Four back-pocket tips for moving voice to the cloud

In IT-led digital transformation, we tend to talk and think about the technology itself more than anything else – and for obvious reasons.

But there’s more to hosted voice than technological change.

The flip side of the tech – the side that often gets lost – is the question of how to bring people with you. And this is important, because if you can’t convince stakeholders and end-users of the need to change, life will soon become a frustrating place.

With this in mind, we’ve put together four handy tips for smoothing things out, diplomacy style, to make moving voice to the cloud as easy as possible.

1. Get stakeholder engagement by asking the right questions

This is critical for every element of digital transformation. You’re not just asking people to adopt a new product – you’re asking them to run their business in a different way.

But this needn’t be a big problem. Gather all the relevant people together and ask them a series of questions, such as: “What’s the one thing you feel you should be able to do, but can’t?” Or, “What information do you wish you had at your fingertips, but have never been able to get hold of?”

The process of this collaboration will reveal that problems they thought were particular to them, either individually or departmentally, are actually much more widespread. This will dramatically elevate the importance of your initiative and, hey presto, they want it done yesterday.

2. Embrace the cost savings, but don’t make them the end-game

While it’s true that cost savings shouldn’t be the reason you embark on any digital transformation initiative, that doesn’t mean you should shy away from talking about them. The flexibility inherent to a cloud-based voice network allows you to scale up and down according to requirements, with minimal maintenance. Clearly, you’re going to make significant savings.

Be careful when making promises on cost

60% of IT decision-makers say cost reduction is their biggest priority, but only 24% say it’s an outcome of digital tech.

Cost reductions are a more effective selling point to IT leaders and the C-suite when pitched in the wider context of digital transformation. They should bolster the case for it, rather than being the case for it. Otherwise you risk every other element of digital transformation coming under financial scrutiny, which will delay the process and obstruct your rationale. It’s not about achieving a one-off financial windfall, but continually adopting and improving in order to earn and retain customer trust and loyalty.

From tips on how to put your customers first, to how you can drive cost savings through technology, the Transformation Game eGuide will provide you with an in-depth view of how you can embrace the benefits of digital transformation – and win the Transformation Game in the process.

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3. Increase speed of adoption by framing change in the right way

Getting people to embrace new technology can be frustrating – especially when you’re so acutely aware of the benefits it could bring.

You can speed up this process by being smart with how you market your initiative. Instead of leading with the elimination of exorbitant maintenance charges – which might be the real reason you’re making the switch – you should advertise an outcome that’s more tangible to more users. For example, mobile twinning, or even something as simple as improved call quality.

All you have to do is step out of the office and talk to people – find out what the thing is and plaster it all over your internal marketing about the benefits of moving to hosted voice.

4. Don’t forget who all this is for (…your customers)

In the midst of the hype around digital transformation, it’s easy to get blown off course by the endless cycle of new – shortly followed by even newer – technology. We risk forgetting one incredibly salient, and nice, nugget of truth: your customers enjoy talking to you.

71% of IT decision-makers think they are, as a business community, losing the art of speaking on the phone.

Sure, the dusty old phone is not the first thing that springs to anybody’s mind when thinking about digital transformation. But it should – not just because cloud hosting actually makes it pretty cutting-edge again, but far more so because of what it can do for your customers.

A hosted voice service will unlock a tonne of insights into what really goes on when a customer calls you. Used in the right way, it will lead to reduced waiting times, fewer dropped calls, more accurate call routing. The list is long, and meaningful.

As we all continue to make progress with digital transformation, it would be madness to leave behind the one channel customers have repeatedly told us they love. Bring it with you and they’re sure to appreciate it.

For original insights into how IT decision-makers are tackling digital transformation, read Gamma’s latest report: Winning the Digital Transformation Game.

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1 August 2017 | Cem Ahmet

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The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.