Business collaborations are an essential road to success in a dynamic commercial environment. MMDSmart℠ cooperates with many different partners for technology and commercial projects, industry ecosystem and telecom connectivity.
Recently, our Call Center Connect division collaborated with technology provider PortaOne to develop new functionality included in the Call Center Connect platform. This landmark work significantly enhanced the features available in a cloud based contact center solution like Call Center Connect, and perhaps most importantly, those features are available out of the box, and don’t require any additional investment of time or money.
Find out how our vision to provide a full-featured service for smaller enterprises that don’t have the resources but still seek to provide the personalized attention their customers expect, morphed into a working cooperation that benefited both 2 companies, the market, and most importantly our customers. Here is the full article re-posted from the PortaOne site (link to Cloud PBX Success: How to Create a Cloud Call Center Solution ):
Not much more than a year ago, a cloud call center platform that’s perfectly customized for the needs of SMB enterprises wasn’t even on our development roadmap – to that point, it was something we left in the hands of our technology partners. Now, thanks to an exciting collaboration with MMDSmart℠ – an Israeli-based CSP that became a new PortaOne customer last year – a cloud contact center for small businesses is not only a robust feature of PortaSwitch + Cloud PBX, it’s also a major driver for PortaSwitch expansion and an opportunity for every telco to grow into a full-service, self-branded cloud PBX platform for the enterprise market.
Read on for the full story behind this profit-driving innovation: how it came to be, why our customers are our best creative resource, and how MMDSMart – and the entire PortaOne customer community – is benefiting from what we designed together.
From a brainwave to an MVP
In 2022, MMDSmart℠ came to PortaOne for a PortaSwitch demo and asked our team about cloud call center functionality – as a company that mainly serves the enterprise market, they foresaw a demand for such a service among businesses that don’t have the resources to host a large call center but don’t want to give up the personalized attention their customers expect.
At that point, we had not been offering such a feature directly, and so our technical team suggested a few outside vendors that MMDSmart℠ could integrate into PortaSwitch to fill that need. That’s when an MMDSmart℠ executive offered a brainwave: Rather than an outside integration, was there a way to adapt PortaOne’s existing cloud PBX web interface so that call center managers could see who was on a call and who was idle?
From that moment, PortaOne project lead Dmytro Lavraniuk could see it all mapped out: by simply adding a single page showing active calls to the self-care interface for a cloud PBX environment, he could create a basic mini contact center management portal within PortaSwitch cloud PBX – an MVP, or “minimum viable product” for a future cloud call center solution.
Even better? His team could build this basic functionality for MMDSmart℠ to “test-drive” in just two weeks. From there, they could use it, find its gaps, and help us expand it into the exact product they envisioned: Call Center Connect – an affordable, robust, and completely cloud-based call center solution that would put customer service back into the hands of small businesses.
“You have the market expertise, and we provide you with the building blocks you need to use that expertise,” explains Lavraniuk. “That way you can customize everything to your own uses and put together those pieces in the way that works best for you. That gives you a real competitive advantage.”
How MMDSmart℠ took our call center product to the next level
Out-of-the-box platform vendors that tell you how to use their products are missing out on one of the best drivers of innovation: the needs, knowledge, and creativity of their customers. Our initial MVP solution consisted simply of a few cloud PBX seats for customer service agents and a portal where team managers could monitor active calls and jump in or “whisper” to agents as needed, but as MMDSmart℠ put the solution to use and offered us their ideas on where it could improve, our team was able to push the edges of the product in the most effective directions for an enterprise-focused CSP.
Each of these back-and-forth conversations took the early versions of Call Center Connect further forward: MMDSmart℠ would bring us a request for an improvement or added functionality, our team would suggest the best integration, and MMDSmart℠ would tell us how we could adjust it to make it even more useful. Along the way, the team at MMDSmart℠ were becoming independent experts at adapting our source code on their own. Within a few months, they were developing their own integrations and improvements, connecting with us for advice when needed.
“We are proud of the architecture of our products because it is quite open,” says Lavraniuk. “We provide the APIs, and the customer can build their own ecosystem.”
The next Call Center Connect puzzle pieces: Seamless dialing and billing
One of the biggest advancements during this collaboration came when MMDSmart℠ decided to take their Call Center Connect solution a step further: they wanted their customers to be able to use their product without having to invest in any IP phones at all. The answer? The addition of PortaPhone: our customizable webRTC softphone app, based on the WebTrit technology stack, that can turn any web browser into a phone dialer.
To make it happen, MMDSmart℠ activated a free trial for PortaPhone via the Add-on Mart, then designed their own custom integration: they combined the PortaPhone click-to-dial functionality with the built-in customer self-care portal in PortaSwitch + Cloud PBX, then connected that to their own in-house CRM. It worked exactly as MMDSmart℠ wanted it to: a new enterprise customer can launch Call Center Connect immediately, with no need to order hardware – and their call center teams can work from home, or from anywhere in the world. The solution also allows managers to monitor traffic and supervise calls via the cloud PBX portal. And, thanks to that click-to-dial integration with the MMDSmart℠ CRM, agents can connect with customers directly from the web interface.
Once those pieces were in place, the next step was to create an autodialer. At the time, PortaOne did not offer an autodialer, but we did – and still do – offer access to our Call Control API. So, our team of engineers developed a customized solution that allowed MMDSmart℠ to embed their own autodialer into the portal. Then, they created an application that triggers the system to make a call and connect it to an agent. Finally, MMDSmart℠ had the idea to connect the dots and embed a link to their in-house payment gateway into their cloud PBX self-care portal. Now, when a Call Center Connect customer makes a payment, the payment gateway registers this transaction against the customer’s record in PortaSwitch.
“Call Center Connect from MMDSmart℠ is designed to provide our customers with a full-featured, off-the-shelf platform for managing a dynamic contact center. Our cloud-based call center solution can be personalized for each customer, providing the highest quality global voice service,” says Ira Cohen, VP, Business Development and Marketing for MMDSmart℠.
“The collaboration with PortaOne is significant because it enables growing companies to access and use advanced contact center tools without investing in expensive, resource-draining integrations. Working with PortaOne, we were able to add new functionality to our platform that was specifically designed for our requirements and for Call Center Connect customer needs, and the feedback from our customers has been fantastic.”
Individual innovation that benefits the entire industry
Many of the innovations that MMDSmart℠ and PortaOne created to launch Call Center Connect are now permanently available via PortaOne + Cloud PBX, our Add-on Mart marketplace for telco apps, and new releases of PortaSwitch – which means they are there for all PortaOne customers who want to expand their services. And as more and more CSPs in our community request new features for their enterprise customers, we will be scheduling even more functionalities into our development roadmap, whether that’s new custom reports, IVR, SIP trunking, enhanced portal environments for senior call center supervisors, or whatever monetizable service or competitive edge our customers think to ask for next.
“The whole cloud call center creation was something very spontaneous – it arose out of an idea, out of brainstorming, rather than from some larger, long-term marketing plan,” says Dmytro Lavraniuk. “And every time we have one of these conversations and put something new into our development roadmap, all of our customers benefit from it.”