Pivotal Data, a hosted contact centre and IP-PBX market leader has deployed a turnkey mobility application that gives the company’s telephony clients access to all the functionality of their desktop phones from their smartphones. The mobility application was developed by software and solution specialist DVT.
As an agnostic technology provider, Pivotal Data builds and manages hosted contact centres and offers its clients enterprise-grade telephony services with service providers of their choice.
“We wanted to offer customers the option of extending traditionally desk-tethered telephony services to mobile phones, but there was no solution we could find that allowed us to do that,” says Pivotal Data CTO Allan Macfarlane. “Through our longstanding working relationship with DVT, we discussed the option of developing our own solution, which ultimately resulted in the creation of a softphone app that delivered what we wanted.”
In contrast to the capex-heavy model of buying and installing complex and expensive telephony equipment, Pivotal Data manages its clients’ telephony as a hosted service, taking on the risk and management responsibilities.
Together with DVT, Pivotal Data identified an existing software application that could be adapted and repackaged as a white-labelled smartphone application to seamlessly extend the functionality of the company’s desktop telephony systems to a user’s mobile phone.
“One of the drivers for the softphone app was a project for a major telco that wanted a way to synchronise telephony services from the desktop to the smartphone over the corporate Wi-Fi network,” says Macfarlane. “The application is therefore a virtual extension of the desktop telephony system, with all the functionality – including follow-me extension numbers – so that users can be reached using their primary desktop extensions even if they’re not at their desks.”
Ronnie Cloete, practice head: enterprise mobility solutions for DVT, says the Pivotal Data project presented a fresh challenge for DVT’s agile development teams, and serves as a great example of the benefits of Agile development in the corporate workspace.
“Developing native iOS or Android smartphone applications is always a moving target because of the fast-changing nature of the technology and customer requirements along the way,” says Cloete.
“By developing the solution using Agile methodologies and short iterations in the form of sprints, we were not only able to give Macfarlane and his team early visibility to how the application would look and function, but were also able to adapt the app with constant feedback from the Pivotal Data team,” he says.
By adopting an agile approach, DVT was able to estimate a cost based on a certain number of sprints related to the high level requirements. This would mean Pivotal only pays for delivered sprints. If the project were to end sooner than estimated, Pivotal Data would only pay for the sprints used. This project did end earlier than expected.
Macfarlane says the DVT team took a young, fresh approach to creating something new and compelling without any examples in the market to work from.
“There may be other softphone apps available to purchase but none of them did – or do – what we wanted and needed, so DVT had to exercise a fair amount of creativity to make it happen for us,” he says. “From a cost and time-to-market perspective their approach was spot on, and we had the final product in hand within five weeks of green-lighting it.”
DVT CEO Jaco van der Merwe says corporates are often saddled with hefty cellphone bills when their staff use their mobiles for work, and one of the side-benefits of the Pivotal Data application is the elimination of those bills.
“As a cost-saving exercise for large corporates with equally large cellphone bills, Pivotal Data can take what we created and repackage it to suit almost any of their clients’ environments,” he says. “The success of this project has already opened new doors for our two companies, and we look forward to creating many more compelling solutions together.”
Macfarlane concurs: “We’re currently engaged with DVT to develop a biometric voice-activated security solution for our telephony customers that effectively replaces fingerprint and other forms of identification needing only the users’ voice,” he says.
“If all goes to plan we’ll soon have another application we can white-label and sell on to our clients, made possible by the agile thinking and expert work of DVT and our development staff.”
DVT, founded in 1999, helps businesses become and remain leaders in the market with high quality software solutions that add business value quicker and are released to production faster. Its services extend from custom software development to business software solutions consulting, software quality assurance, outsourced automated regression testing, enterprise mobility solutions, business intelligence solutions as well as Agile training and consulting. DVT has grown to over 600 staff with offices in the UK (London) and South Africa (Johannesburg, Centurion, Cape Town and Durban). The company services more than 100 local and international, medium and large organisations. Visit us at www.dvt.co.za.
About Pivotal Data
Pivotal Data is a specialist infrastructure, technology solutions and data analytics services provider to, in particular to the BPO market. Pivotal Data enables business management by providing 6 core offerings: Facilities sourcing, design, implementation and management; Security and guarding; End-to-end customer focused technology agnostic solutions; Hosted IP PBX and contact centre solutions; Business intelligence and data analytics; Value added services.
Whilst Pivotal Data covers all BPO offerings, the primary focus is hosted contact centre solutions and customer experience value chains. www.pivotaldata.co.za