As part of this month’s Partner Spotlight, we caught up with Jeroen Andre de la Porte, Managing Director of SoftApp.
Q: Thanks for joining Jeroen today. Let’s start by briefly introducing you and SoftApp to our audience.
A: Thanks for the invitation, the Altigen team – much appreciated! My first name is Jeroen, and I live and work in the Netherlands. I am married, have two grown children and have worked in telecommunications | Unified communications industry for over 25 years. Over the years there have been many (interesting) technological changes in our industry that I am also proud to have been aware of.
Today, I am the CEO and co-owner of SoftApp. SoftApp – headquartered in Amersfoort – in the Netherlands, is an international cloud service provider.
We built a cloud service called The Voice of O365. O365 Voice is a direct routing solution that adds PSTN access to Microsoft 365 (turns Microsoft 365 into a full-fledged PBX) so that an organization can make and receive phone calls with its existing Microsoft Teams license, such as she is accustomed to its current use. Hosted PBX or voice service.
By adding The Voice of O365 license – business partners and their customers – have the ability to register and provide any SIP trunk and corresponding phone numbers to The Voice of O365 virtual SBC AudioCodes which are paired for provide “direct routing” capabilities for Microsoft Teams.
We sell our solution to telecom operators, system integrators and ICT business partners in the European market.
Question:SoftApp was one of the first distributors to add Altigen’s CoreInteract to your solutions portfolio. What were the main reasons for this?
A: Responding to business partner questions daily and being told time and time again that for many end customers, Microsoft’s call queues and menus weren’t enough, we realized there is an ‘opportunity’ exciting in today’s Teams telephony market. So we started researching a “native” omnichannel routing and queuing solution from Teams.
A cloud-based solution specially created for companies (SMEs + Companies) that have a sales department, a help desk or an information desk. A central point of the company from which customer contacts are managed.
A solution built on the Microsoft Bot Framework, using Microsoft Teams communication APIs and deployed in Azure.
A solution that has the Microsoft Teams client as a starting point, offering sufficient “queue” functionality, integration with Dynamics 365, ease of use for the “agent” and simplicity.
Finally, a truly native Teams app that works with Microsoft calling plans as well as any certified SIP direct trunk routing solution.
Q: What has your experience been so far?
A: The CoreInteract solution met our criteria and those of our business partners. The CoreInteract solution is easy to deploy. The web administration interface (also accessible through the Teams client) is understandable and intuitive. The workflow designer is unmatched and, moreover, gives end customers the ability to create and / or make changes according to their needs.
Question:What made CoreInteract stand out from other solutions on the market?
A: Microsoft Teams remains “in charge” of all call control functionality initiated by or directed to CoreInteract. The Teams client is there for the primary call endpoint for agents (additional desktop software is not obligatory but is available as desired).
The CoreInteract agent can also use the Teams web and mobile client. The performance and quality experiences of the Teams client are preserved across all applications.
Analytics, workflow management, and role-based experiences for agents can be managed in the CoreInteract app within teams or through a web-based control panel.
Question:The integration of Dynamics 365 with CoreInteract has been very important to you. Can you explain to our audience the meaning of this?
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 and modular software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and services designed to transform and activate customers, employees and business operations. It combines CRM and ERP capabilities, integrating data, business logic and processes.
Being able to combine Teams, Contact Center software and Dynamic 365s ‘us’ corresponds to the vision of Satya Nadella (as he explained to us all during his Inspire keynote of 2021).
Question:How does this help your reseller partners?
A: With Microsoft focusing worldwide on Dynamics, growth in terms of licenses sold in the market will be imminent. Business partners should (should) be able to tell their current and future customers that they have an integrated CRM contact center solution for Dynamics 365 at a great price per user, per month. Allow additional income opportunities.
Question:Can you also explain the main benefits of CoreInteract Dynamics 365 integration for end customers?
A: Imagine that your agents could jump directly into a conversation with your customers once they answered the incoming call…. Wouldn’t that be a dream?
Question:Are there other areas of integration that end customers can benefit from?
A: The integration Also improves the customer experience of an organization because the software can serve as a hub for all customer information from the first point of contact to the most recent transaction.
Question:Do you have any final thoughts or recommendations for Microsoft Dynamics partners whose customers also use Teams?
A: Yes, I have an idea that I would like to share. If you want to expand your Dynamics 365 practice and ride the Teams wave of telephony without in-depth telecom know-how, consider CoreInteract. Because CoreInteract is native to Teams, your engineers don’t need ANYONE know sip trunk or SBC and can focus on what is most important – getting the incoming call (and soon texts, emails and web chats) to the right department or person – right now.