We had the pleasure of sitting down with our Chief Product Officer, George Mitsopoulos, and Director of Product, Bindiya Jain, to discuss the recent launch of the new b-hive Communicator app, how remote work is driving changes in collaboration and what this massive update means for our customers.
Where were we a year ago with our b-hive Communicator app?
GM: A year ago was just before the pandemic hit, so there was an immediate need to rethink our process and how our customers were working. For example, a small accounting firm. Before the pandemic, clients would be able to go into the office to file their taxes, but since that was no longer an option, we needed to find a way to make everything virtual.
BJ: But the original Communicator needed improvements to meet those needs. For example, there was a small limit on the number of users and no way for people to schedule video conferences in advance. What was needed was the mix of both—the ability to collaborate with a colleague in real-time and also during a scheduled video call.
Do you think this new remote-first mindset will change collaboration platforms moving forward?
GM: Definitely. I think we are going to start to see some companies take a step back and reevaluate. Those companies who scrambled to get different tools to meet their needs during the pandemic are now going to wonder why they are spending all this money on tools that don’t integrate well with each other. Instead, more and more businesses will look for an app—like the new Communicator—that brings all their collaboration tools together into a single, cohesive experience.
BJ: I also think the line between a cell phone and desk phone is going to continue to become hazy as customers are able to complete more tasks from their personal devices. It’s only a matter of time before collaboration platforms, like ours, make the desk phone obsolete.
What was the process for making sure we meet customer needs with this update? And how do we ensure this for all of our products?
GM: We approach all our products from a customer-first mindset. When we set out to redesign the Communicator app, we did significant market research to learn the challenges of our customers and our prospective customers. We then sat down and asked, “is there a unique way we can ultimately meet their needs and solve these problems?”
What’s the biggest benefit to small business users with the new b-hive Communicator update?
GM: It’s an all-in-one platform. You can go from voice interactions with customers to SMS messaging, all the way to video communications—now real-time or scheduled. Plus, it’s extremely easy to use!
BJ: The ability to efficiently and promptly communicate with customers and coworkers from anywhere at any time. All integrated with your b-hive business phone number.
Anything new on the roadmap that customers can expect, especially related to the Communicator launch?
GM: We are in the process of redesigning our Communicator mobile app with the same look, feel and design as our desktop app. Since our userbase primarily uses iOS*, we are focusing on that first. Our aim is to have that app ready by early fall and have the Android* app follow shortly after by the end of the year.
BJ: From there, we’ll focus on how we make Communicator vertical-specific and improve the features for key industries. And how can we ingrain Communicator into our client workflow? We’ll evaluate those goals and then start targeting those needs to keep iterating on the product.
What specifically is your favorite part of the new b-hive Communicator experience?
GM: We all use so many different apps on a daily basis that it’s a hassle to constantly navigate between all of them. I love that the new Communicator app takes away that unnecessary back-and-forth and centralizes everything within one tool.
BJ: Our customers can conduct all their business over the cloud, rather than from a desktop phone. This gives them more flexibility and really opens it up so they can work from anywhere.
What’s on the roadmap beyond Communicator in the coming year and into the future?
GM: On our roadmap, we’ve got a huge focus on data—how data within the platform can help our customers make better business decisions and enhance the employee experience. We also want to refine the contact center experience and bring it together as a ubiquitous experience across the entire business.
BJ: After seeing Covid’s impact on my family in India, I want to expand Communicator in the future to bring telemedicine to different countries in need. We’re already HIPPA compliant, so there is a huge possibility to globalize healthcare down the line.
Lastly, what do you think sets us apart from the other communications companies out there?
GM: It truly is our people. Working at Broadvoice is all about our ability to create meaningful relationships with our customers and employees, so they are able to create those same connections with their customers.
To learn more about the new Communicator app and how it can benefit your team, click here.