The Guide to Choosing a Salesforce Service Cloud Voice Telephony Provider

With Salesforce’s Service Cloud Voice Bring Your Own Telephony (BYOT) announcement, it’s big news that if you want to bring your own telephony provider (in lieu of Amazon Connect’s voice capabilities), you can now do so! You might be asking,

“OK, great! So now I ‘have a choice in voice’ and can pick my own own provider, but now what?”

We’ll break down what that means for you and answer the questions you absolutely need to ask as your explore the Bring Your Own Telephony solution.

First ask yourself:

What technology is my chosen telephony provider currently using, and how does that line up with SCV?

Confirm the platform and the underlying telephony are both compatible and supported with Salesforce and Service Cloud Voice. Many times we will see a cloud platform housing a telephony provider, instead of them being one and the same, so it’s good to do some background checking on your chosen provider so you are aware of their technological capabilities

Where are your customers and what language do they speak? Which languages does your solution support? (e.g. for transcription, voice bots, etc.)

Find out which countries you need to support (i.e. if you have contact centers in India and Canada, you need to confirm that your provider offers service in both those areas)

What telephone system and contact center features do we need? What will we need in the future?

Service Cloud Voice currently focuses on the below feature list, so in addition to taking stock of your current system and needs, it’s a good idea to keep these in mind as well.

****Current Feature List****

Agent SSO (requires manual login)

All call control events

All Transfer Types: Warm, Cold, & Merged Calls

Data Dips from IVR to Salesforce Objects

IVR data (Call Attributes) in SF Voice Call Record

Real-Time Transcription

Persist Active Calls on when browser is refreshed

Post-Call CTR Data sync

Call Recording Pause/Resume

Transcription Pause/Resume

Call Recording Playback (in UI)

****New Summer ’21 Features****

Deskphones/Hard phones

Queued Callback

Timed After-Call Work

External Routing

Then ask your partner/provider:

Do you implement the solution yourselves or use specific solution integrators, and if so, which? If yourselves, how many certified Salesforce resources do they have on staff? 

Choose a partner with experience in business process and technical knowledge. Getting a new phone system is a change, and for any change management to be successful, people need to want to adopt and champion the new system. Having a partner that can translate complex technical concepts to adapt to business processes is what makes the system come to life and people WANT to use it.

What should I look for in the sales process? 

Typically a good partner will be consultative in approach and not try to “sell” you on a product, but rather they’ll walk you through best practices, needs and provide you with initial thoughts and solutions, then match those with the effort required in a  written quote. Then, you’re ready to start!

How can I prepare to meet and vet partners?

One thing that can really help is having a process flow of how your contact center or customer service teams works, or a general outline of their workflow, to most quickly identify solutions. Also be prepared to speak to your pain points, business goals and ideal support process flow.

Which countries do you actively support? Do you have a team on the ground? 

During the vetting process, but especially during implementation, you want to make sure your partner/provider can offer in-country support or at the very least time zone support.

What does the implementation process look like?

Your partner should be able to provide a sample timeline and overall effort needed to complete your switch to Service Cloud Voice. We’ve seen implementation last two weeks and some take 18 months – it’s all about your unique solution and needs. Make sure to make time for porting numbers you want to keep and for training users on the new system.

What else should I ask?

One thing to note is that when Amazon Connect launched as the original telephony provider for Service Cloud Voice, it also encompassed the AWS services like S3 for storing call recordings and Lex for speech capabilities. If you choose to use another provider, be sure to ask them how those features would work. 

One more thing: which telephony providers are offering this again?

Here’s the list we have so far, with more partners anticipated to go live in late Summer/Fall (Safe Harbor!). For more info, ask your Salesforce account team.

SCV – Telephony providers: 

Additional Resources

Salesforce SCV Bring Your Own Telephony Announcement

Old School vs. New School: Phone Feature Comparison

How to Add Cloud-Based Phone Service to Salesforce