Muj Choudhury, RocketPhone: “lack of consolidation of communication technologies leaves companies with blindspots”

A successful corporate environment requires effective communication with all stakeholders, regardless of how big or small your business is.

Any smart business's multi-channel communication strategy still relies heavily on the phone, despite the popularity of email and instant messaging applications, so the best choice here is to find a reliable phone system provider.

To determine the best business phone system for your organization, you first need to understand what it is and how to choose one. In order to help you achieve this, we invited Muj Choudhury, the CEO of RocketPhone – an all-in-one business phone system and smart automation provider.

How did RocketPhone originate? What has your journey been like throughout the years?

My name is Muj Choudhury, and I am the CEO and founder of the UK-based AI startup, Rocketphone. RocketPhone is an all-in-one phone system that uses artificial intelligence to deliver a telephony experience that is unrecognizably better than anything on the market today. We use deep learning to increase call connect rates, we use natural language processing to advise callers in real time and we seamlessly integrate with the world’s leading CRM systems.

During my time at Salesforce, my team and I would regularly deal with large enterprises looking for a telephony solution that would integrate seamlessly with their Salesforce implementation. However, there was no obvious choice for a telephony provider that could facilitate this or provide a comprehensive solution for all voice channels; be that the contact center, field sales reps, marketing teams, or internal team communication.

Additionally, these telephony companies were neglecting the transformative power of AI, particularly in how it could transform voice communication, something that has remained relatively unchanged since the inception of the phone.

RocketPhone was thus born out of a real need for a voice solution that could seamlessly integrate with CRM solutions, provide an end-to-end solution, and harness the power of AI.

What technologies have you developed to analyze voices?

We have embedded RocketPhone with world-leading ASR technologies to transcribe each phone conversation in real time. We also have developed our own proprietary waveform technologies to analyze the nuances of voice in tone, pitch, and timbre.

Our AI models then analyze the transcriptions and waveforms to detect key and important moments in conversation – e.g buying signals, security risks, monitoring script adherence, giving coaching tips, and automating knowledge base article retrieval - all during a call.

Additionally, when combined with CRM integration, RocketPhone automates workflows such as creating and updating opportunities and cases, using context and content detected during phone conversations.

What issues do you notice come up most often when it comes to companies that don’t have an appropriate communication system?

One of the primary issues we come across when talking to a new customer is a complete lack of consolidation of communication technologies. There is often a multitude of different vendors and technologies being deployed, many of which are not fit for the purpose of a modern business – not to mention older technologies presenting a security risk to home workers.

With so many communication platforms and outdated technologies, a company is left with black spots, meaning the customer’s voice is misheard, misused, misreported, or simply missed altogether.

Another issue is the inadequate integration between the phone systems and CRMs like Salesforce. Many companies have communication platforms that are completely disconnected from the CRM, causing sales and service reps to waste hours each week manually updating tasks and records in the CRM.

How did the recent global events affect your field of work? Were there any new challenges you had to adapt to?

Recent global events have had an incredibly positive impact on the field of business communications. With more and more companies adopting hybrid or remote working environments, there is an increasing need for business phone systems that can scale internationally whilst retaining system security and the ability to monitor the performance of phone-based teams. RocketPhone solves all of these issues with one platform and incorporates AI to provide uninterrupted monitoring across 100% of calls.

For the company itself, we were actually very well set up for remote working prior to recent global events, and have been a distributed team from day one. With teams in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, London, Manchester, and Oxford, all of our processes and technology have been created to work on a global scale and across time zones.

That said, despite the positives of remote working, we faced challenges around cultivating and maintaining an engaging working culture. A lack of one central physical location makes it more difficult to ensure everyone in the company gets the opportunity to meet with everyone else – after all, productivity thrives with collaboration. We were able to offset this problem with regular and compulsory “all-hands” virtual meetings, which often involved group activities and company-wide updates.

What types of threats do you find the most concerning nowadays?

With everything that’s changed around working patterns, the primary concern for me is inadvertent exposure of sensitive information, especially from using public-facing applications.

For example, cloud applications like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace offer employees the ability to work from anywhere, but if a malicious hacker got hold of their username and password, they could enter the network and view private company files. This becomes increasingly likely when relying on employees to create passwords that may be weak and easy to crack.

There is also the threat of entire sections of a company’s network containing sensitive information being exposed to the open internet due to cloud misconfigurations. In these instances, attackers might not even need a password, they can just walk right in and raid the server for exposed information.

With working from home becoming the new normal, what cybersecurity solutions do you see becoming an inseparable part of remote work?

We’ve already seen two-factor authentication become the norm for most cloud applications. However, we’re now seeing a trend toward multi-factor authentication, and I expect this to continue and become an inseparable part of remote work.

Additionally, I would advise companies to adopt password management platforms to maintain tighter control. With home working, the risk of passwords being noted down or compromised is much higher. A password management system can reduce this risk.

What are some of the worst mistakes companies make when handling large amounts of data?

It’s become a cliche, but data really is the new oil. Of course, this means companies are trying to store as much of it as they possibly can. But this is as far as they go. Many of these organizations are not extracting and implementing insights from the data they collect, which to me is one of the worst mistakes a company can make when handling large amounts of data.

My advice? Don’t just let your data sit in a silo. It has the power to improve operations, inform your product road map and solve long-standing obstacles, but only if you actually use it.

What other company processes do you hope to see automated or enhanced by technology in the next few years?

Doing business will always require human input at some point. Relationship building can never be matched by automation. But in every business, there are a plethora of tasks that most definitely could be automated.

Here at RocketPhone, and even more so with our parent company, VoiceIQ, we see a future where voice will become the default method of interaction between humans and technology. Think Alexa, but for business tasks and capable of understanding actual natural language, not carefully constructed commands.

Would you like to share what’s next for RocketPhone?

Having built an amazing global team and working with some amazing initial customers, we now have big plans for RocketPhone. From a product perspective, we continue to strive for innovation in our voice AI models and will continue to work with the leading universities of Oxford and Manchester to do this.

We’re also very excited to build out our customer base and move into an international sales presence. We have the vision to become the de-facto communication platform for businesses around the world. We’re just getting started, but watch this space!

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