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Fusion Connect Executive Interview

Mario DeRiggi, Chief Revenue Officer, Fusion Connect

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Sheri Greenhaus, Managing Partner, CrmXchange met with Mario DeRiggi, Fusion Connect’s Chief Revenue Officer, during Enterprise Connect 2023. Fusion Connect is a next-generation managed communication service provider (MCSP) enabling mid-market and enterprise customers to globally connect people and data. They deliver world-class expertise and the best technology across communications, connectivity, security, and more.  

Mario: At Fusion Connect, we understand the importance of exceptional service. In a recent study of 300 IT decision-makers, we discovered that the vast majority not only value good service but are willing to pay more for it and remain loyal to providers that deliver it.

Our approach goes beyond basic customer service. We're dedicated to making our customers' lives easier by supporting their business objectives and outcomes. As a managed communications service provider that's focused on the Microsoft ecosystem, we're proud to offer solutions that support companies already using Microsoft 365 and those moving to it.

Being a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider and certified Operator Connect partner, our telecommunication services are fully integrated with Microsoft Teams, the dominant collaboration platform in the market.

We also recognize that contact centers need to be connected to Teams, which is why we continue to build functionality that provides a deeper level of integration and interoperability. We offer two contact center solutions: one for enterprises that provides full omnichannel support, workforce management tools, and AI solutions to automate some interactions, and a less feature-rich solution for smaller organizations or those with more basic requirements.

Sheri: What about for the mid-market?

Mario: We have identified a significant need for a fully functional contact center application in the mid-market, which we define as 100 to 1,500 employees and 40 to 100 contact center as a service (CCaaS) seats. Our mid-market offering, which will launch soon, will be a fully omnichannel solution that includes SMS, messaging, and customer relationship management (CRM) integration. We focus on integrating with Teams or Webex, with a particular emphasis on Teams since it's the major player in the market. We will be launching this mid-market offering in about 60 days at a price that will allow companies to take advantage of a complete contact center solution. It is designed to bridge the efficiency gap present in the mid-market and provide a much-needed solution to enhance operational performance and customer satisfaction.

Sheri: That sounds like a great solution. When you say "omnichannel," if I'm a customer and I'm chatting or doing something on the web, and I need to make a phone call, can my conversation be carried forward to the agent?

Mario: Absolutely. AI technology plays a pivotal role in facilitating conversations across channels. Most of the solutions available today can recognize the incoming communication, create a record of it, and instantly transfer that record to an agent. This not only enhances the customer experience but also boosts efficiency for the contact center.

AI technology is a critical component of our solution. It can help agents save time on routine tasks so they can provide better support on higher-complexity issues. It can also identify potential issues before they escalate and recognize negative sentiment, enabling companies to be proactive with their responses. By automating routine tasks, AI can help agents focus on higher-level, higher-revenue issues and improve overall efficiencies.

Sheri: How easy is it to integrate your solution with other systems?

Mario: Our solution comes with an open API, which makes integration with other systems a breeze. In addition, we offer the ability to customize our solutions to meet the specific needs of our customers.

Sheri: Which industries do you typically sell to?

Mario: We sell to many industries, but our solutions are particularly well-suited for retailers, restaurants, and other service industries that have a high volume of customer inquiries.

Sheri: Do you primarily sell through VARs and direct sales?

Mario: We sell our solutions through a variety of channels, including strategic partners and direct sales.

Sheri: What makes your solution stand out and why do companies choose you?

Mario: One of the key factors that sets us apart is our close integration with Microsoft, particularly with Teams, which is a popular internal communications tool for many companies. By using Teams for external communication as well, they can enhance productivity.

Sheri: Some people believe that AI will replace human workers. What is your opinion on this?

Mario: While AI can certainly automate many routine tasks and increase efficiency, it won't completely replace human workers. Instead, it will make them more efficient and allow them to focus on more complex issues.

Sheri: Is there anything else that our readers should know?

Mario: Technology is rapidly changing, and it's crucial to stay up to date with the latest advancements. We are constantly thinking about ways to be helpful and educational, and to continue to serve our industry, we are about to launch a podcast that will cover the latest trends and dive into examples of how technology is inspiring businesses and communities to be more efficient and connected. It's all about education and staying ahead of the curve.