Author Archives: Anastasia Valentine

About Anastasia Valentine

Anastasia Valentine is the Chief Marketing Officer at Versature leading the marketing and sales organizations. She is an award-winning product strategist and brings a wealth of experience to the Versature team. Anastasia has a solid track record of over 20 years of experience bringing products to market from idea through to commercialization globally. Anastasia has held leadership, technical and marketing roles organizations such as Sandbox, Cognos, IBM, Jetform/Adobe and with technology startup companies. She leads the multi-disciplined marketing and sales development teams at Versature using a customer-centric and data-driven approach to provide long-term strategic vision and day to day tactical direction. Anastasia is a strong advocate for women in STEM and regular keynote speaker at industry conferences.

Versature’s Year of Giving with Pledge 1%

One of the exciting trends I’m seeing in the increasing commitment of the SaaS community to incorporate giving back as part of the startup, scale-up and corporate strategy as a fundamental value of their mission.

Giving at every stage of company growth is more than just possible, it is responsible and demonstrates a high level of leadership in addition to building a great culture and products.

An excellent framework to get started or to introduce an inclusive approach to giving that engages employees, puts your products and dollars to work is the Pledge 1% program. Founded by Salesforce and now adopted by leading SaaS companies including Versature, Pledge 1% encourages organizations to pledge 1% of Time, 1% of Product & 1% of Profit.

As a member of the Pledge 1% program, Versature has given back by providing our employees volunteer days, donated products to charitable organizations and fundraisers and even funded some valuable community programs.

1% may not seem like a lot and may not be feasible for smaller organizations to participate in at all levels of time, product and profit. But even if your organization delivers on 1 tier of the program as it grows, rest assured, that 1% makes a tangible difference.

Here are some examples of how Versature gives back that you could consider for your organization!

1% Time – Volunteer Days

Each Versature employee is encouraged to volunteer their time, even during work hours. This helps build community relationships, create excellent team building opportunities outside the office and a culture of giving among employees. Some examples include coaching minor league hockey teams, building homes, stocking shelves at a food bank, or volunteering at telethons.

1% Product – In-Kind Sponsorship

Your products can help organizations on a permanent or temporary basis. Versature delivers business phone solutions and analytics so we provide some organizations with this service at a discount or temporarily for fundraisers and telethons with organizations like the Sandra Schmirler Telethon for Tiny Hearts, and CBC Project Give in support of the Ottawa Food Bank.

1% Profit – Monetary Support

All charitable organizations have challenges that only funds can solve. Such was the case with the Youth Service Bureau (YSB) who required a new vehicle to support their Mobile Outreach team to assist families in crisis. Versature has generously sponsored a reliable and comfortable vehicle to help YSB reach families in their time of need, provide onsite support and counselling and provide transportation for youth to safe accommodations or for medical care. Specifically, since Versature sponsored the vehicle for YSB Mobile Outreach they have:

  • provided more than 292 home visits to high-risk youth and families
  • travelled 8,156 km throughout the community to do this critical work

We encourage all technology companies to take the #TechGivesBack challenge and incorporate giving as part of your growth and corporate strategy.

Share how your organization gives back on Giving Tuesday using the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media. If you are a technology company, share examples of your team giving back using the #TechGivesBack hashtag ALL YEAR LONG!

Versature Leads the Way in Digital Transformation with Launch of Call Analytics Hub, “Insights”

New product line allows companies to leverage call data to improve the way they do business

Ottawa, Ontario, October 30, 2018Versature, a Canadian provider of SaaS-based business VoIP communications solutions, today announced the launch of its new analytics product line, Insights. This new product line leverages Versature call data to improve customer relationships, increase operational efficiencies, and gamify team and agent performance.

Versature Insights enables businesses to gain unique perspectives and uncover valuable trends based on data generated from phone-based communications. Companies can leverage their Versature call data to create a culture of high-achievement by gamifying individual and team performance, communicate service levels transparently to improve customer relationships, build loyalty, and remain compliant with industry standards and legislative requirements.

“The way businesses communicate has changed for good. Companies can leverage their immensely valuable call data to improve the way they do business,” said Versature CMO, Anastasia Valentine. “With Versature Insights, customers can use the call data they generate every day to identify business trends, improve customer relationships, and create a culture of high performance.”

Technologies in this area are advancing at record speed. Although organizations are rushing to adopt omnichannel communications, a recent Harvard Business Review report revealed that the phone remains the preferred customer service channel. There is little evidence to indicate that this will change soon. Calls to businesses are expected to reach more than 169 billion per year by 2020.

