Alon Cohen, EVP & CTOUnified Communications (UC) is changing the face of conventional telephony systems in enterprises. Establishing congruity between different systems and data— including voice, text, and video—gives organizations control over their channels of communication. Playing a pivotal role in the field of UC is Phone.com. Based in Newark, NJ and with an operations center in San Diego, one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., Phone. com offers affordable phone services for small and medium sized businesses. Led on the Innovation front by Alon Cohen, inventor of the audio transceiver that made Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) a viable commercial product, Phone. com is making its presence felt in the UC arena.
“In the past, the main concern was to bring the different forms of communications onto one platform and put them all in the cloud,” states Cohen, EVP and CTO, Phone.com. But now things are changing and there is a growing trend to include integration with services like Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This is exactly what Phone.com has made its foray into and developed a UC platform that enables the integration of other cloud-based business services. Not only does Phone.com offer an advanced and intuitive cloud PBX service, but also the additional tools (including APIs) enterprises need to integrate existing third party SaaS solutions and future Business Intelligence (BI) systems, CRM systems, and automation tools.
The company delivers features that are expected from a business phone service, such as phone extensions, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), call forwarding, voicemail, and more. Once the base features are established Phone. com adds “flavor” by letting customers set up sophisticated call handling and comprehensive call forwarding rules, such as ringing several phones in parallel, sequentially or based on unique caller IDs. “We also offer various value-added features like audio and video conferencing, screen sharing, WiFi calling, call recording, and caller analytics,” he adds.
Innovating new service models and studying what customers want, are key to what we do and how we operate
Innovation plays an important role in Phone.com’s endeavor to create new products. “Innovating new service models and studying what customers want and sometimes what they don’t even know they want, are all key to what we do and how we operate,” states Cohen.
There are numerous instances that highlight Phone.com’s expertise. One such case is its collaborative effort with LiftMaster—one of the largest gate and garage door opener manufacturers. By integrating Phone.com’s APIs with gated communities’ access systems, the company enabled gate installers to eliminate several steps needed to connect and onboard a gate access system that makes phone calls to tenants through a Phone.com account. Cohen’s team achieved unification of the access system device with its VoIP cloud service at its backend as well as with other systems used to control access.
Phone.com is banking on the three pillars of service, patience, and curiosity to make an impact in the UC arena and they seem to be on the right track. One of the ongoing projects of Phone.com is an extensive set of APIs that will allow developers and customers to manage different aspects of their service programmatically. “This set of APIs goes beyond the standard CRM integration functionality and into the realm of enabling other vendors to create accounts and onboard virtual or physical devices,” remarks Cohen. Besides the new APIs which are expected to be a game changer, Phone. com is expanding on its WebRTC (Real- Time Communication) browser-based video conference and collaboration solution which was successfully launched in December, 2016.