Why Integrations Are Essential to Selling IP PBX Solutions
Businesses no longer view PBX systems as standalone—they now coexist among myriad other IP solutions aimed at improving productivity and communications efficiency. This push towards… continue below
Businesses no longer view PBX systems as standalone—they now coexist among myriad other IP solutions aimed at improving productivity and communications efficiency. This push towards Unified Communications (UC)—the buzzword referring to the amalgamation of communication services like text, email and talk—affects how IP telecom providers sell and manage their services. It expands the scope because they can no longer offer isolated products. They need integrations so that businesses can get their existing solutions talking to each other and performing more powerfully together.
Perhaps the most valuable PBX integration is with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions. Bringing these two platforms together enables business’ sales and support personnel to streamline their processes, glean actionable customer data and improve accountability. Some common CRM integration features include:
- Click to call;
- Details call logs and reports;
- Contact lookup and edit;
- Automated communication event (i.e. recorded voice reminders).
Text and Instant Messaging
With an increasingly mobile and connected workforce, teams rely less on voice and email than ever before. Many workers now communicate strictly over text or instant messenger—a problem for businesses without the infrastructure to moderate such channels.
This is where UC truly excels: it incorporates these newer forms of communication into traditional channels like voice and fax. With great developments in software clients, all the features of traditional business PBX have been made available alongside instant messaging and text functionalities, enabling users to communicate more consistently via preferred channels. Integrations simplify communications by bringing multiple channels into a single application.
How to Administer IP PBX Integrations
Popular PBX solutions offer plugin integrations—premade configurations that allow administrators to painlessly connect two services. Sometimes the integration is as simple as clicking the install button; however, that convenience can come at a price.
When dealing with open-source IP PBX solutions, integrating services is more involved. Although community developers may write detailed documentation, there will always be legwork getting authorization from the two solutions (or more) in question.
Likewise, building integrations from scratch can amount to hours of upfront development time, with continued maintenance hours to protect the integration from deprecation. For IP service providers branching into custom integrations, it’s important to consider such development resources before promoting these solutions.