In our now digital world, your customer’s primary interaction with your company, products and services is online. According to Forrester, self-service has been the most preferred channel for connecting businesses to their customers during the previous three years. In addition, Salesforce estimates that 60% of businesses expect to implement self-service portals within the next 12-18 months. Windstream Enterprise is among those taking that step now with our native, online customer portal, aptly named WE Connect.
Single pane of glass
Windstream Enterprise offers a broad range of networking, communications, security and connectivity services. The ambition behind WE Connect was to unify all of our best‑in‑class services to create one integrated digital experience for our customers. It began with an ambitious goal to deliver what many promise, and few achieve: a true, ‘single pane of glass’ customer service experience.
To achieve this, we focused on creating a portal centered around what the customer would actually experience—not just the interface they would see—and included built‑in analytics for continuous improvements in usability and navigation flows. Ease of use was fundamental to our design and meant that customers had to be able to interact with Windstream Enterprise at anytime, anywhere, and from any device. As a native app, it’s a no-sacrifices approach that ensures compatibility with device hardware and native smartphone features. WE Connect creates personalized experiences that align to how customer’s think and operate, providing immediate access to relevant and targeted information about all their services in one place. This unified online portal experience across products and services was blended with essential self-serve care functions that allow customers to have more control and visibility into the key features of their solutions, while keeping Windstream Enterprise support just a click away.
Control is essential to the effectiveness of any technology solution, which is why it’s such a core focus of the WE Connect portal. The power of solutions like SD-WAN and UCaaS can only be fully realized when end-users can self-manage critical features and services of their system. For example, Windstream Enterprise SD-WAN customers can change the prioritization of sites, throttling and blocking policies on the fly. Routine operational functions like adding users or locations to meet changing business needs used to take days for a technician to come out to physically make the changes. With the WE Connect portal, mission-critical features of Windstream Enterprise’s proprietary UCaaS solution OfficeSuite UC®, such as call routing, voicemail, mobile tools and key system changes, can be individually managed by end-users of the system.
One of the most requested features by customers was access to accurate and timely reports. With WE Connect, we’ve built in reporting capabilities that will provide performance metrics for both the network and specific solutions to which they subscribe. Network performance reports afford customers insight into the Windstream Enterprise network using an interactive view of network latency, packet loss and jitter by market. SD-WAN customers, for example, have access to customized reporting capabilities that aggregates data across all sites or a set of sites for real-time performance visibility. Moreover, the customer is no longer forced to accept pre-defined names. They can create tags and names in plain English for locations and devices on their network that mean something to them.
The proof is in the portal
Windstream Enterprise understands that our customers’ impressions will be largely established through digital engagement. WE Connect is a major step in our commitment to create a modern, secure, and customer-centric digital experience that will take our solutions to greater heights and levels of engagement. We are committed to continuous improvement with every customer touchpoint, and we are confident that WE Connect will be a positive proof point in our journey to deliver a ‘best-in-class’ customer experience.
Stephen Farkouh is the Chief Information Officer for Windstream. Stephen previously served as the SVP of Cloud Technology & Platform Development for Windstream Enterprise after joining Windstream via the acquisition of Broadview Networks in 2017. At Windstream, Stephen cultivates an environment where agility and velocity are paramount, leading to the delivery of highly regarded technology solutions including customer portals, integrations with third-party productivity tools, and OfficeSuite UC – the first ever 100% cloud-based unified communications platform. At Broadview Networks, Stephen held a number of leadership positions over 18 years, most recently EVP, Information Systems where he was responsible for developing software solutions.
Prior to that, Stephen was with a number of other industry leaders including Teleport Communications, now AT&T, and Objective Systems Integrators. He began his career on the technical staff at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) and holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia.
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