IP-telephony is one of the stages on the way of digitalization of your company
In the current environment, a business must have exceptional communication with customers and partners, so outdated telephony technologies are not able to help in this matter. If you keep people waiting on the line, it is unlikely that your company will be contacted again. This technology can be replaced by IP-telephony, whose capabilities are now suitable for companies of any level. You can benefit from uninterrupted, high-quality and low-cost communication that takes into account all the features of your business. Read about how great opportunities are now available for a modern business implementing IP telephony in our interview with Atamoglan Tagiyev, CTO of iTech Group.

- IP-telephony is just another way of communication for business, like mobile communications? What are its benefits?

- The development of IP-telephony and the expansion of communication methods have created conditions for people to quickly and easily communicate with each other, regardless of their location. In a business environment, the advantages of IP telephony can be considered the ability of employees to communicate through a single platform in various ways, for example, calls, internal chats, video calls.
- Is IP-telephony for large call-centers or is it advisable to implement it in companies with a small client base?

- Starting from the smallest business and ending with large companies, factories, banks, government agencies - in all these areas, IP-telephony is considered one of the main workflow tools. For this reason, the introduction of such a system, even in those companies that do not have their own customer base, has a positive effect on the development of their business. In addition, IP-telephony is one of the stages on the way of digitalization of your company.

- In what segments is IP-telephony most in demand today?

- During the pandemic, we, as office employees, learned to work remotely, and as clients ourselves, we learned to receive services without visiting banks or restaurants. In order for these processes to run smoothly, communication between the business and the client must be well established from a technical point of view. IP-telephony has successfully passed this test and today can be implemented in any segment.

- How secure is communication over IP? After all, if online stores take orders by phone, then a person voices his personal data. How to protect this information?

- When establishing a connection via IP-telephony between the customer and the contractor, the conversations are encrypted using special protocols. It also prevents outside interference. But even this technology is becoming obsolete. Now in many countries the identification of a person by voice is practiced. In our country, this technology is still at the testing stage, but in the near future the function will become available to business owners in Azerbaijan.

- There are a lot of protocols in IP-telephony, and it can be difficult for customers to understand such technologies as TCP, UDP and others. Is there a need for customers to understand this difference?

- These moments, as a rule, are discussed with the IT departments of companies and together with them a decision is made on the protocols that will be involved. Therefore, ordinary users of IP-telephony do not need to have this information.

- What should the customer consider before implementing IP-telephony?

- First of all, an assessment of the company's IT infrastructure should be carried out, including the availability of network infrastructure and security equipment, the stability of the Internet connection and server capacities. These are the main factors to consider before implementing IP telephony. The scope of the client's activity, the current state of the business, as well as his plans for the coming years, such as expanding the company and opening new branches, are also taken into account. At the next stage, the possibility of integrating the used CRM system with IP telephony systems is explored. This helps to better establish proper communication with customers.

- How to assess the economic feasibility of introducing IP-telephony and its functions?

- Since the requirements for server capacities and network resources of the IP telephony systems we use are minimal, we use the existing IT infrastructure of companies. Therefore, despite the transition to a new and modern communication system, companies do not face large financial costs. On the contrary, thanks to the creation of a single call-center, companies significantly reduce communication costs in the future.

- Tell us about a typical package of services in IP-telephony.

- iTech Group offers IP-telephony services for implementation in several areas. Firstly, this is the installation of an internal IP-telephony system. Employees will be able to communicate with each other regardless of their location via intercom. In addition, with the help of a mobile application, they have the opportunity to use their internal numbers via the Internet, even while abroad. This frees the company from roaming costs. The second direction is building your own call-center system. Such a call center is created to answer customer calls related to information and technical support or other requests. At the same time, the system integrates with the existing client base and CRM system, so that the operator will have all the information about the calling client on the display even before he answers the call. This allows, when a call comes in, to address the client by name, which, in turn, is one of the factors that increase customer satisfaction. And our third direction is the establishment of an automatic call system. This functionality can be used for various purposes, for example, when a bank client needs to pay an overdue loan, the system will automatically notify him of the date of payment and the amount of a possible fine. Or, for example, on the birthday of a regular customer of your store, the system will automatically congratulate him and offer him a discount on certain products. In addition, the system also performs the process of processing the numbers recorded in the customer base, identifying missing, non-working or incorrect numbers.

- What is the impact on the IP-telephony market of the widespread use of cloud services, for example, the emergence of virtual PBXs?

- Depending on the functionality, customers can use local and foreign cloud services. But, as I said earlier, they usually do not resort to using cloud services, since the existing infrastructure is used to a minimum. Considering that this infrastructure needs to be upgraded over time, and due to the other costs that follow from this, it can be said that in the near future many companies will switch to using IP-telephony through cloud services.

- What are the most interesting solutions you had to implement?

- We have built an ideal communication system based on IP-telephony at AzərEnerji OJSC. When we started working on updating their previous system, it turned out that the hardware used was no longer supported by the manufacturer. After careful research, we managed to integrate the old analog system with the new IP telephony system using a number of additional devices. As a result, we provided uninterrupted communication for this company throughout the country. As our army advanced during the Second Karabakh War, the employees of Azərenerji restored power lines in the liberated territories, and we followed them, establishing an internal communication system in these areas. I consider this project the most successful, the most interesting and the most honorable for the iTech Group. Also, in addition to this project, our company carried out large projects to introduce IP telephony and call centers in a number of public and private enterprises, namely Pasha Bank, Kapital Bank, Rabitəbank, Accessbank, Bank of Baku, Günay Bank, Bank Avrasiya, Paşa Sığorta, Paşa Life Sığorta, Paşa Technology, Atəşgah Sığorta, Günay Sığorta, Qala Sığorta, PMD Group and Abşeron Hotel Group hotels, State Committee for Work with Diaspora, Azəraluminium, Azərimed, Sumqayıt Hospital , STP, Socar STP, Socar Polymer, STDC, etc. The list can go on for a very long time.

- How to choose IP-telephony, which will not have to be changed in six months, because it no longer meets the needs of the business?

- If the business develops, then with an increase in the number of customers, the service area of the company also expands. In this case, the number of calls to the company will grow, which leads to the need to increase the staff of operators answering calls. For example, the installed system was designed for 50 operators. With the development of business, it became clear that the number of operators could not be increased. One way or another, the company will have to move to a new and scalable system. Taking into account the current economic situation and the company's plans to expand the business in the near future, we are building a system designed for further growth. This is our approach to work.

- What vendors in the field of IP-telephony does the company work with?

- iTech Group has been offering services in the Azerbaijani market for more than 20 years and one of the main areas of our activity is IP-telephony systems. We are currently partnering with manufacturers such as 3CX, Snom, Fanvil, Karel and Yeastar. In addition, in our country we are the official distributor of some of them. Our company employs high-class engineers who have international certificates for working with solutions from these manufacturers. So you can be sure that the IP-telephony system we have built will allow you to constantly stay in touch with customers, simplify internal business processes and increase the level of service.
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