. Nothing extra need be prepared. Draw on the same conclusions made in the narrative, back up your conclusions with the data presented, and create a partner recommendation to choose from.
A complete case study
Want to see a finished example? At Soprano Design, we have developed a practical step-by-step guide on how to create an effective business case that allows you to accelerate the selection of a technology partner, demonstrate a return on investment in technology, and minimize risks.