Customers still prefer to speak to real people on the phone, making a positive caller experience and seamless call flow a top priority for businesses who are committed to delivering a superior level of service. In-depth analytics and key metrics based on call-related activity help businesses ensure their service levels are maintained and exceeded.

Versature delivers more than just a dial-tone by providing Canadian businesses with a superior business phone service, feature-rich caller experience, and call-analytics tools to improve the efficiency of busy organizations.

About Versature

Versature is the leader in Canadian SaaS-based business phone and communication solutions. Trusted by clients and partners across the country, Versature is an award-winning company that is raising the bar with the highest quality phone systems, superior Communications as a Service and operational system integrations, and Canadian-based technical support. Founded in 2003, Versature has a rapidly growing subscriber base and strong partner network from coast-to-coast. Versature is now part of net2phone, a global provider of unified communications services.

Introducing Versature Insights

Many times we think of a phone on a desk, conference phone, or mobile device as a simple tool for communication. It’s a way to connect with others, whether it be your prospects, partners, customers, team members, or your community.

But wait there’s more! Just kidding… but not really. Data about every conversation and interaction provides unique and actionable insights into the operations of the business, customer experience, and employee performance.

But how do you leverage that data in a way that is meaningful to your team and customers to make business decisions that will positively impact your business?

Action, Value, and Results!

Call data is an untapped resource for companies to discover business trends, improve the caller experience, develop more meaningful customer relationships, and increase the performance of their agents. Data can contribute to a positive corporate culture of the organization to increase transparency and gamify performance to make work fun!

This is why we have launched Versature Insights. Insights is a full suite of tools that enable our customers to take action, deliver value and reap the rewards in the positive business results.

The first release of Versature Insights delivers:

Performance Wallboards

Create a culture of high performance
Learn More

 

 

 

 

Call Centre Web Header

Improve relationships with customers
Learn More

 

 

 

 

Long-Term Call Recording Storage

Securely store audio records of conversations
Learn More

 

 

 

 

Google Sheets™ Add-On

Analyze your call data, your way
Learn More

 

 

 

 

 

Book your product tour of Versature Insights with one of our experts today!

SEE INSIGHTS IN ACTION

*Long Term Call Recording is available at an additional fee for Essential, Professional, and Enterprise Versature plans.

Versature to Scale Operations Through Acquisition by net2phone

Accelerated Growth for one of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (OTTAWA, CANADA) – September 17, 2018: net2phone, a global provider of unified communications services and subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT), today announced that it has acquired Versature, a rapidly growing SaaS-based business communications solutions and hosted VoIP provider serving the Canadian market.

“We are delighted to welcome Versature’s management and employees, customers and partners to net2phone,” said Jonah Fink, net2phone’s President. “Our two companies share a customer-centric philosophy and a commitment to develop and deploy powerful integrated communications and collaboration features. That shared vision will enable Versature and net2phone to continue providing Canadian companies with the outstanding cloud-based communications services they demand.”

“This transaction will accelerate Versature’s growth trajectory in Canada through a powerful alignment of values and innovative technology for voice and call analytics combined with ready access to capital,” said Versature’s President and COO Jonathon Moody. “As a result, Versature will scale Canadian operations by attracting top talent and continue to innovate and aggressively pursue opportunities in the Canadian market.”

With the addition of Versature, one of the fastest growing Canadian companies according to Growth 500, net2phone continues to broaden its international presence. Post acquisition, Versature plans to accelerate its expansion in Canada through investment in the partner and direct channels, recruitment of additional top talent and continued development of innovative call, voice-centric, and unified communications technology solutions.

“We are thrilled to have found a partner that is equally committed to evolving and innovating the communications experience for our customers and businesses across Canada,” said Paul Emond, Versature’s CEO.

“We continue to be very pleased by the trajectory of net2phone’s business as it expands internationally,” said Shmuel Jonas, CEO of IDT Corporation. “We are looking forward to working with the Versature team to continue their outstanding service to Canadian businesses while leveraging their expertise throughout our global operations.”

All statements above that are not purely about historical facts, including, but not limited to, those in which we use the words “believe”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “plan”, “intend”, “estimate”, “target”, and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. While these forward-looking statements represent our current judgment of what may happen in the future, actual results may differ materially from the results expressed or implied by these statements due to numerous important factors. Our filings with the SEC provide detailed information on such statements and risks, and should be consulted along with this release. To the extent permitted under applicable law, IDT assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

About Versature:
Versature is the leader in Canadian SaaS-based business phone and communication solutions. Trusted by clients and partners across the country, Versature is an award-winning company that is raising the bar with the highest quality phone systems, superior Communications as a Service and operational system integrations, and Canadian-based technical support. Founded in 2003, Versature has a rapidly growing subscriber base and strong partner network from coast to coast.

