Effective data analytics is at the heart of any successful communications and customer experience strategy – and the evolving collaboration component is set to elevate analytics solutions to the next level.
And according to Tollring Chief Marketing and Experience Officer Hilary Oliver, maximising on the data analytics investment priorities of CEOs is a clear catalyst for channel growth. To provide good context, PWC’s latest global CEO survey showed that over 80 per cent of top execs are investing in technology and tech services around data analytics and operations (the two biggest investment categories). Eighty six per cent are investing in automating processes and systems while 77 per cent are investing in cloud and AI.
According to Oliver, from the channel’s perspective these trends are crystallised by the rise of Microsoft Teams and the requirement for collaboration analytics which she believes will be the ‘next big area’ for investment. “Microsoft presents the biggest market opportunity – and it’s evolving fast,” she commented. “The move to Teams has changed the world and we all need to move with it. For those working on Microsoft Teams, managers can now access high level statistical analysis via graphs and trends to understand productivity while avoiding any negative effects on customer satisfaction or the wellbeing of their people. But the issue for many end customers is the lack of visibility into how people are communicating with colleagues, customers and suppliers, so collaboration analytics will be key. Every reseller will have customers using Microsoft Teams and they need to take full advantage.”
Tollring is currently experiencing significant growth in analytics with a 27 per cent increase across all territories during the last financial year, and over 50 per cent growth in APAC and Europe. Oliver attributes these upticks in large part to working with partners to help maximise the value of analytics, baked-in to their own offering through integration or white labelling, while leveraging APIs to manage their own customers as well as making analytics accessible to their end users. “APIs enable analytics to be presented in the way a business needs it, when they need it, for a better experience,” she stated. “APIs are also continually evolving, providing flexibility and personalisation in how analytics are delivered, consumed by our partners, end customers and even ourselves to progress our offering.”
Solutions that focus on the customer experience should be the number one priority, noted Oliver. “Call analytics has been around for years and is proven to directly impact customer experience, but the new kid on the block is collaboration analytics which delivers insight into internal communication. Businesses need to understand what is happening across their own collaboration and external communications if they are to truly understand their customers’ experience.”
With most companies expecting to have employees working remotely over two days per week organisations have become dependent on Microsoft Teams for collaboration through meetings, messaging and voice features – and it’s not going away. “Collaboration is at the heart of every business,” added Oliver. “Yet in today’s remote and hybrid working world where businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on Microsoft Teams collaboration has become invisible, even though productive and timely collaboration impacts customer experience.
“Every business needs to validate that their hybrid working policy works for both their organisation and their people to drive productivity, cultivate wellbeing and support people no matter their role or where they are based. However, to do this visibility of internal collaboration becomes as important as visibility of external collaboration.”
There was a time when analytics was a nice-to-have, but it is now an expected must-have and Tollring’s most successful partners are those that include analytics as part of their overall offering. These forward thinkers stand to benefit from an innovation boost later this year when Tollring rolls out AI-driven analytics. “When you add AI to the mix the analytics will become even more powerful,” said Oliver. “It’s an extension of the idea that context delivers better quality of insight, and therefore, intelligence.
“For example, speech analytics needs context to be effective in certain industries. While we can work around that manually, a solution underpinned by AI is the only way to stay completely relevant as those industries evolve. Therefore we are going to see more intelligence around analytics. This is not just about how the analytics are presented but about adding layers of intelligence over and above the statistics with personalised insights and reports driven and powered by AI.”
Analytics is a particularly valuable service to offer customers as it engenders trust and reliance on data. Once a provider offers a level of insight it is difficult for the customer to live without it. “Furthermore, gaining value from analytics no longer requires someone to have a degree in data science or be an expert in PowerBI,” said Oliver. “Solutions are presented in a way that are easily accessed and understood by both the provider and their customers. It’s about going to market in a complete way, embracing analytics and building it into the whole proposition.”