The Role of the Telephony Engineer in Today’s UCaaS World


Back in the distant past when telephone systems were noisy boxes sitting in the Comms Room, engineers were an essential part of the support and development of the system. If more extensions were requested, another card was often required, users needed to be ‘patched’ in and of course configuration was essential.

If something advanced like providing ISDN trunks or networking from one system to another was desired, then it was really important to set your ‘ducks in a row’ to ensure that the job could be completed successfully. Throw into the mix early CTI applications such as historic and real-time call reporting and computer screen-based call control, and suddenly the role of the telephone engineer had elevated to software solutions engineer, requiring a real understanding of a customer’s environment & infrastructure.

In today’s world, the solution has become much more of a commodity, to the extent that the service can be supplied on a ‘self-service’ basis and the previously complex items like trunks and network connections are all set up and included. Of course, this is fine if all that’s required is a standard phone and the ability to make and receive calls.

So, what role does the engineer play in a contemporary UCaaS solution? You’d think that, combined with developments in AI, the engineer’s role has become redundant, but this is far from the truth, especially for partners looking to add value to their customers and retain their business.

Customers typically want to minimize the number of suppliers with whom they work, and they often look to those suppliers to provide guidance on what technologies are available, their impact on the organization and how they might be implemented.

Increasingly, customers are dependent upon a number of applications to make the business more efficient or to improve the service that they provide to their customers. Resellers’ roles are changing, not only do they need to be experts in the solutions that they supply but they need an awareness of external solutions and the benefits that they provide.

The result provides customers with a better service but it also delivers a means to protect the reseller from competitive threats. There is still a need for engineers to provide a level of support but the more experienced will have a much better understanding of the customer’s operations, learning how communications is one part of an entire system, and how properly integrating with customers’ other processes to improve automation and performance, not only improves the solution for the customer, but makes the customer more sticky.

The resulting UC solution should be able to provide reliable, comprehensive connectivity into those external applications whilst providing the reseller with a means to protect their business and to develop further opportunities.

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