About net2phone:
net2phone is a global provider of unified communications services and collaboration tools serving businesses in the Americas, Asia and Europe. net2phone is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT), a provider of communications and payment services. To learn more, please visit net2phone.com.

Versature Corporate Media Contact:
Anastasia Valentine
1-877-498-3772 ext. 130
talktous@versature.com

IDT Corporate Media and Investor Contact:
Bill Ulrey
+1-973-438-3034
invest@idt.net

Versature Named to Growth 500 Ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies

Canadian Leader in Voice Technology and Call Analytics Continues Rapid Growth Trajectory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – OTTAWA, CANADA – September 13, 2018 – Versature, a Canadian leader in Unified Communications as a Service (uCaaS) delivering SaaS-based business VoIP communication and call analytics solutions, has been ranked number 261 by Canadian Business today on the 30th annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s fastest growing companies. Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth.

“Versature is honoured to be ranked among Canada’s most innovative companies in this year’s Growth 500,” Says Paul Emond, CEO of Versature. “It’s exciting to be recognized for the hard work that goes into making this list, and I’m especially proud of the team we have put together that consistently achieves such amazing results.”

Versature continues to grow their operations in Canada and invest in innovative voice and call analytics technology for Canadian businesses to gain unique insight, improve operational efficiency, create a culture of high performance and deliver enhanced caller experiences.

“The companies on the 2018 Growth 500 are truly remarkable. Demonstrating foresight, innovation and smart management, their stories serve as a primer for how to build a successful entrepreneurial business today,” says Deborah Aarts, Growth 500 program manager. “As we celebrate 30 years of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program, it’s encouraging to see that entrepreneurship is healthier than ever in this country.”

Ranking Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth, the Growth 500—formerly known as the PROFIT 500—profiles the country’s most successful entrepreneurial businesses. The Growth 500 is produced by Canadian Business. Winners are profiled in a special Growth 500 print issue of Canadian Business (packaged with the October issue of Maclean’s magazine) and online at Growth500.ca and CanadianBusiness.com.

About Versature
Versature is the leader in Canadian SaaS-based business phone and communication solutions. Trusted by clients and partners across the country, Versature is an award-winning company that is raising the bar with the highest quality phone systems, superior Communications as a Service and operational system integrations, and Canadian-based technical support. Founded in 2003, Versature has a rapidly growing subscriber base and strong partner network from coast to coast. Visit Versature at Versature.com.

About the Growth 500
For 30 years, the Growth 500 has been Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Ranking Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth, the Growth 500—formerly known as the PROFIT 500—profiles the country’s most successful growing businesses. The Growth 500 is produced by Canadian Business. Winners are profiled in a special Growth 500 print issue of Canadian Business (packaged with the October issue of Maclean’s magazine) and online at Growth500.ca and CanadianBusiness.com. For more information on the ranking, visit Growth500.ca.

About Canadian Business
Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most-trusted business publication in the country. It is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. Learn more at CanadianBusiness.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Anastasia Valentine
avalentine@versature.com
1-877-498-3772 extension 130

Account Based Marketing – Technology, Strategy, & Teamwork

When asked by Salesforce to present our philosophy on Account-Based Marketing we jumped at the chance to challenge the status quo, share our strategy and knowledge, and talk about how we use technology to scale!

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is not a new concept. It supports the approach that each prospect should receive a fully customized experience based on the content they consume, channels in which they come in, buying signals, use cases, industry, and other characteristics that would help a company personalize their interactions.

This goes far beyond the simple personalizations of username, company, and other programmatic variables. I mean really, that’s far too easy and makes for lazy marketers. We have to go deeper and create a more meaningful experience with a customer, not take the easy way out with a one size fits all copy and pasted user experience.

We want every single customer to understand what we offer, in the context in which they are looking. Whether that be a buying signal, content consumption, an ad-driven visitor or perhaps coming across us organically or by referral. The way we communicate with our new and current customers is completely tailored to their unique business need and why they may want to buy.

Does this sound like lots of work? It is. It requires excellent content, a technology stack to allow us to scale and most importantly, great people who are committed to providing a fantastic customer experience and understanding how we can solve communications challenges.

But it doesn’t stop there. Many companies front load an ABM strategy to tackle a problem in their pre-sales experience. Once the deal is signed, that experience isn’t continued through to onboarding, support, and customer success. At best this is a really disjointed experience, at worst, it is a bait and switch.

