16th June, 2011. LONDON: THUS, a Cable&Wireless Worldwide business, and hosting specialists Content Guru, today announce they will be offering storm® - Europe’s largest mass interactive communications platform - to the SME market.
With the proliferation of new technology, such as cloud services, medium-sized businesses have far greater access to the quality of systems and applications they require. The ‘enterprisation’ of technology, where enterprise-level technologies are becoming available at mid-market price economics for the first time, is transforming how businesses use technology – and importantly the benefits they can gain.
With large businesses such as Rightmove plc & EDF Energy already using the storm cloud solution, today’s announcement means that the mid-market will now be able to take advantage of the kind of sophisticated, multi-channel communications technology that has traditionally been the preserve of large enterprises or public sector organisations.
“Advanced, integrated communication technologies can deliver real value to SMEs by transforming the customer experience” says Deane McIntyre, Director of Marketing and Product Innovation at THUS.
“Conventional phones and email are now only small parts of a rich mix of communication technologies that businesses should use if they want to be relevant to their customers.”
storm has the capacity to handle a vast number of interactive communications and unites all inbound and outbound contact channels into a single, fully integrated system that links directly into customer databases. Additionally a simple web interface provides comprehensive reporting and easy control.
The rich service list includes: • Inbound calls • SMS (including appointment confirmation) • MMS (such as video to mobile) • Outbound voice and predictive dialers • Email • Fax • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) • Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) • Hosted IP Voice (IP Centrex) • SIP trunking • Call recording • Intelligent call routing • Web & Social Media channel support
"We have extensively piloted storm in our own customer services function and across our web channels. In a matter of weeks we received very positive customer feedback that our communications had improved, especially around proactive updates."
Power and flexibility via the cloud
THUS services running on storm are offered as solutions hosted in the cloud, allowing customers to introduce smart new communications solutions without having to make large capital investments. In addition, there is no management overhead wasted on maintaining the applications and solutions, and keeping them secure and up-to-date.
Sean Taylor, Managing Director of Content Guru, which co-owns the storm platform with Cable&Wireless Worldwide, explains that these technologies enable the kind of interaction with customers that is usually the preserve of dedicated contact centres.
“Even a relatively small organisation, with 50 or 100 users, actually needs a sophisticated communication infrastructure these days,” he says. “Business customers and consumers are used to getting fast access to services and information, and any organisation that cannot respond quickly when a customer makes contact – whether by phone, email, SMS or online – will lose competitive advantage to a company that has the technology in place.”
“storm can transform an SME’s communications infrastructure without consuming precious capital, delivering efficiencies and innovations that enhance competitiveness and boost profit margins.”
A variety of sector specific solutions are available preconfigured by THUS on the storm platform. They include technologies for retail, financial services, charities, Education, public and private organisations and businesses with smaller contact centres. With a track record of numerous successful implementations the service is essentially “off-the-shelf”, and is rapidly adaptable to address specific business challenges and opportunities. An implementation can be completed in a matter of weeks, so business benefits can be quickly realised.
“THUS is all about bringing businesses together with communications and collaboration solutions,” concludes Deane McIntyre. “storm’s unique capacity and versatility creates virtually limitless possibilities for our customers.”
Customer case study: Aurora
Ensuring a better overall customer experience was the driving force for commercial lighting company Aurora to use THUS systems. The company chose a new enterprise grade solution delivered through storm to support a rapidly expanding customer base and mobile workforce.
Andrew Johnson, CEO at Aurora commented:
“As a creative company that constantly strives to use new technologies and better ways of working, Aurora recognised that a new approach was required to improve both customer engagement and internal staff collaboration for a much better overall customer experience. storm means Aurora can interact with its customers using a variety of communications technologies. With the storm platform, THUS has tackled our need for improved infrastructure and a fully scalable communications system.”