Welcome to Ringside. For new readers, this series asks inspiring people from all sorts of roles about their experiences in business. Beyond this, we get curious about the trends going on in tech and invite opinions on what’s going on in business communications. This time around, we catch up with Jasper van Sas, Global Head of Sales, Rainbow Office at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.
Can you tell us a bit about your career to date and your role at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise?
I started in an inside sales role at an IT distributor. I did that for two or three years, going from answering calls, doing callouts to managing the HP business. From there on out, I moved to an external sales function with a managed service provider and later switched to a player in the e-learning environment where I focused on tailor-made projects and launching an internal developed SaaS-solution.
After this, I was contacted by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise for a sales leader position. First focused on the Education vertical and later managing an international team focusing on Key Enterprise Accounts in Europe.
Then came the Rainbow Office announcement and the partnership with RingCentral which instantly interested me. After discussing with several people and expressing my interest in it, I was offered the role of managing the sales team and co-authoring the go-to-market strategy for Rainbow Office in nine countries.
Have customers pointed out key features that make Rainbow Office stand out from others in the market?
Integrations are key too. We live in a connected world. People want to work from anywhere, on any device and work from any application. For example, the Direct Routing options for Microsoft Teams, specifically in enterprise customers, is something that we are encountering on a day to day basis. It brings the Microsoft Teams’ phone capabilities to another level for customers.
Spur of the moment conversations are often lost in today’s video-first world. Are there any features coming to Rainbow Office that will help dispersed teams with spontaneous conversations?
We know how important it is to provide the best experience possible to people when using our solution. Spontaneous conversation is key for great teamwork, and to ease it, we launched a new feature called Team Huddle. With the click of a button, you move from a chat conversation to a sales call. You can include people from within your organisation or people externally. Once you are in that session, you can organise Breakout Rooms to go in-depth on a specific subject. It allows us to quickly engage our customers and partners we’re working with into doing business.
As Rainbow Office is an open platform that integrates easily with other applications used by our customers, there are really no limits to what we can do to enhance the experience.
Can you give a brief overview of Rainbow Office’s current features, what updates customers can expect to see soon and the top benefits of features overall?
First, Rainbow Office will continue to enhance the video experience of customers. For instance, the latest release brings new features such as ‘share camera view’ for mobile users, auto-follow and image quality improvements in the desktop app.
We also ensure Rainbow Office integrates easily with more terminals because many customers still use desktop phones. The ‘Rooms’ offering launch illustrates our desire to enable a hybrid way of working by offering standard and easy-to-use video conferencing solutions. This means those returning to the office can collaborate effectively with remote workers.
So really all of the key features that customers need and expect for business telephony. Call routing, IVR, conferencing and much more.
There's the idea of the 15-Minute City. You'll still have the centralised office, but there will be remote working hubs and you'll also still have your home office. Click To Tweet
How do you think businesses will operate post-pandemic?
I don’t always like to talk about the pandemic in my conversations with customers and partners. But it’s a reality that we’re still living today. The way we worked changed rapidly. Over the course of a couple of weeks, we made a giant leap in terms of technology, how we do business, how we work, how we live, how we interact with each other.
Now the question is, is that pendulum going to swing back, and how far will it swing? The hybrid way of working and living is something that will be extended and is going to be more dominant in the future.
There’s the idea of the 15-Minute City. So where your kids go to school, where you do sports activities and even where you go for drinks are all within a 15-minute journey of where you live – it’s something that we will see in business as well. In other words, work will be much more accessible. You’ll still have the centralised office, but there will be remote working hubs, and you’ll also still have your home office. Depending on your needs, you’ll shift between these places.