14 April 2011, York
John Lewis, Managing Director of York-based online directory services provider Simunix, was guest speaking at the “Through The Clouds With Intelecom” conference in London earlier this week about the growing importance of cloud computing and its effect on the Directory Enquiries (DQ) industry.
Simunix has been providing ‘cloud based’ services since the launch of its online directory enquiries website, ukphonebook.com in 2000. ‘Cloud’ describes the way in which software, data, services etc. are delivered to a computer without the need for large IT departments.
Companies (and people) often have all their software installed on their own servers, PC or Mac and the data is hosted locally meaning huge IT departments are necessary to manage the hardware and network infrastructure.
John explained, “Cloud changes this and the concept of Software as a Service, or SaaS as it is known, becomes the norm”. This means that as Internet browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari become more powerful, very sophisticated programs can be delivered to computer desktops via the Internet.
John then took it a stage further, “Thanks to high-speed broadband, your photographs, music, films, spreadsheets, databases etc., can also be stored and accessed remotely”. The main advantage to this method of storing data is that it is completely secure and is accessible from anywhere in the world that has a good Internet connection.
At the conference, John spoke about the paradigm shift needed in the minds of DQ operators like BT and The Number. He suggested they move away from the traditional call-centre based service delivery of 118 xxx services in favour of home-workers delivering the services using Simunix Ltd’s 118-Express solution.
118-Express works in tandem with Intelecom’s telephony platform to provide a full featured DQ solution that will work from any location. The potential cost-savings for DQ providers are significant as they can focus on service quality and value for money issues rather than managing huge call-centres and the associated hardware installations.
The average cost of a 118xxx call is now almost £2 compared to 50p before the service was opened up to competition in 2003.