SkySwitch has recently added XMPP Instant Messaging (IM) to the core set of UCC tools it makes available to Resellers of the WebCentrex hosted PBX service.
This addition presents yet another opportunity for differentiation in an industry where competitors often appear to offer me-too products, and it is difficult for the end-user to compare competing solutions beyond the price tag. It also helps resellers to reduce churn because IM is hard to give up once it becomes incorporated into your work routine, and it is a service that is not readily available from competing hosted PBX service providers.
With SkySwitch Instant Messaging, Resellers can give SMB customers a sticky new communications tool along with the assurance that sensitive business information will not be subjected to the security concerns associated with mass market IM services.
Although IM has been a ubiquitous consumer staple for nearly twenty years (has it really been 18 years since I started using ICQ in 1997?!), its use in the business world has only recently started to gain traction. According to a new report by The Radicati Group (Instant Messaging Statistics Report, 2015-2019), the number of IM users is expected to grow from 3.2 billion in 2015 to over 3.8 billion in 2019, with most of the growth coming from IM by businesses.
Part of the reason that adoption by businesses has been slow until now is that managers have been apprehensive to invite an unknown entity into the workplace. That apprehension is based on two factors: (1) there is a widespread belief that instant messaging leads to a decrease in productivity, because workers using instant messaging in addition to the phone and e-mail will be disturbed more, and; (2) there is fear that encouraging employees to use a consumer IM services (such as Skype and Facebook Messenger) will subject sensitive corporate data to a security risk that is hard to quantify.
Dissemination of the fact that IM actually makes workers more productive (such as this study from The Ohio State University), and the increasing availability of private and secure enterprise messaging systems, have started to turn the tide. Today many business managers are open to the use of IM in the workplace, if it is offered in the right context.
With SkySwitch Instant Messaging, Resellers can take advantage of this trend by offering secure, standards-based, IM as an add-on to hosted PBX services. The SkySwitch Instant Messaging service leverages standards-based XMPP (sometimes referred to as Jabber), which means that end-users can access the SkySwitch IM server using any XMPP-compliant chat client. There are many free clients available, such as Zoiper, Adium, Pidgin, IM+, Messages for Mac, Jitsi, Blink and Spark, among others.
The service features single sign-on with the end-user’s PBX portal username and password, and sync’s with the PBX Directory so that users within the same company automatically see other employees in their chat buddy list. The service is also secure, supporting Centralized User Administration from the PBX Office Manager portal, SSL encrypted data streams, and server infrastructure that is hosted in geo-redundant SOC II certified facilities.
For more information about SkySwitch XMPP Instant Messaging and all of our hosted PBX features, contact our sales team today.