Paul leads Novosco’s Hosted Skype for Business team, is a big fan of photography, kebabs, and Metallica and will try to merge the three whenever possible.
Question: Paul, what’s your role with Novosco?
Paul Robinson: I’m currently the team leader for Novosco Hosted Skype for Business side of the business. As such, I guess my main responsibilities are to ensure the smooth running of our hosted voice solution that many of our customers rely on for their day-to-day telephony needs. This involves looking after the team here in HQ and making sure the platform is running at its best for all users.
Q: Quite a high-pressure role then, ensuring that customers’ communications are up and running!
Paul Robinson: Yeah definitely, a lot of the users of our Hosted Skype for Business platform operate in very customer-focused fields, dealing with their own clients a lot via phone so it’s essential for them to have a reliable telecommunications product.
In fact, more than that, it’s not only our customers who use our Hosted Skype for Business. We use it ourselves within Novosco for all our customer communications. We operate a 24/7 business here, so our needs are much the same as our customers – we’re our first and most critical customer of our own product.
Q: How has the role changed over the last few years?
Paul Robinson: I’ve been working on Hosted Skype for Business for about 3 years and it has changed a lot! I’ve moved from being part of the team to leading my own team, the technology itself is constantly evolving and the platform has grown, so what we offer our customers has grown with that. And of course, the user count has grown, providing the platform to more and more organisations across the UK & Ireland.
That kind of growth can be a challenge, but I love it! It’s fun, I get to play with new technology and to come up with solutions to challenges as and when they arise.
Q: You say the platform has grown, how do you mean?
Paul: Well, Novosco Hosted Skype for Business is quite a modular system, you can bolt on features such as call recording, analytics, contact centre, and more. So that’s all stuff that we – and I – have to research, understand, and become expert in, before we roll it out to our customers. When we see new potential for features that the users of the platform would benefit from, we do our best to introduce them, where possible.
Q: How intertwined is your team with the rest of the business? Is there much collaboration?
Paul: Oh, we collaborate on a regular basis – constantly, even. There’s a lot of cross-skilling involved. It’s one of the reasons I believe we’ve been so successful; there are so many people here with so many different areas of knowledge that we can leverage on projects as and when required.
So I’d regularly be collaborating on things like Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange, I love sinking my teeth into a good mail-routing issue!
Q: What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in the years ahead?
Paul: Office 365 has been a game changer in the last couple of years. From Sharepoint, One Drive, Skype Online, and now Teams; this has completely revolutionised the unified communications (UC) space. Keeping up with this is a challenge in itself, but a great challenge to have.
I believe this will only continue to increase. The UC space is in such a concentrated period of evolution and integration with other areas of business and infrastructure, we’ve moved beyond organisations asking themselves “should we adopt”, to “we have to adopt…and we need to speak to experts to make sure we do it right”, and that’s where we come in. In the last couple of years that adoption rate has skyrocketed, I expect more of that to come.