2020: Challenge and Opportunity
As is often the case, with every challenge comes opportunity, so while 2020 has most definitely been a trying year dominated by the pandemic, it has also been a year of opportunity for the telecommunication industry software vendors. Further to this, 2020 has shown that Working From Home is possible and despite all the challenges of remote working, 2020 has seen pascom achieve several important milestones in terms of growth and expansion.
Business as Usual
Our reaction to the pandemic was to continue with “Business as Normal” as much as possible whilst ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees. As a business communication and collaboration solutions vendor, we already had all the tools and are well acquainted with working from home. As a result, we did the responsible thing and switched our entire operation to Remote Working. For us, all this entailed was a single group chat message and less than half a morning of moving desktop computers (and monitors) from the office to the required HomeOffices.
In terms of how we communicated as a business, we deliberately decided against getting involved in the “Free” fanfare. Instead, we made sure our focus lay on our customers and partners and advising them on how best to scale and manage their solutions to accommodate remote working, which tools to use and when. In this way, we ensured the reliable, smooth running of our services whilst retaining the ability to scale our cloud infrastructure capacity as demand soared both in terms of new customers and average seat deployment sizes.
Company Growth Continues
As a telecoms specialist, is it not surprising that 2020 has been a strong year for pascom growth. We’ve witnessed a 15% increase in new business phone system deployments, 30 % channel growth in terms of partner acquisition and revenue, a 60 % increase in web traffic plus a record number of new employees joining the team. Furthermore, deployment statistics show cloud phone systems are now unequivocally the preferred deployment type (78% in 2020) while usage analysis indicates a dramatic surge in popularity for pascom’s desktop and mobile UCC apps predominantly across Europe but globally as well - notably in North and South America.
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Despite 30 % growth in channel partner acquisition and channel sales, 2020 broke the trend of recent years as direct sales overtook channel sales. Most likely, this is symptomatic of organisations opting for cloud solutions and preferring to deal directly with Managed Service Provider vendors as opposed to resellers.
While not specific to the pandemic, the pandemic definitely worsened the situation by highlighting the issues facing the channel and demonstrating the importance of strong channel partner programmes that support and allow partners to resell vendor managed services and cloud solutions.
Throughout 2020, pascom enjoyed significant team growth as we welcomed our 30th employee and onboarded nine new colleagues over the year. Our offices in Serbia enjoyed accelerated expansion over the last 12 months growth with five new members of staff joining the pascom family. That said, growing a team from scratch whilst facing the restrictions of a pandemic and limitations of remote working was not without it’s challenges, so it a great testament to the team that they have grown so smoothly, perhaps in part because they took the time to bond during a weekend hiking and caving adventure in the Mountains of Serbia.
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The growth of the pascom team in Germany and Serbia has resulted in a significant increase in our software development, infrastructure management and quality assurance capacities. That means we are now in a stronger position in terms of future pascom business communications platform development and simultaneously ensuring our customers continue to receive the highest levels of service in terms of quality and performance.
Video Collaboration Now Mainstream
The 2019 release of pascom 19 saw the introduction of the new pascom desktop and mobile video and team collaboration tools.
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Early in 2020, we further enhanced our video collaboration suite by integrating WebRTC video technology and our new web meeting tools. The new functionality enabled pascom users to create virtual video meeting rooms and invite external participants, i.e. customers and prospects, to join and participate via their web browser.
The release of the pascom web client had long been in the pipeline which when coupled with the surge in remote working and the resulting rise in video and mobile collaboration, cemented pascom’s reputation as a leading all-in-one communications solution provider.
New BETA Programme
In previous years, we have proactively encouraged pascom partners and select customers to actively participate in desktop and mobile client BETA testing programmes. In 2020, we expanded our BETA programme to include the pascom phone system server. The concept of the new BETA scheme is to further enhance our in-house ALPHA and BETA testing by uncovering a broader range of potential issues thanks to more in-depth and widespread testing within production environments. Participation in the new BETA programme is restricted to pascom Certified partners and above, thus ensuring qualified feedback and in turn guaranteeing release version platform stability and enhanced performance levels.
Business Communications in 2020 and 2021
Even at the end of 2019, Video Conferencing was still considered nice-to-have, not a must-have and mobile VoIP apps were for the boss and field sales. Well, 2020 has taken the rule book, turned it inside out before ripping it to shreds and leaving it in tatters. In short, 2020 has likely changed the way we work forever.
One positive of the situation is that the experience has demonstrated that the tech is up to the challenge and that the global workforce can quickly adapt. Becoming increasingly popular in recent years, the emergence of cloud communication, video collaboration and mobile communication apps have proved crucial in enabling remote working and assuring business continuity.
Companies that had already transformed were perhaps better equipped to face the challenge. Those that had not needed to quickly find stop-gap solutions by adopting a plethora of communication apps and platforms. Such a communication infrastructure can be effective in the short-term to fulfil an immediate need. However, disjointed communication solutions have several long-term drawbacks, ranging from complex management to inefficient and insecure workflows leading to productivity losses.
As we look forward to 2021, what we expect to see is more of the same in terms of remote working. That means softphone and mobile VoIP app usage will continue to be mainstream and the importance of team collaboration tools (video, messaging and file sharing) will continue to grow. Alongside the tools, we believe that businesses will look to increase the productivity of their remote workforces in terms of employee collaboration and the customer contact experience.
As such, we expect the result will be more and more business conducting some form of vendor consolidation through adopting all-in-one cloud communication platforms as they look to future proof their business communications and provide their employees will the complete package in terms of communication tools and usability.
We’re here to help
If you have any queries about pascom phone system features and how to use them, then check out some more Video Collaboration posts as well as our desktop client, mobile app and web client user guides listed in our documentation.
If you, your team, your colleagues or customers could benefit from an all-in-one video and business collaboration solution, then we’re here to help. Just give us a call on +49 991 291691 200 and get started with our free cloud phone system edition.