I challenged some common problems when transitioning from a traditional sales and marketing approach to an ABM model:

  • The concept of the traditional funnel of loading up the top as much as possible and hoping for a precious few deals to trickle through is outdated and not cost effective. Laser focus on your perfect fit customer yields better deals, improved customer relationships and reduces churn.
  • ABM is a strategy that should be employed from first touch point all the way through to customer loyalty and everything in between not just up to deal close. A consistent approach and tailored customer experience should never end when the deal is signed. While it requires an investment, higher touch experience is destined to create an environment to win and keep customers for life.

 

Let’s continue the conversation!

Have you implemented ABM or is your organization considering it? What challenges have you faced and how were you able to overcome them?

Share Your Thoughts

Introducing The 2018 Call Trends Report

When you look at the phone on your desk, it can sometimes appear like a static thing that is connected to a larger system. Yes, you use it, make and take calls but generally, we look at the phone on our desk a physical piece of hardware that we use on the regular.

When people think about their business phone service, they don’t always think about the value call data can provide their organization. In fact, call data can improve company operations, increase efficiency, and help managers gain insight into trends by correlating them with key business activities.

We are thrilled to bring you the 2018 Canadian Call Trends report, powered by Versature, which contains data and insights that will help you improve your communications and business operations by understanding how to interpret call data and the best ways to connect and communicate with your prospects, customers, partners and the greater community.

Download the report for FREE now and see how Call Data on its own or mashed up with operational system data can help you improve your business!

DOWNLOAD

Introducing The 2018 Call Trends Report

When you look at the phone on your desk, it can sometimes appear like a static thing that is connected to a larger system. Yes, you use it, make and take calls but generally, we look at the phone on our desk a physical piece of hardware that we use on the regular.

When people think about their business phone service, they don’t always think about the value call data can provide their organization. In fact, call data can improve company operations, increase efficiency, and help managers gain insight into trends by correlating them with key business activities.

We are thrilled to bring you the 2018 Canadian Call Trends report, powered by Versature, which contains data and insights that will help you improve your communications and business operations by understanding how to interpret call data and the best ways to connect and communicate with your prospects, customers, partners and the greater community.

Download the report for FREE now and see how Call Data on its own or mashed up with operational system data can help you improve your business!

DOWNLOAD

Versature Named to the Branham300 Top 250 Canadian Technology Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – OTTAWA, CANADA – June 27, 2018 – Versature, the leader in Canadian SaaS-based business communications and solutions, has been recognized as one of the top 250 Canadian companies in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry at the 25th annual Branham300.

“Being placed on the Branham Group list of the top 250 technology companies in Canada is another exciting milestone for Team Versature. We’re proud of the achievement and are looking forward to moving substantially up the list over the next few years,” says Paul Emond, CEO of Versature.

Versature has experienced 30% year over year growth and is continually growing its Canadian customer base and partner channels with new innovations in analytics, artificial intelligence, and integrations with leading SaaS technologies.

“The 2018 edition of the Branham300 once again shows revenue growth in Canada’s ICT industry. Revenue generated by the Top 250 tech companies in Canada has grown every year since 2009,” says Wayne Gudbranson, CEO of Branham Group. “Once again, Canada’s ICT professionals can be very proud of both the growth and the innovation they produced last year, and we are once again pleased to shine a congratulatory spotlight on this critical industry.”

For 25 years, the Branham300 has highlighted exceptional Canadian and multinational companies operating in Canada, as ranked by revenues. This list of exemplary organizations illustrates the depth and breadth of innovative technologies developed in Canada and is widely considered to be a leading source of intelligence on Canada’s ICT industry.

About Versature

Versature is the leader in Canadian SaaS-based business phone and communication solutions. Trusted by clients and partners across the country, Versature is an award-winning company that is raising the bar with the highest quality phone systems, superior Communications as a Service and operational system integrations, and Canadian-based technical support. Founded in 2003, Versature has a rapidly growing subscriber base and strong partner network from coast to coast.

About Branham Group Inc.

Branham Group Inc. is a leading Tech Industry Analyst and Strategic Advisory servicing the global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) marketplace. Branham Group assists ICT companies and related institutions in achieving market success through its custom advisory services (Planning, Marketing and Partnering). Branham Group also produces the Branham300, an annual listing of the top ICT companies in Canada.

Get Coding with the Versature Developer Portal

What if you could leverage call data for your organization, departments and call centres to integrate with operational systems? Have you ever explored the power of mashing up insights from call data records with systems like CRMs, applicant tracking systems, help desk ticketing systems or even dashboard tools?

