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Managed service providers (MSPs) selling Cytracom’s voice-over-IP (VoIP) hosted services just got a new weapon in their arsenal, called Ivie. It’s a voice intelligence engine that will help MSPs keep their customers’ phones up and running, as well as help sales prospects overcome their fears about VoIP’s reliability and voice quality.
That’s a lot to ask, and it’s not going to come all at once.
Cytracom, which has been using Ivie internally for about a year, plans to release a line of Ivie-powered applications. These applications are free features built into Cytracom’s VoIP platform.
The first application available today is voice continuity, whereby Ivie monitors a customer’s voice network, detects anomalies and notifies MSPs and their customers about problems. This is a rules-based analytics application that takes action. For instance, if a branch office’s internet goes down, Ivie will route calls in accordance with the customer’s voice continuity policy.
Ivie gets smarter this spring.
The next application, to be released in the second quarter, will be machine-learning, active intelligence. Ivie will analyze billions of data points across multiple customers and service providers in real-time, unearth insights and patterns about call quality, and generate detailed reports. It’ll not only catch problems early, such as choppy calls, but figure out where the breakdown occurred in the many hops from the customer location to Cytracom’s data centers — and what steps should be taken to fix it.
“This is where Ivie really starts to come to life,” says Cytracom CEO Zane Conkle. “Now the MSP can get ahead of the problem.”
Deep analytics and reporting give MSPs firepower when dealing with customers. Chris Traxler, CEO of Cirrus Technologies, an MSP and Cytracom partner, says a customer’s employee might have a call-quality issue that lasts five minutes, but will escalate it to management as if it’s system-wide. Using the Ivie active intelligence application, Traxler will be able to generate a report for management that tells the truth.
“In the technology industry, problems get blown out of proportion,” Traxler says.
Detailed reports can also help MSPs land customers. VoIP still carries a soured reputation of unreliability and poor quality from its early days that puts off potential customers. But soon Traxler will be armed with a report on call quality and performance.
“A lot of times, we’re selling and there’s an element of the unknown, because we don’t always know exactly how it’s going to work until it’s installed and running,” Traxler says. “Now I’ve got data, something measurable, that I can show a client. For companies that are gun-shy about going to a VoIP solution, this will absolutely help.”
Ivie couldn’t come soon enough.
Today’s digitally savvy customer has heightened expectations. They expect to see detailed analytical reports chock full of data insights. They want to be alerted when problems arise and resolutions to happen quickly. Fair or not, they simply assume MSPs will be able to provide the same reliability and performance in voice as they do with other forms of communication.
“A new buyer is emerging,” says Forrester analyst Jay McBain. “The head of customer service or customer success is making more technical decisions on the customer experience through the web, calling, social. The same way they look at web performance, they may also want to be alerted if there are technical issues with the phone system.”