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Why iPaaS Is a Smart Value-Add to UCaaS

- Blog

Dean ManzooriBy Dean Manzoori

With so many cloud and on-premises applications playing host to disconnected stores of enterprise data, customers might be obstructed in their efforts to achieve real business insight and drive optimal outcomes.

Automated business processes that draw on all available data about customers – including their service calls, purchases and contributions to the top line – can help employees drive greater client satisfaction and higher sales every time they interact with buyers.

But developing these complex workflows takes time, money and expertise.

Some organizations try to master the challenge by putting programmers or third-party professional services teams to work: They use APIs to connect the dots across communications, CRM, ERP and other systems to deliver useful intelligence in support of optimized workflows.

However, this development expertise is expensive and often in short supply. How much better would it be if you could help customers give their business users the ability to simply and visually create macros that deliver clever integrations, handily automating and accelerating a limitless array of business processes?

The good news is that companies can access this capability right now through integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) technology, which Gartner defines as “a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on-premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations."

An iPaaS makes it possible for business users to configure and integrate workflows across any number and combination of business applications, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Slack, Marketo, Hubspot, Basecamp, Google Docs and Twitter, without requiring any programming knowledge of how to make API calls. Instead, RESTful APIs are normalized in the background into a trigger, action or query that business users can string together using a GUI interface to create integrated workflows.

By integrating iPaaS with UCaaS, enterprise communications becomes simplified and truly unified. Customers can add value into all their business processes by connecting the process to communication events, putting true business-process automation into the hands of the actual application users. In short, iPaaS lowers the barrier for companies to innovate.

Finally, there’s a way to apply the API standard to communicate across cloud and other applications without having to program specific connections. No coding required. Repeat: No coding – or infrastructure management – required. The result is that UCaaS users will be able to connect voice, video, mobile, telephony, IM, text and collaboration functions and data to software from virtually any vendor, seamlessly enabling business workflows on demand, in a drag-and-drop, visual manner.

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Do It Your Way

Of course, the customer’s line-of-business experts will have the best insights into which workflow integrations make the most sense to support their divisions and respond to market changes quickly. But here are some of the custom integrations and processes that will be possible with an iPaaS. That customers will be able to painlessly automate these themselves is a major selling feature:

  • Businesses can set up workflows that are triggered by a client’s phone call to perform the action of querying ERP/inventory software to discover the customer’s recent orders for immediate retrieval and display in a UCaaS platform. That can be an important step in optimizing the caller’s buying relationship with the company during discussions.
  • Businesses can immediately onboard users to a unified communications (UCaaS) system by setting up a provisioning workflow whose trigger is the creation of a new account in active directory. That can lead to the automatic creation of the same user account in the cloud communications platform. Once connected, there’s no longer the burden to repeat the provisioning process for the UCaaS system. One takeaway from the recent Cisco Marketing Velocity conference is that, when users don’t fully embrace services, renewal rates drop.
  • Businesses can create as many workflow actions stemming from a UCaaS system as they choose. For instance, incoming calls can trigger a workflow action to check whether the caller (based on extracting the caller ID) is a VIP account in the company’s Salesforce CRM software. If so, the next action would be to record the call and save it to the account’s activity history with a time stamp, as well as to send a link to the recording to users for access to the .WAV file. As another action, the process can even move the file to a speech-to-text transcription service like the one facilitated by IBM Watson, which can be leveraged to add sentiment analysis to the picture, too.
  • Organizations can broaden computer-telephony integrations, such as screen pops, with a much greater variety of cloud applications.

If that’s not enough, how about another action that immediately opens up a support ticket for that customer to assure a speedy dial-back if the caller’s tone is interpreted to be angry?

Think of iPaaS technology as the business user's version of Lego blocks. Business managers can cost-effectively and speedily piece together innovative and imaginative macros to suit their particular needs as quickly as those needs arise — and quickly redo them as those needs change. Business administrators will be limited only by their ability to innovate. Once empowered, they will find the possibilities endless.

Dean Manzoori is vice president of product management for UCaaS at Masergy Communications. He brings over 25 years of IT experience in a variety of roles including operational management, strategic planning and business development.

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