Despite high claims by vendors, cloud-based telephony is still in its nascent stages in India. Comment.
Mishra: MCube, a cloud-based integrated communication platform, is an ecosystem, which is designed to deliver automated voice call management applications.
PBX works mostly on fixed lines and doesn’t cater to mobile workforce, which is where we hold our major market.
In the cloud telephony market, although the overall market size is huge, only a handful of operators in India are established. Niche players—EPABX vendors and CRM vendors—try to offer cost effective packages, but the pricing is still too high.
What is the USP of MCube as opposed to other competing offerings?
Mishra: When your entire workforce is on field and continuously on business calls, it becomes necessary to receive, route, track, and monitor all calls. MCube will work in the market because of pure common sense—it monitors incoming call traffic, enhances customer experience, optimizes employee productivity through efficient routing of incoming business leads, automates call management processes, and measures achievements in real time.
We believe MCube will replace old telephony technologies. For any business to succeed, leaders need to always question the status-scope, and in order to question the status-scope, they need to be well-informed. MCube will help them get that information and assist them to take informed decisions to grow their businesses.
MCube is a fast rising star and is on target to surpass older players this year in terms of both, profits and number of customers.
What is your targeted market audience for cloud-based telephony solutions?
Mishra: Large companies mostly have EPBX and CRM, but small companies are at a disadvantage because they usually don’t have telephony solutions to automate applications and increase business productivity at affordable costs. Employees operate from their own mobile phones, and that’s why we have developed this cloud-based telephony solution, to help employees effectively monitor business calls.
We are aiming for departments related to marketing across verticals, because our solution and its functions are completely marketing oriented. We are currently focusing on SMBs for automating telephonic solutions and integrating applications.
How does cloud telephony benefit SMBs? How are you addressing this market segment in India?
Mishra: Automation has been available for many years now in the market, and at a huge cost. As a result, all SMBs were at a disadvantage against larger companies.
MCube is affordable and a perfect solution for SMBs as it is flexible, inexpensive, provides rich call details, and can be monitored from anywhere across the globe. Integrated applications are easy to configure, need minimal user input, are automated, and easy to understand.
According to a NASSCOM survey, there are 65 million SMBs in India, and over 60 percent of them conduct business over phone. To improve business and employee productivity, telephony-integrated automation is a perfect solution. Even at 10 percent penetration of TAM for telephony automation solutions, there is a whopping $1 billion (about Rs 6,000 crore) opportunity over the next three years.
How will multi-level channel program create a larger market for cloud telephony offerings across India?
Mishra: Our multi-level channel partner program was designed to help market the company’s avant-garde cloud telephony offerings, sold under the brand name MCube, across the country. With this partner program, we wanted to patch the first section of customers with corporate or product resellers, and the second section of customers, who are used to corporate-level implementation and have an in-house IT team, with an SI or VAR.
Another major partner classification is geography. Our multi-level program is designed to classify partners in every probable aspect, as it targets ISVs, VARs, SIs, and corporate resellers. Rather than looking at a distributor's approach, we are currently focusing on an added layer in between—channel partners.
Our top hurdle is to educate channel partners and make them understand that this is a recurring business. They are used to the traditional IT telecom channel and tangible products, and can’t handle new concepts very easily. In terms of strategy, we are trying to make the service tangible, so that customers have something to stock on shelves.
Our top hurdle is educating channel partners about this recurring business. They are used to the traditional IT telecom channel and can’t handle the concept of cloud telephony solutions easily.