VoIP, Call Center and PBX Integration Leads Financial Services Exhibit
In a recent financial services exhibit sponsored by Israel ministry of finance guidance (see previous article), the dominant messages were: VoIP, Call Center and PBX integration with business tools. From office suites (i.e. Google Docs and similar services) to survey systems (survey monkey, Ransys, etc.), translation and on-demand, call center staff services to call analytics and sales management tools (i.e. SalesForce.com). Most financial services companies are courted by technology services sellers, telephony suppliers just one of these. Maybe one solution to the problems in the financial world is better business and customer relation tools. This will give managers a better pulse on what is going on in the real world with real customers.
- Are customers more worried about their financial state of affairs?
- Are customers looking for better return? or more safe investment strategies?content
- Do customers need more contact to explain current events and account status?
In the financial services sector, customer services improvement applications are installed on premises. The credit card and retirement savings companies follow regulatory guidelines with customer information security requirements. This has been the preferred architecture up to now. Yet another trend is starting interest financial company service managers: hosted-cloud based architecture. This makes sense with the fast growth in availability of manyu type of services in a cloud format. Since financial services are building up their services capability with new technology, many people see the possible use of cloud hosted applications in less security sensitive applications like sales tools, additional customer relationship tools beyond portfolio management. Even non-core related tools like surveys and document management are giving customers more capabilities.
It may seem obvious to tell an IT manager or a service manager about integrating business tools with communication systems This process is still in it's early stages. Time and again I meet people who are not familiar enough with the latest best practices in IT integration. I also speak with service managers who are not familiar with the latest communication trends. They are sometimes too busy to see relevant case studies. This brings us to the question: how do we learn about new ideas and trends? Some managers depend mostly on sales presentations, sometimes formal seminars sponsored by companies. When they need a solution driven by new regulation or competitive position, they go out seeking information. One good source to find sector specific information is a social network like Linked-In. There are also magazines (turned portals) like Computer World and Info Stor. Yet, these like the printed versions are filled with company sponsored articles and white papers. There are a few good blogs written specifically for each niche area, their bloggers are experienced experts in their field. In VoIP and Call Center, there are also blogs in company sites. Some go into user topics not just sales driven product writing. Finally there are the conferences and meetings like the one for financial services companies. These tend to be the best methods to find out about specific products since meetings are face to face. You can speak with five to ten companies and quickly assess their relevance to your needs. You also get a first hand impression on how they approach customers and how realistic working with them will be. Like all sales driven events, you need to be aware of the sales nature of the meeting.