Veracity Networks and Cisco: A Winning Partnership for Industry-Leading Communication Services
Just about every leader will tell you they’re looking to scale: their company, processes, revenue-generating streams, and even their relationships with customers. But the key is to know the end goal of that scale. One of the ways some companies try to scale quickly is by implementing zero-touch solutions. But the zero-touch approach can go too far.
As more and more services move to the cloud, many companies try to implement zero touch—a method of automating customer engagement through technology - for just about everything, from provisioning to support. On the one hand, this is positive, because you give control to the customer and allow them to choose their destiny. But sometimes, people need—and prefer—a personal touch.
At Veracity Networks, we believe companies shouldn’t minimize connectivity with their customers in an effort to streamline their processes. The customer experience should be greater than just a transactional conversation. Building long-lasting partnerships requires greater attention to your customers.
Build Meaningful Relationships
At Veracity, we pride ourselves on providing world-class service with a local touch. With that mission in mind, we've built our company to scale in a way where customers can interact with us in a personal manner through the means they prefer. We do have some online, self-service support and are increasingly using SMS, however often times our customers actually want to talk to us. And it’s often faster and more efficient if they call and get a friendly, helpful person live on the phone.
Our perspective has always been that it’s better to foster long-term customers and give them high-quality and consistent value for the years to come.
Veracity is a facilities-based competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), and we provide managed voice and data services to small, medium, and enterprise commercial customers. When it comes to our managed voice and data services, our goal is to source the fastest data connection that we can administer to our customers— whether they’re on our own fiber internet, or through one of our partners.
The key benefit we provide is layering other services on top of these connections, such as contact center solutions. We also handle traditional telephone services, PRI, analog lines, and more. We deliver on our promises, from sales to support to implementation.
Relying on the Right Partners
To thrive in our highly competitive industry, we’ve had to do several critical things: think long-term, evolve with our industry, and work with the right partners.
And one of our key partners is Cisco.
Our relationship goes back to 2004, before Cisco acquired BroadSoft, when we started deploying their IP PBX product for our customers. Early on in our partnership with Cisco, we quickly realized there is an undeniable benefit when each company focuses on their own strengths. Neither of us needed to be a jack of all trades: We were stronger together.
We chose Cisco because they have the expertise and vision when it comes to building technology platforms, working through the bugs, and constantly innovating. They have the solutions to make technology dreams a reality. On Veracity’s side, our focus and expertise lie in how the network connects the PSTN piece—we're the best at implementing, supporting, and servicing it. Together, we knew Veracity and Cisco had a compelling offer to our customers. History has proven us right.
Anticipating Our Customers’ Needs in an Evolving Market
As the industry grew, and as the needs of our customers have evolved, we've adjusted to the market’s demands.
Initially, there was a drive for internet and data services, and many companies tried to keep up by using premise-based solutions. The speed and connectivity they needed to get back to their main core had to be extremely fast, and so they put everything on premise. That way, they could stay on the local area network for all of their different services.
As internet speeds became faster and more affordable, it just made more sense to move these systems into the cloud. This transition reduces the need (and expense) for the power and space to keep everything on premise.
We saw this trend happening early on, particularly with email. This was the first logical service to move to the cloud. Cisco saw that trend as well and put a lot of development and research into providing a more robust, reliable, and feature-rich communications platform in the cloud.
Fortunately, we had the foresight to see those changes happening and we followed the developments closely. We made sure that we upgraded our system to accept all the new cloud communication offerings. There are many companies in our industry that still use on-premise solutions. Although they haven't yet made the changes to take advantage of Cisco’s new cloud software opportunities, the vast majority are seriously considering the move. And those that aren’t following the markets trends are at risk of being left behind.
Unifying and Conquering: Deploying Cisco Customer Journey Platform
Through our partnership, we've been able to bring on many new customers who were on old premise-based traditional contact centers. Others have come to us from cloud contact centers that just weren’t meeting their needs.
This switch is important because their customers want to communicate through multiple channels, such as social media, email, chatbots, and SMS. Customers don’t want a single method of communication. You shouldn’t want one either.
In 2010, we implemented our first cloud contact center through the Cisco platform. We then expanded upon this and rolled out our first Unified Communications customer in 2013. We've grown that platform from beginning to end, keeping current on the latest releases so we can provide a complete solution for our customers.
By implementing Cisco’s Unified Communications and contact center solutions, our customers get chat, video conferencing, audio conferencing, SMS messaging, and screen sharing—all in one solution.
A more recent development, and one that’s added a ton of value to our customers, is Cisco’s Customer Journey Platform (CJP). This allows us to unify all of those communication channels into one interface so it's easier to manage, deploy, and service customers.
We’ve helped many of our customers transition to Cisco CJP. We’ve received rave reviews from customers regarding the reliable service, call quality, and service response times compared to other cloud offers. These customers sound like kids on Christmas morning. They have all these different toys and tools to provide better support for their customers. I get excited when I see our customers excited.
Relationships and Partnerships: Driving the Business Forward
As I look back on our time with Cisco, it makes me realize that a great partnership is about being more than the sum of its parts. Cisco has a phenomenal platform—solid, reliable, and robust. The support we receive from the BroadSoft and Cisco team, and the partnerships we've made with them, have helped our business grow.
With our own CJP contact center, we’ve been able to cut our after-hour hold times almost in half by implementing at-home and on-call agents.
From a revenue perspective, the CJP product has allowed us to grow quickly. In the second year CJP has accounted for over 18% of our quota retirement. Overall, it’s helped us exceed our company’s new revenue by 11%.
Cisco has not just been a technology partner for our company, but a strategic partner from an executive and stakeholder perspective as well. Cisco has done a phenomenal job with a great cloud offering, which unifies all those different channels, sets a clear vision on where they are going, and establishes network reliability and redundancy.
Where Veracity complements Cisco’s CJP is our expertise in the carrier network and all of the connections from the PSTN. We don't think there's anyone in the industry who has greater expertise than us, paired with exceptional customer experience. When you combine our offering with Cisco’s technology, that’s a hard combination to beat. Thankfully, our customers feel the same.
Riding a New Wave of Connectivity and Customer Connection
We see a major shift happening in the industry right now. There’s going to be a big transition for contact centers as they replace their aging systems and upgrade to new cloud contact center solutions. This transformation is gaining a lot of speed and momentum because as more customers make the move, they unlock incredible new ways they can service their customers.
We’ve caught the beginning of a new wave that we’re going to ride for years to come. Contact center solutions are only one area in which we provide value to our customers, but it’s an incredibly exciting space. By empowering our customers, they empower their own customers. And while our competitors continue to focus on zero touch, we’ll keep thinking about the long term. We have a pretty good idea which approach will win out.