CFO at Solgari
Innovation is a keyword in MECOMS’ philosophy. The MECOMS 365 platform is the perfect example of how the company pushes itself to bring a top-notch, innovative solution to the utility industry. But in areas outside MECOMS’ core business, that keyword is equally important, partnering up with Irish company Solgari was just another way to provide the best of the best for their customers.
Solgari provides a unique all-channel cloud communications solution which is available for Microsoft Dynamics 365 using Channel Integration Framework. Using Solgari, companies communicate with their clients through any channel they want – be it Voice, SMS, Video, Chat, Facebook Messenger Twitter, WhatsApp, or anything else – all from one and the same platform in the cloud. The all-channel solution provides all the integrated functionality required to run any volume of customer communications across any channel, including cloud contact center, automation, conversation recording & archiving, analytics and reports. “The customer support & sales team can have any type of conversation and easily switch from one channel to another, depending on the clients’ preference of communication,” CFO Edward Grant explains. What starts out as a conversation via SMS or Facebook Messenger, can easily be switched to a conversation over the phone or with a video call, courtesy of Solgari.
Solgari uses AI and machine learning to provide automated driven communication, again over multiple channels such as voice and SMS. “This can be interesting if a company wants to do a survey, take product orders, change delivery times or contact tracing to provide some examples. The latter has become quite important in times of COVID-19. Even contract renewals or, in the case of utility companies, clients’ meter readings can be handled with the automated communication system in Solgari and all integrated with Dynamics 365 using Power Automate.”
Customers’ responses are automatically added to their profile, which is an overview of who they are, what tools they use to contact the company and other relevant information. “When you know your customer, you can give them better care. Because we can incorporate all communication channels, you’re never behind. If your customer wants to use WhatsApp today but Twitter tomorrow, you can easily add that channel to Solgari and start the conversation.”
Compared to MECOMS’ decades of existence, you might think of Solgari as the new kid on the block. Think again. Since Edward Grant, Vance Harris and John Colgan started the company in 2014, Solgari has quickly grown into an established company and quite the competitor for other communication solutions. “No other company does what we do. They might offer the options for some communication channels, but not all,” Grant says. “From the very beginning, our vision was to build our solution in such a way that we would be ready for future-proof communications. So, way back in 2014, we were already thinking about incorporating channels that had not yet been invented.”
This innovative mindset is no doubt the common ground between Solgari and MECOMS. It’s no surprise that when both companies got in touch at the end of 2019, sparks went flying off in all directions. “When Johan Vandekerckhove contacted us, it was immediately clear that we shared a vision. He understood what we want to accomplish with our solution, and we understood where he wants to take MECOMS 365. Our partnership is driven by a recognition of what we can do today and where we’re going in the future,” Grant says. “We see eye to eye and trust each other, which makes this a great relationship.”
Not only is Solgari’s all-channel cloud communications platform now a part of MECOMS 365, the companies also have a joint deal with Gruppo SGR, an Italian utility company. “When MECOMS was talking with them to start using their platform, it became clear that Gruppo SGR also required significant communication software. By partnering up with MECOMS, we were able to bring something to the table that no other company could.”
MECOMS 365’s customer engagement capabilities combined with Solgari’s customer care possibilities proved to be the perfect combination. “MECOMS takes care of billing, contract renewal, etcetera. We take care of how a company interacts with their customers.” Both platforms integrate well because they each use the Microsoft Dynamics 365 backbone. “It means this partnership is also exciting for Microsoft. They see how two successful companies come together to create the perfect Dynamics 365 solution and further help customers in the utility industry. Both MECOMS and Solgari are now in Microsoft’s so-called Inner Circle. Members of this elite group are the best of the best when it comes to Microsoft Business Application. We’re proud to have a seat next to MECOMS in that group.”
As for the future, Grant only sees big plans for the partnership between MECOMS and Solgari. “Gruppo SGR is our first joint customer, but it won’t be our last. Together with Vandekerckhove’s team, we are working on opportunities in the Netherlands, the USA and Singapore. The combination of both our companies is a very powerful partnership, if you ask me. I really think anything is possible here.”
The drive to provide better customer care is the foundation of this partnership. Both companies continue to innovate their product and have their eyes set on a future together. With shared values, mutual respect and a great deal of honesty, this partnership can only lead to better things, Grant says. “Look, not everything runs in a straight line, of course. But the crucial thing is that we both understand that and that we work through whatever issues pop up along the way. We’re making progress together already, and there are still lots of great things to do. And I think it could be a lot of fun as well!”
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