I had the opportunity to interview our lead developer, David Ward to talk about the art of the possible when it comes to combining the value of off the shelf or custom products with Versature call data.

Companies use Versature call data for a variety of applications including:

  • Workforce planning
  • Calculating marketing ROI
  • Monitoring call centre performance
  • Tracking call communications
  • Analyzing sentiment
  • Voice-based contract signature
    And more.

With all of these capabilities in mind, we are happy to announce the availability of the Versature Developers Portal to assist our customers and partners with custom integrations using our open API.

Using the Versature Developer Portal our dev community get access to:

  • Easy to use code snippets
  • Best practices
  • API calls
  • Authentication methods
  • Credential management
  • Changelogs

Visit the Versature Developer Portal to get started.

Happy Coding!

Hot Potato! Customers Are Friends, Not Food

Have you ever had this happen to you?

  • technology stops working,
  • you have a question about a bill you received, or
  • you need to make a business transaction that requires you to speak to a real live human?

Of course, you have. We all have! Then there’s a sinking feeling in your stomach when you realize you’ll need to have a most-likely unpleasant and time-consuming conversation with a human to get your problem solved.

Mostly this reluctance is because the humans we need to interact with are not trained well to deal with, well, the humans that need their help. Have no fear! We’ve identified the top 3 complaints that make customers feel like a hot potato being dropped or tossed from department to department, and propose some concrete solutions to creating an excellent customer experience and corporate culture.

Hey what’s the rush?

Scenario

The caller is rushed through a conversation. They feel that they are being pushed in a direction they don’t want to go, are wasting their time answering questions that aren’t relevant, or their business is not worth an investment in a meaningful conversation. On the other side of the discussion is a person whose success is measured by taking/making a high number of calls, “resolutions on first touch point”, and length of a call. All of these are meaningful measures but not at the expense of a stellar customer experience.

Solution

Company representatives, especially those in call centres, need to be measured more heavily on customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. Obviously, we can’t have people taking or making one call a day, but if we focus and incentivize based on customer satisfaction, the game will be changed, for the better. If call center employees have visibility into the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and/or Churn Rates they will have a better understanding of how their interactions directly impact these numbers. Employees that are invested in the success of the organization rather than achieving artificial targets will always deliver the best experience.

 

Hot Potato!

Scenario

A caller connects with a department, waits on hold, explains the situation, is transferred to another department where they wait on hold and explain the situation again just to be rerouted to another department who puts them on hold… Do you see a vicious pattern here? I call it the hot potato effect. There is no accountability for helping a client in need, which is a result of not having the authority or flexibility to solve a problem beyond the perceived boundaries of their mandate or job description. Employees can sometimes fear going above and beyond to delight a customer as they may be penalized for going that extra mile to ensure a customer doesn’t get treated like a hot potato.

Solution

There are two ways to solve this problem.

  1. Empower frontline employees to go the extra mile to delight the customer and in doing so recognize and reward employees who are making a measurable difference vs crushing their call stats. Shifting the focus of a team to a customer-centric approach creates a corporate culture employees are proud to be part of.
  2. Connect your systems. Departmental silos that keep information in and separate rather making it available to those who need it creates a disastrous customer experience by having customers repeat themselves every single time speak to someone new. The solution is to either use the same system or connect your operational systems so employees have the information about a case, a customer, an order, etc. at the ready. This means address information, call details, and any additional information that will help the next person they speak to provide the service that will keep the customers coming back for more. Easier said than done? Not true. An easy fix is a simple human to human warm handoff or deeply integrated systems. In either case, it will require an investment that will pay off with great customer relationships.

 

I’ve Heard This Script Before

Scenario

This classic problem is indicative of front-line employees that aren’t trusted to interact with other humans. Rather ironic considering they have been hired to do exactly that. Scripts enable employers to keep their employees on message and consistent, but it creates a false interaction that doesn’t contain any humanity or empathy and very little value. From a caller’s perspective they may feel stone-walled and that they aren’t being heard. From an employee’s perspective, they feel that their hands are tied and are powerless to help. Doesn’t sounds like anyone wins in this situation.

Solution

Have policies, by all means, give talking points to leverage, and provide resources for frontline employees to deliver the best client care, but there is never a need for a script. Empowering employees to leverage their personality and have a genuinely human unscripted conversation makes for natural interaction and highly skilled employees who can choose the best way to respond to a client’s needs. Team members who can think on their feet and get creative about solving a customer’s problem will ultimately be more valuable to the company in their current and future roles. In addition, they will represent the company more confidentially, customers will be happier, and both employee and customer loyalty will improve.