Televate, a new cloud-based (hosted) business phone service aimed at organizations up to about 20 people, has been launched by Inphonex. Distinctive about the offering is a deliberate attempt to add value by melding and integrating traditional hosted PBX (News - Alert), hosted interactive voice response and hosted customer resource management functions tightly within a single offering.
One might liken the offering to some other products that feature lead applications run on a general-purpose platform. Much as a general-purpose smartphone can be designed around a lead application, such as social networking, email, game playing or navigation, so Televate provides a general-purpose business phone system that is optimized around revenue-related operations, particularly sales and customer support.
The basic idea is that a small company typically requires that people "wear multiple hats," and that customer and prospect contacts will be handled, on a routine basis, by different people and functions within an organization. By pre-integrating traditional sales software and call center functions, Televate intentionally aims to extend customer interaction history to virtually every member of an organization, whether at a desk or on a smartphone.
In a sense, Televate is a small-business phone service optimized for sales and customer support. The service automatically gathers directory information from key applications such as Salesforce.com, SAP, LinkedIn (News - Alert), Facebook, Google CRM, LinkedIn and other sources (Microsoft Outlook integration is on the roadmap as well), and create a single directory containing all the contacts in all the relevant directories.
"Each user indicates which repositories they use for contacts and Televate automatically pulls the data into a single shared company database, though private to each individual user," said Matt Bramson, Inphonex chief marketing officer.
The other design goal was automation of the account updating process, relying on Televate to log contacts and events in real time, with user annotation during contacts, rather than the non-real-time process that tends to characterize the way sales personnel, for example, update their contact records.
Televate also marks a change for Inphonex in that the company previously had sold to business partners as a "white label" product, rebranded by the partners. Televate now will be available as a product suitable for sale using telecom and other indirect sales channels.
The service works anywhere inside or outside the office, enabling SMBs to support global operations and customer bases, with every employee having full call-center functionality, including CRM integration, screen pops, and caller and customer history.
Local and toll-free phone numbers are activated instantly and can be used for phone and fax. Unlimited calling and faxing are supported in North America, and toll-free or local main company numbers are available in 75 countries. Televate works with Grandstream phones and the Uniden DECT (News - Alert) 1560-3 cordless phone. Televate works on Android devices as well.
The Televate offering stems from a strategic agreement between InPhonex and Ringio in which the Ringio cloud-based rich-calling application is fully integrated with the InPhonex (News - Alert) platform.
Gary Kim is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Janice McDuffee