Remote Workforce Solutions – Spotlight on CallTower

Mike Wolfington from Intelisys chats with CallTower CRO William Rubio about CallTower’s Remote Workforce Solutions and their unique position in the industry to facilitate work from home collaboration and communication.

Mike: Hey, guys. Mike Wolfington with Intelisys here. Joining us on the call is William Rubio, the chief revenue officer at CallTower. William, thank you for joining us.

William: Thanks, Mike. Appreciate you having us on today and hello to the entire Intelisys community. Hope everyone’s being safe and healthy out there.

Mike: Terrific. Terrific. William, tell us a little bit about CallTower before we dive in.

William: Yeah, sure. CallTower is 100% channel dedicated. We have been for the past 18 years, and we pretty much can serve customers in the business community from anywhere from about 25 users to thousands. It’s really kind of a big spectrum there, but we could definitely serve a lot of customers. And we’ve been really considered a pioneer in the UCaaS industry because we’re fully positioned to actually develop or to deliver, I should say, on our three core platforms. We work with Microsoft, we work with Cisco, and then we also have our own proprietary, what we call, our CT Cloud Voice, which is based on a meta switch, which is our own hosted PBX that we have. And on the Microsoft side we’re able to provide and deliver not just Skype for business, which we’ve been doing for several years, but we’re also the first in delivering voice enabled Microsoft Teams that we’ve been doing since 2018. So a lot of different platforms that we have there to provide to our customers, which really enables us to provide a full solution to our customers instead of being pretty much single threaded from a platform standpoint.

Also, with our global footprint, we’re in about 70 different countries that we can provide services to our customers, overall, and in addition to the UCaaS platforms, we also do work with CCaaS. We actually have Five 9. We have our CT Cloud contact center, which is based on Telex and also we have our Clarity Connect, which is specific for Skype for Business as a native contact center. And when you really combined all those different platforms together, all residing on CallTower Connect, which is our admin platform, we’re able to really provide a full turnkey solution where our customers, which is what they’re looking for, right? They’re looking for a solution. We also are a cloud service provider with Microsoft. So we do sell Office 365, as well as SD-WAN and a couple of those solutions. But again, when it comes down to our customers, they want to make sure that they get an end to end solution from a provider like CallTower.

Mike: Great. Great. And what is CallTower’s approach to enabling customers to stay connected right now?

William: So what we’ve been doing is we’ve been making sure to provide different alternatives to make sure that there’s solutions out there that customers could plug and play or whether it’s on Cisco, on Microsoft, or again, even on a proprietary, as well, and we’ve also providing tips to a lot of our existing customers and even new customers that have been calling us up saying, “Hey, we need help. How do we do this? How do we enable our employees to make sure that they are connected and being able to pretty much work from home just like there were working from an office environment.” So there’s been a lot of change over the past 30 days, and we’ve been pretty much at the forefront. We actually saw it coming. I think we’re about a week and a half ahead of where some of the other folks in the industry are. And so far, the response from our existing customers, our partners, and our potential customers has been very positive in our response.

Mike: Terrific. Terrific. And in light of the current pandemic, what is CallTower doing to enable people to stay connected during the current crisis?

William: We did a couple of different things though. We have a town hall that’s going to be coming up now on April 14th, which is going to be a Q&A with myself and with a couple of our training managers, as well, to really just provide that comfort to end users and the questions that they have. How do I set things up at home? How do I make sure that I am communicating back to my manager, to my employees, staying well connected, staying ahead of that curve. That’s one of the things that we’re doing.

The other thing is we just wanted to be a good neighbor. A good neighbor to our customers, a good neighbor to potential customers, and to our partners and what we did is we came out with a couple of different solutions. One of them was on our a Cisco WebEx meetings and also on our CT Cloud Voice, which is powered by Zoom, as well. What we did is we just told customers and potential customers, “If you guys want it, we’ll give you the licenses now through the end of June, no obligation, no contract. We just need a company name, a username, and email, just we can set up the individuals correctly in our system and we could activate them usually within about 24 hours.” And I think the community overall, even the Intelisys community has been really excited and really grateful that we’ve been able to do some type of solution out there like that for our customers and potential customers just because we were just trying to help out our neighbors. That’s really what it’s about.

So we’ve been doing that. We’ve also on Microsoft Teams, we’re also doing something similar with the direct routing part of it, so it’s not the Office 365 license, but it winds up being in the direct routing. So the voice component of it, we are also providing that to our customers free, at no cost through June 30th. So we’re doing some pretty good analysis, right now, over the next 90 days or so just to kind of see where things are going. Obviously, monitoring this pandemic that’s out there overall, but first and foremost is let’s help out our neighbors.

Mike: I love it. I love it. And I know you guys are a huge Microsoft shop. You can do a lot of different things on that front. Tell us a little bit More about the Microsoft Teams direct option for our partners.

William: Sure, sure. Well, a couple of exciting things about Teams. If you look at the numbers on Microsoft Teams and who’s been using it over the past several months and even the last year, they surpassed the 20 million mark sometime right around the end of 2019 and that number has double here in the past three months and that’s really just because of this pandemic that’s out there. What we did, we were kind of a little bit ahead of the curve on it because of the fact that we were doing and had been doing Skype for Business and even Link, voice enabled link, back in the early 2012, 2013 timeframe.

We’re able to understand exactly what are some of the strengths that a voice component with Microsoft would have and what are some of the limitations that they have, like contact center, CRM integrations, receptionist console, paging, faxing, door buzzers, different things like that that really just round out a solution for one of our customers. So we’ve been able to kind of stay ahead of that curve.

And with Microsoft Teams, since we launched it back in November of 2018, we’re probably bring it on about eight to 10 customers a month. We have somewhere probably around six or 7,000 users already on the platform, with another six or 7,000 users that we’re currently in the process of onboarding right now.

So we’re turning them up as quickly as we can and at the same time understanding that customers are looking for not just the voice with Teams but also getting them to understand exactly how to use it and the adoption that is needed within the organization because marketing is going to use it a little bit different than sales. Sales is going to use it a little bit different than accounting, then support, then development, then engineering, et cetera. So making sure that we can build those personas for each one of the different departments within the organization.

Mike: Great. Great. Guys, there you have it. William, thank you for joining us. Really appreciate the input from the CallTower team. Join them for their town hall on April 14th to learn more about their virtual solutions. Stay safe and we’ll see you soon. Thank you so much.