Introduction by Doug Green, Publisher of TelecomReseller
Based upon the TelecomReseller Podcast
The lights are on; the servers are working. This, according to Steven Karachinsky, is where many end users operate today. The experience is sound and satisfactory. It could be better.
In this article, Steven Karachinsky discusses how to take a network from a B to an A plus experience. We discuss how Stack8 is delivering a simplification of processes and readying customers to leverage Unified Communication technologies through Managed Services into new frontiers.
Steven Karachinsky describes how using Cisco Spark, Stack8 and Stack8 Chatbots are helping companies solve challenges quickly and efficiently.
DG: Why don’t you tell us a little about Stack8?
SK: We are a deeply specialized Cisco Unified Communications and Networking Partner, and are experts in everything connected with these technologies. We offer a variety of Managed Services and Automation Solutions geared at helping customers get more value out of their systems, use them better and take full advantage of the Cisco technology experience.
DG: So as a Cisco user, why should I consider Stack8?
SK: Today if you were to ask the typical Cisco UC customer to score what value they were getting from their service, I am sure they would give it a rating of B or B-. The lights are on, and things are working, and that is pretty much it. What we want to do is move that customers experience from a B to an A+.
DG: How do you do that?
SK: We accomplish this in a number of different ways: The first method is through software tools we build and develop for our customers. For example, through our tools, we enable users with limited experience and no training in Cisco solutions, to interact and get value from it, without having to be trained on the solution.
We are also leveraging Cisco’s new Spark platform, specifically from a chatbot/AI (virtual assistant) perspective. We see this as a tremendous opportunity for Cisco customers to leverage the technology, to be much more efficient, automate repetitive processes and to offer better customer service, it is a real game changer.
The IT industry, in general, is moving towards chatbot/AI technologies. Gartner with whom we work with very closely deems these conversational systems as the next big trend of the decade. Where the last ten years was all about mobile and Cloud, the next decade will be all about the notion of personal assistants chatbots and natural language solutions. We are leveraging this and will be a leader of this next wave.
Thanks to Cisco and what they have accomplished with Spark, over the last year, now is a great opportunity for Cisco customers to do things better. Through our managed services offering we are leveraging Cisco Spark to make the experience a lot easier for our clients. I will give you a quick example:
Every organization has a Major Incident Management situation where an emergency happens; a P1 ticket is issued, then you need to wrangle up whoever is on the escalation sheet, there could be 20 or 30 people that need to be notified. That is where the trouble occurs; It is a human administrative issue. At the end of the day, you waste 20-to-30 minutes just getting people organized to handle the problem; this could cost the company thousands of dollars just for the time to get themselves organized. This is creating a troubling experience for end users.
We have developed an automated process via Cisco Spark and our chatbot technologies to handle all Major Incident Management situations. Here is how it works; when a P1 ticket comes in, all individuals who are on this escalation are automatically invited into a Spark space, where all of the information regarding the MIM is available for them to review live. Everyone can collaborate on the same problem in seconds. This is so much more efficient, so much more productive. Most importantly the service that the customers are getting is optimized.
DG: So using chatbot technologies is more efficient, it is better, even the experience is better for the people involved… In these situations Email can be a bad way to communicate, not everyone is looking at the same email at the same moment and the threads, it sounds like this is a more precise, and better way to talk.
SK: Today we use email pervasively for almost everything we do in business because it is a tool. Chatbot/AI technologies are just a new set of tools to help us to do our jobs better, faster, more efficiently. We are already using chat in our daily lives; people are chatting all of the time, why can’t we have the same experience within a business environment in a safe, secure fashion.
DG: Let’s talk about Managed Services
SK: We are positioning our UC managed services as a reliable option for customers unsure about putting their voice in the Cloud or using a hosted model. Not because I am anti-Cloud or anti-hosted, but in this particular space, customers want simplicity, and I believe we can offer this simplicity in a better more valuable fashion for the client.
With our UC managed services we believe that customers should maintain 100% control over their entire UC environment. , including the timing and type of upgrades performed on their system. Also, they should have the ability to make and execute decisions promptly, which is vital for a sustainable competitive advantage.
Communications is essential for any business whether it’s dealing with your internal team, partners or customer. Communications is not a commodity, it is not a utility, and that is why keeping control is critical.
DG: Thank you for giving us an overview of what you do and how you take Cisco Spark and Unified Communications and make it part of a more modern process for companies.
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