How one company is using Cloud tech to transform businesses in APAC?

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Cloud communications is the latest trend in the telecoms market, offering businesses a feature rich communications solution but with increased flexibility and a mobile-optimised workflow. Built on the physical infrastructure laid down for the internet, and supported by wireless technologies like   4G, the Cloud has created an alternative, virtual plane for data sharing and communication. In theory, it is limitless in size and can be accessed from anywhere.

The more agile your business communications are, the more effective would be the results delivered take mobility, and the ability to run uniform comms systems across any number of global sites. If colleagues can get in touch with each other any time, any place, with high-performance applications allowing them to talk face-to-face via video, seamlessly invite other people to conference calls and share documents and files, then they can get more done in less time.

Customer service is the most important aspect of any business, Cloud has given us an opportunity to solve the issues with a lesser response time, making it more accessible to the customer.

Toku is a leading cloud communications provider in APAC, headquartered in Singapore. We enable companies to streamline their workflow and improve customer experiences by simplifying the process of moving to the cloud. From small businesses to large corporations, we’re proud to enable growth by boosting efficiency.

We spoke to Thomas Laboulle, Founder and CEO, of Toku to learn about the role about role of Cloud Technology in digital transformation and Toku’s Initiative towards APAC Businesses.

Toku has raised 5 million USD for its APAC business. How do you plan to use this budget?

Toku raised US$5 million with plans to enhance product capabilities and coverage, as well as to expand our offerings and scale across APAC to better support businesses in their digital transformation (DX)  journey. While DX has been on the agenda for businesses in the APAC region for some time, the onset of the pandemic has accelerated the need to put money where the mouth is, and prioritise DX.

Toku’s expertise in moving businesses across APAC to the cloud has driven Toku’s growth by nearly 200% in the past 12 months, prompting Toku to hit its next stage of growth. Part of the funds will be used to fuel Toku’s next stage of development, which includes building an all-in-one platform for communications needs incorporating CPaaS, UCaaS and CCaaS functionality,native telco connectivity and communication APIs. We will also be doubling our current workforce over the next 12 months, with the opening of new offices across the region and adding 40 new roles across core functions in order to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers.

What is Toku’s role in helping APAC companies migrate to the cloud using MS Teams?

For many companies headquartered in the region, remote working has resulted in communication channels shifting to the cloud. However, there are still some organisations that rely on traditional phone services, making it essential to find a comprehensive solution fast in order to ensure business continuity and to stay digitally ready.

At Toku,we are well-aware of these challenges, especially of larger enterprises who use complex routing and are constrained by legacy systems. Through its hybrid approach to digital transformation, Toku launched Toku4Teams, a product that empowers businesses with global calling capabilities through Microsoft Teams.

This allows enterprises to maintain their legacy systems while enabling their users to immediately benefit from the integration with the Teams interface for the best of both worlds. Some benefits that this integration brought on include capabilities for detailed reporting, and allowing organisations to access calls anywhere while keeping the same enterprise-grade and security capabilities originally found in the office.

How do you plan to implement government integration for Smart City Initiatives?

In an increasingly interconnected and globalised world, it is critical for governments to ensure that businesses are equipped with the latest digital tools to stay relevant and competitive in the global arena. As the only native APAC player in our category with local expertise and knowledge, Toku are well-positioned to support the Smart City movements that we have been seeing across APAC. Our role is simple, Toku provides businesses with the right solutions to simplify their move to the cloud. We have some initiatives on our roadmap, and look forward to sharing this soon.

Toku has a vision for innovation, how did the concept of BYOC strike you?

Bring-your-own-carrier, or BYOC, is a great way for organisations to try out cloud communications while keeping to traditional telephony capabilities, removing the need to sacrifice quality over integration. While this is not a new concept, interest for the service has surged among organisations following the pandemic, leading to new opportunities for end users, and UCaas, CPaas and CCaaS providers alike.

Toku saw a prospect to help businesses address key concerns in this area, including managing operational and telephone access costs, keeping the quality of calls high as well as enabling businesses to maintain the same telephone numbers. This has particularly helped organisations in sectors where they rely heavily on traditional phone calls for business, as well as streamlined communication processes for internal employees and customers.

Describe the role of Cloud Technology in Digital Transformation.

For many traditional institutions, legacy systems are still heavily relied on for day-to-day operations and remain an essential component of their IT infrastructure. Some prefer to keep their current systems, citing reliability and security. Yet, these legacy systems are often the key obstacle holding them back from digital transformation. The rise of cloud technology has been pivotal in helping organisations globally make the switch from such outdated infrastructure  by delivering on-demand computer services through a cloud service provider.

In fact, cloud technology in particular has evolved over the past ten years to become a term associated with digital transformation. With benefits such as increased flexibility in operations, the ability to scale businesses and lower fees, an increasing number of organisations have started to spend on cloud services. According to a report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), cloud spending now accounts for 5% of the average IT budget, and this is likely to double by 2023. As we ride out the pandemic and emerge into the digital world of tomorrow, the trend of cloud technology is likely to persist as more organisations take the leap to cloud.

What is the role of Cloud communication in business exposure for the post pandemic years?

For many businesses, the move to hybrid work has placed pressure on existing systems to support requests to collaborate with colleagues, speak to customers and maintain the same level of communication without reducing the quality. As businesses seek support in their transition to the cloud, Toku has stepped in as a cloud communications provider by offering services that integrate with existing systems. The flexibility of what Toku offers allows businesses of any size to integrate various tools, such as CRMs, ticketing systems and productivity tools.

It also allows the creation of a flexible remote working solution that meets the specific needs and nature of the business. A prime example of how the role of cloud communications has become increasingly important is Toku’s recent partnership with Gojek. With the goal of delivering better customer experience, one particular use case that Toku was brought in to resolve was in managing high volumes of lost-and-found requests in a timely and efficient manner. We were able to address Gojek’s pain points through Communications APIs. By setting up an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) into phone lines, all the necessary information from customers and drivers could be collected without agent intervention. This freed up precious time for Gojek’s customer service team to focus on serving customers in other ways, thus, improving the customer experience as a whole.

Similar to Zoom, is Toku collaborating with any other platform developers? Can you elaborate on that strategy?

Besides Zoom, we also work closely with system providers such as HubSpot, Microsoft Teams, Freshdesk and more to provide a holistic cloud solution for a dynamic, collaborative workspace. Key to our strategy is understanding that the needs and nature of each organisation are different, and that the ease of Integrating Toku with existing systems, whatever that may be, is designed to help streamline workflows and make communication more efficient.

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