In this month's Partner Spotlight, we sat down with Jeroen Andre de la Porte, Managing Director of SoftApp.
Q: Thanks for joining for joining us today Jeroen. Let's start by having you briefly introduce yourself and SoftApp to our audience.
A: Thank you for the invite, Altigen Team - this is much appreciated! My first name is Jeroen, and I live and work in the Netherlands. I am happily married, have two grown up children and have been working in the telecommunication | Unified Communication industry for over 25 years. Over the years our industry has seen many (interesting) technological changes which I am proud to have been privy too.
Today I am managing director and co-owner of SoftApp. SoftApp - headquartered in Amersfoort - the Netherlands, is an international cloud service provider.
We built a cloud service called The Voice of O365. The Voice of O365 is a direct routing solution which adds PSTN access to Microsoft 365 (turns Microsoft 365 into a fully-fledged PBX) so an organization can make and receive telephone calls with their existing Microsoft Teams license as they are accustomed to with their current PBX or hosted voice service.
By adding The Voice of O365 license - business partners and their customers - have the ability to register and provision any sip trunk and corresponding telephone numbers to the virtual AudioCodes SBCs of The Voice of O365 who are paired to deliver 'direct routing' capabilities for Microsoft Teams.
We sell our solution to telco's, system integrators and ICT business partners across the European market.
Q:SoftApp was one of the first distributors to add Altigen's CoreInteract to your solutions portfolio. What were the primary reasons for this?
A: Dealing with business partner questions every day and being told, many times over, that for many end customers the Microsoft Call Queues and Menus were not sufficient made us realize that there is an exciting 'opportunity' in the current Teams telephony marketplace. So - we started to look for an omni-channel Routing & Queuing solution that is 'native' to Teams.
A cloud-based solution especially created for businesses (SMEs + Corporations) that have a sales department, helpdesk, or information desk. One central point in the company from which customer contacts are managed.
A solution built on the Microsoft Bot Framework, using the communication APIs of Microsoft Teams and deployed in Azure.
A solution that has the Microsoft Teams client as a starting point, providing sufficient 'queue' functionality, integration with Dynamics 365, user convenience for the 'agent' and simplicity.
Finally, a truly native Teams application which functions with Microsoft Calling Plans as well as any certified SIP trunk Direct Routing solution.
Q: What has been your experience so far?
A: The CoreInteract solution has met our criteria and that of our business partners. The CoreInteract solution is easy to deploy. The web-based admin interface (also accessible via the Teams client) is understandable and intuitive. The workflow designer is unsurpassed and - additionally - gives end customers the ability to create and/or make changes as their needs require.
Q:What made CoreInteract stand out from other solutions in the market?
A: Microsoft Teams remains 'in charge' of all the call control functionality instigated by or directed to CoreInteract. The Teams client is there for the primary calling endpoint for the agents (additional desktop software is not mandatory but is available as a choice).
The CoreInteract agent may use the Teams web and mobile client as well. Performance and quality experiences of the Teams client are preserved in all apps.
Analytics, Workflow management, role-based experiences for Agents can be managed within the CoreInteract app within Teams or via a web-based control panel.
Q:Dynamics 365 integration with CoreInteract has been very important to you. Can you explain to our audience the significance of that?
A: Microsoft Teams is the ultimate messaging app for an organization-a workspace for real-time collaboration and communication, meetings, file, and app sharing and even the occasional emoji! All in one place and all accessible to everyone.
Dynamics 365 is a set of interconnected, modular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and services designed to both transform and enable customers, employees, and business activities. It combines CRM and ERP capabilities, integrating data, business logic and processes.
To be able to combine Teams, Contact Center software and Dynamic 365s 'we' are in line with Satya Nadella's vision (as he explained to us all during his Inspire keynote of 2021).
Q:How does this help your reseller partners?
A: With Microsoft putting worldwide emphasis on Dynamics, growth in terms of licenses sold in the marketplace will be imminent. Business partners should (must) be able to tell their present and future customers that they have an integrated CRM contact center solution answer for Dynamics 365 at an advantageous price per, user per month. Allowing for additional revenue opportunities.
Q:Can you also explain the primary benefits of the CoreInteract Dynamics 365 integration for end customers?
A: Imagine that your agents can dive right into a conversation with your customers once they have answered the incoming call…. Wouldn't that be a dream?
Q:Are there any other areas of integration that you see which end customers can benefit from?
A: The integration also improves an organization's customer experience because the software can serve as the central hub for all customer information, from the first point of contact to the most recent transaction.
Q:Do you have any final thoughts or recommendations for Microsoft Dynamics partners whose customers are also using Teams?
A: Yes, I do have a thought I would like to share. If you would like to extend your Dynamics 365 practice and ride on the Teams telephony wave without in-depth telecom knowhow then do, consider CoreInteract. Because CoreInteract is native to Teams your engineers do not need ANY sip trunk or SBC knowledge and can concentrate on that what is most important - deliver the incoming call (and soon SMS, emails, and web chats) to the right department or person - right away.