Public Sector Focus

22.01.18

How can cost-conscious organisations benefit from an imaginative provider?

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Rafael Cortes, head of marketing at Foehn, discusses what cloud service providers can do to deliver innovative solutions for their clients.

At some time or other, we’ve all met those over-used phrases that have been repeated so often that their meaning becomes distorted. “With all due respect …” normally precedes a torrent of disrespect. “To be quite honest…” begs the question, are you normally not honest? More recently, there’s a phrase favoured particularly by politicians and public-sector that is used in the wake of a mess-up on their part. “We take this matter very seriously…” is a verbal sticking plaster that attempts to persuade the public that those responsible are not as incompetent as they appear to be.

So, it was interesting to see the Crown Commercial Service respond to suppliers and customers regarding their decision to extend G-Cloud 9, with the quote, “We have taken your feedback very seriously…”. A statement of the obvious or a slightly patronising smoke screen? Either way, it does little to appease the dissatisfaction of the many smaller IT suppliers that have believed in G-Cloud, worked hard to meet changing demands and have built their business model around the G-Cloud process. The end game sounds promising, but the wait poses some important barriers to new members, new products and new pricing. 

Less of semantics, though, and being more positive, what can the smaller cloud service provider do to ensure their clients receive the best in cloud innovation while waiting for the G-Cloud renaissance. At Foehn, our solutions have been built on the needs of the smaller business and there are two key areas that don’t appear in the list of system features but account for much of our success:

  1. Simplification of cloud communications management

Simplicity of design, and subsequent ease of utilisation, is what people want and there is a realisation that ‘employee engagement’ is critical to the adoption and utilisation of technology. At Foehn, this has always been a strong factor in our approach to both software development and user interface design for our cloud communications. Simplicity enables the IT manager to delegate simple management tasks to business users and to undertake configuration work in-house, formally requiring third party expertise. In both instances savings in time and cost can be significant.

Many businesses are now realising that it’s not the application bristling with the most features that delivers best return. It’s the one that is simplest to use. By encouraging employee engagement with tools that are enjoyable to use, businesses are learning that ‘simplicity’ is not a fluffy, nice-to-have. On the contrary, it delivers hard commercial benefit and brand values that attract loyal clients. 

  1. Software development skills

In-house software development skills are important for integration projects but also provide reassurance of an active innovation and development roadmap to support your system.

If the development skills are based on open source, then all the better. Open source projects are not tied to standards and can require less coding thanks to existing code made available by both the community and the bigger participating vendors. Quality of code is better too. Independent verification by members of the open source community outside the business means code tends to be of a higher quality. Also, it’s human nature that a developer, knowing the code is going into the public domain, is likely to submit cleaner code.

Faster execution, shorter time to market and right-first-time results mean the business can save direct costs and improve profitability associated with agility and market competition.

No doubt G-Cloud will improve and will deliver a better service – in time. Meanwhile, cost-conscious customers (and imaginative suppliers) might look to the less obvious aspects of service delivery to find savings and business benefit. Voxivo is our flagship cloud phone system launched last year. It incorporates these advantages alongside the competitive features, pricing and business benefit that are the focus of G-Cloud.

Take a look at Voxivo or learn more about what the public-sector buyer needs to consider when acquiring a cloud-based phone or contact centre system.

UTM for Voxivo can be found here.

UTM for public-sector buyers can be found here.

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