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In conversation with Red Cactus: the future in telephony

With a software that supports approximately 200 CRM systems and 50 VOIP platforms with 500 partners, Red Cactus stands out as a powerful middleware solution between a CRM system and a Telephony system, especially as it is focused entirely on the telecom industry. Red Cactus was founded in 2019. Almost any telephony system can be connected from one partner portal. As of recently, because of the intergation with Red Cactus, it is now possible to connect your CRM with our communcations platform - Compass!

By integrating Compass with Red Cactus, a variety of features become accessible, that some other telephony systems don’t provide. With call control, you can directly answer and end a call via a button in the pop-up notification. We sat down with Walter Kaan, one of the partner managers at Red Cactus, to discuss the technical architecture of the integration, data security and current trends in the market.

Can you describe briefly your position and introduce your company?

My name is Walter Kaan and I am one of the partner managers at Red Cactus. We are a software company, based in the Netherlands and we focus completely on CRM integrations for telephony providers, like Talksome. We have been doing that for three years now, so we are quite a young company.

Can you tell us something about your main product Bubble? Why did you develop it and with what use cases in mind?

We saw quite a shift in the market for telephony providers and telecom companies to sell integrations, because you needed some added value to bring to the customers, since telephony on itself is not that unique anymore. We worked together with some competitors and we saw that mainly the technical and the support side is really poorly described. So, our main focus became to bring ease to the telecom providers to sell integrations, but also to onboard partners on it, without any struggle.

Can you provide insights into the technical architecture of the integration? What technologies or APIs were used to make this integration possible?

We only work with API’s. What we do is, we receive all the call events from Talksome, we take the number, we do a look-up in the CRM and see if the number occurs in the CRM. When it occurs, we get a whole list of details back from the CRM. And with that information, we can fill the pop-up. Basically, we get a list of parameters that we can use in the pop-up, and of course one of the most important things is to open the customer card. We do that either by triggering a URL, or by using an API to open the customer card directly. When you really want to make it an integration, you will have to make sure that it’s a 360- integration, where we do a call registration in the CRM as well. Then you have a whole circle, so we get the number from the phone provider, we do a look-up at the CRM, then we take it back to the CRM to log every contact that’s happening with the customer and then you have one system- the CRM that the customer is working from.

Can you describe how in your opinion Red Cactus distinguishes itself from other middleware solutions between a CRM system and a telephony system?

I think there are around three to four competitors of ours in Europe. It’s a very small niche that we operate in. Most of our competitors have been in the market for around twenty years. While we are a young and small team, we bring new energy, which I think contributed to our good start and is the reason for growing very fast. Integrations are going to be one of the most important points for providers and in the future to exist. Our software is very flexible and accommodates the telecom providers with ease. You have a lot of flexibility with Bubble to customise it to the wishes of the customer and I think this is one of the reasons that telecom companies choose us, because it is not like a package that you bring to the customer and that is it.

We ask what kind of information is important to you, and what do you want to see. Some of our competitors make it really white label, where you can have your own name for your application, but we call it Bubble, as we do a lot of certifications by CRM platforms like Salesforce. In that way we try to build trust with our customers because they can see we use Salesforce, Bubble is a certified integration for Salesforce and I think that this also sets us apart from our competitors.

Integration security is a paramount concern. What measures have been taken to ensure data privacy and security when using Red Cactus with Compass?

All of our databases are encrypted. We use API’s and that is our main focus, to gain extra data, instead of making a copy of the database and then showing that to the customer. One of the points is to bring Bubble as an application that’s installed on the computer of the user, so no data is going to our servers, but the data stays on the computer of the user. Also, an important one is single-sign-on. You don’t have to send all the password details to the users. You can log in to Microsoft Google or your Apple account and then you are all set.

How does Red Cactus ensure that various software systems are compatible with each other and can integrate successfully?

One of the many things is the certification. For example, Salesforce makes an API change, we are one of the first that’s going to know that the change is going to come, because we are certified.

What kind of trends do you see in the market? F.e. is the current AI trend something you are looking at to build into your solutions?

We use AI for our support. We have a knowledge base where there is an AI chatbot integrated in there, where partners can ask questions about the software. However, I think that AI will be used as well to translate call recordings into a summary. And I think the future is to use that summary to put it in the CRM. I believe that this is the future, because when you put the call recording in the CRM, it’s useful, but you can’t search the CRM for anything that a customer has said, it can’t be searched, as there is no plain text. And a summary, because it is plain text, can be searched.

A lot of telecom companies are facing issues, because the margins are getting smaller and they can’t get quite a lot of new customers. So they need to find a way to get new customers. And I think integrations and also reporting is a way to do so. If we have an ideal world, reporting and CRM integrations are the main things you sell, while mobile telephony is just a part of that. However, a lot of times, you see telecom companies selling telephony as a solution, but it is not a solution anymore, because everyone has it. So you need to come up with a different mindset to see where the value is for the customer.

You are a young Dutch company but with international ambitions, it seems. Can you tell us something about the differences between the Dutch and foreign markets?

In the beginning, we thought that what we wanted to do was a nice concept only for the Dutch market. And then we thought, but it’s software, so we can easily distribute it to other countries. So, we started to get some partners in the UK, Germany, the US, Australia, and South Africa. I think what you can say is that the Netherlands is a country that is a really early adopter of everything when it comes to technical solutions. In that way, I think that Germany is around five years behind us. The UK as well. They are just getting started to switch ISDN off. For me, that is the difference between Dutch and foreign markets.



Just a young dreamer here! Aiming to be the catcher in the rye and all.

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