Embracing Cloud-Communications for a Competitive Advantage

Vikram Raichura, Managing Director, VivaConnect

Cloud-Communication.You might have heard this term a lot, but do you really know what exactly is it? Let’s clear up the idea of cloud communication first for better understanding of how it can provide your business a competitive edge. In generic words, cloud means anything that can store data without being physically present with you, i.e., at a remote location. Any communication which is done accessing data stored in cloud can be called as Cloud-Communication. Cloud-Communication providers deliver Voice and Data communication applications and services. These applications and services are hosted on provider's servers, giving their customers access to the cloud.

Many businesses are leveraging cloud communication for competitive advantage. A cloud based communication solution can be an integral tool for a business. It enables a business to do things smartly and swiftly than the competition. Good business is all about customer relationships, and a survey by CloudTech found that activating cloud communication improves the interaction between client and business. According to “India Cloud Computing Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020,” the market for cloud computing services in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 22 per cent during 2015-2020. With nearly 8 million Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in India, this market segment presents a huge opportunity for SaaS (Software as a Service) vendors and solution providers.

If I talk about VivaConnect’s solutions based on Cloud-Communication, we provide services on SaaS principle. For instance, we provide client with a number (no sim cards or system required), and the customized campaign is run at the back end on our servers and PRI lines. The biggest advantage for the clients is that they don’t have to invest in the infrastructure or PRI lines, they can just buy the relevant services and monitor the activities remotely with timely reports and software/web panels. They only have to pay for services or applications they use, thereby having a cost-effective, reliable and secure communications environment.

Mobile Radios like Kan Khajura Tesan are based on the same principle, wherein the user can simply give a Missed Call to a number, and could listen to entertaining content in the automated callback. Ads could be placed in between the Radio content for marketing products and services. Mobile Radios are an instant hit these days.

There are innumerable benefits of moving your business to cloud including reduced IT costs (cloud based call centers), flexibility in work practices, easy collaboration within the organization, and scalability. For eg, if a client is willing to conduct a colossal or mega campaign, our infrastructure of more than 2000 PRls, enables them to execute such campaigns without any inconvenience. In 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, BJP collaborated with us and developed a solution, LiveTalk, wherein the users could listen to Shri Narendra Modi’s speeches Live by calling on the assigned number. The user could also hear (on-demand) Shri Narendra Modi’s thoughts on important issues by just giving a voice input. For instance, to hear Sh. Modi’s pre-recorded views on corruption, the caller had to give the Voice command, "Corruption" over the Voice Call. The entire Voice data was stored on our servers. Due to its highest reach among all the mediums of communication, LiveTalk proved to be a great instrument of success for BJP, and the solution bagged 3 gold trophies in MMA Smarties 2014.

This model of delivering software access over the cloud offers many key benefits. From reduced initial investments to faster time to market, reduced implementation cycles to predictable IT expenditures, cloud communication offers a tremendous business opportunity for SMBs. It can even allow you to set up a 'Virtual Office' to give you the flexibility of connecting to your business anytime, anywhere. Recording and saving feedbacks from customers over the Voice call is a common practice. It can be used internally within a company to give organizational updates or deliver Voice based training modules to the employees. The impact of Cloud-Communication on Mobile Marketing cannot be ignored. One of the most evident impacts is that you can upgrade your marketing efforts to the next level without having to spend too much on infrastructure. You just have to come up with an idea, or you can even ask the companies which offer Cloud-Communication services, to give a marketing solution for your business. The entire campaign then can be executed on their servers, thereby incurring a minimal cost for you. Nihar Shanti Amla has a portal which intelligently uses Voice Call to teach English to Indian audience over a Phone Call.

The combination of innovative Mobile Marketing campaigns with cloud based SaaS services is sure to become, or rather has already become a boon for developing SMBs. If you aren’t already taking advantage of these services, it’s high time that you plan your business strategy around it, to have an extra edge over your competitors.