I recently interviewed Mike Bolognini, vice president of Cox Business and Hospitality Network in Las Vegas, about the planned rollout of Hosted PBX in Southern Nevada. Below are Mr. Bolognini's responses.
RAD: What is the biggest challenge you will face as you plan the rollout of Hosted PBX in Southern Nevada?
COX: The introduction of any new technology brings with it a learning curve. As applications and services are deployed online and into the hands of consumers, consumers are tasked with understanding how to navigate through the technology in order to get the most out of it. In the business world, premise-based PBX systems were managed by a dedicated operator so business owners could rely on that individual for systems management. But as new technology is made available and affordable for new business audiences - specifically the small and medium sized businesses that are such a big part of our clientele here in Southern Nevada - so too is the expectation that a certain learning curve will have to be mastered.
Hosted PBX has a myriad of advanced tools and features, and our goal is to help our clients learn how to use these successfully. But even though we'll offer our award-winning product support and training when we begin our rollout of Hosted PBX, everyone's learning curve is different. And even though our web management tools are fairly intuitive, we're hopeful our clients will break through the learning curve to become proficient users of this new, powerful and remarkably advanced product.
RAD: How will you manage customer deployments on more than 25 seats in so many metro areas?
COX: Hosted PBX deployments will be managed in the same way all other Cox Business products and features are managed--through our locally franchised commercial services operations. Cox Business is a facilities-based operator with a local presence in every market we serve including here in Southern Nevada. We have local business relationships and local account representatives while some of our competitors may only be providing sales and support through out-of-area offices. Our competitive advantage is and will continue to be a local presence. For this reason, deployments of 25 seats or more will be managed quite capably by our teams here in Southern Nevada. This is what we do and we're very good at it.
RAD: How are you approaching your rollout of Hosted PBX?
COX: Hosted PBX will put powerful telecommunications tools in the hands of some completely new audiences. That said, we're approaching the rollout of this new product in the same way we approach everything else: as trusted provider of communication and entertainment services in Southern Nevada. We have a great track record for customer satisfaction as evidenced by the many third-party awards and acknowledgements we've received, so we understand a thing or two about how to rollout new products and enhanced features. In Southern Nevada, we're creating a completely new full-time position to exclusively manage and monitor customer training for the rollout of Hosted PBX. Again, we're going to help our clientele master the learning curve.
RAD: That new person will be the difference between these Hosted PBX roll outs proceed smoothly for the customer or not. Hosted PBX is not a plug-and-play service. Lots of details to look at, plan for and provision.
RAD: What do you think 2011 will look like for Hosted PBX?
COX: I see a tremendous growth opportunity for Hosted PBX in Southern Nevada in 2011. Businesses have been delaying purchase and/or upgrade decisions due to the economy, but even so--there has not been a significant change in PBX/Key Systems technology since 2000. Phone systems are designed with a system life of about seven years and because of the economic downturn system life has stretched so some ten years now. Hosted PBX will give business owners an opportunity to replace their ageing phone systems without the traditionally high levels of capital. This situation will bode well for us and our clientele!
RAD: 2011 could be the year that Hosted PBX breaks 500K seats for one company. I certainly hope someone hits it out of the park.