• Chris Goodwill

Are your vendor partnerships super charged and work both ways?

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

I have been working with Anywhere365 for over 5 years now, both in my current role with Symity and previously with another Microsoft Partner. When Mitel made Contact Centre for Lync end of life, we went to market and looked for a Microsoft Certified solution which would be a great fit for our clients, technically sound and commercially competitive. Having looked at a number of offerings at the time, I started a relationship with the Dutch based organisation and began to onboard the product into the commercial portfolio and also the technical department (for both engineering and support).

We loved that the product was underpinned by Microsoft technologies through SharePoint, PowerBI and SQL, this meant that as well as the UC integration with Skype for Business and now Teams, everything remained in the Microsoft UC stack. And not only did we love it but our clients did too, every customer demonstration or bid interview we received a superb reaction from the IT stakeholders and most importantly the Contact Centre users and supervisors.

If you have confidence in a product and believe in it, then the recommendation to clients is made easy, there’s no forced sell, when it does exactly what you say it does. This is the case with Anywhere365 Dialogue Cloud which I continue to recommend to clients on a day to day basis. As Anywhere365 grew to provide better support within EMEA they recruited in a UK Team, Andy Whiteside was the first to join (originally from Process Flows). Andy supported the whole of the UK in the first year and with the advent of Teams and the demand for Microsoft Certified Contact Centres he was certainly a road warrior for a time. The UK team has now grown significantly and we benefit from expert technical knowledge from the likes of Jon Quayle who has exceptional understanding of the platform technically but can also demonstrate and give the values of the functionality to clients so they can clearly understand the benefits. Ben Weerasekra was onboarded as an account manager and makes life so easy; he has a laid back style never flustered but an eye for commercial detail and always keeps us up to date with client developments, assisting with commercial pricing where we need support. More recently Franca Potter has joined the UK team and she is responsible for success and quality management, she certainly doesn’t leave anything unturned and takes feedback turning it into tangible outcomes for us and ultimately our clients.

As one of the first contact centres to receive certification from Microsoft, it’s obvious Anywhere365 Dialogue Cloud is well respected within Microsoft and we hear it recommended to clients from them as well as ourselves. A true omni-channel contact centre solution, it drives efficiencies for organisations both for customer facing agents and also for back office staff, the clients can utilise the solution across their business wherever dialogues are taking place. With excellent reporting and insights through PowerBI, the power of identifying trends easily and making changes efficiently is of great benefit for supervisors, administrators and management. It integrates with over 30 CRM systems (including Salesforce) and we see Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration as a common request from customers. Service Management platforms (e.g., ServiceNow) can also be linked up easily to Anywhere365 Dialogue Cloud with connectors available off the shelf, plus it has the ability to work with Workforce Management (WFM) systems through an open API. Webchat from customer’s websites can be integrated where chats can be elevated to voice, email or any dialogue method with ease. There is also Chatbot framework integration which we see on the roadmap for many clients in terms of the evolution of their business, so it’s ideal to confirm to customers that this capability is there for when they use it. Combine this with call recording which is PCI compliant and clients find that they have a full solution to meet there needs.

Anywhere365 offer different licensing models for Anywhere365 Dialogue Cloud, with a true Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) offering for smaller contact centres, then Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) platforms for larger and enterprise clients which include additional functionality demand by this type of customer. Monthly billing is available and commercial offers for upfront payment are always there should they want to make savings by a longer term commitment.

So, to answer the question I asked in the title of this article, does the partnership work both ways? It most certainly does with Anywhere365, they are always responsive to questions and requests we have either from our own technical and commercial staff or on behalf of clients. I feel confident I can ask something and get a response in a short time rather than it takes days, so they are certainly agile which suits Symity as we also work in this way. We position the solution where it is a best fit for our clients and in this way, we are generating opportunities for the vendor, but we also find that particularly where Contact Centre is combined with complex telephony (which is our sweet spot) they often speak to us to see if we can help clients who have approached Anywhere365 direct or have been recommended to review the solution by Microsoft. We provide feedback to the UK team which is fed back into the company to improve the processes for partners and also to develop functionality of the software for clients.

I’ve worked with many vendors, resellers and manufacturers across a career spanning 25 years in voice and data and I have to say that Anywhere365 are a pleasure to work with (AudioCodes being the other partner I need to mention too). If there’s a problem, it’s addressed quickly, if we need help it’s there, so collaborating together has meant that we’ve seen success for ourselves and most importantly exceptional results for our clients.

So, I’d ask yourself what you are getting out of YOUR partnerships with suppliers and whether it’s just one way, transactional or a really valued relationship that is driving success for your organisation and customers. If it isn’t maybe you need to think about a partnership which will help you achieve yours and your clients goals.

If you’re interested in talking about how Anywhere365 Dialogue Cloud can help your organisation drive efficiencies and enable exceptional customer service experience then please contact us.