2015 EMEA Hosted/Cloud Contact Center Buyers Guide
The cloud market for communications solutions of all types is maturing, but continues to grow. Hosted IP telephony, unified communications (UC), and contact center solutions are among the technologies now commonly provided in the cloud. The majority of issues, such as security and reliability, that hampered cloud adoptions in the past have been addressed, and solution providers of all types have broadened application capabilities and expanded overall portfolios.
This EMEA research service includes cloud solutions offered in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Rest of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. “Rest of Europe” comprises the Nordic countries, Ireland, the Southern European countries (Italy and Portugal), and Central and Eastern European countries (Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia). While maturing rapidly, the EMEA cloud market is still growing—closely following the trajectory of the North American market—with local vendors, cloud-only providers, and legacy premise-based participants offering solutions.
It is imperative for any business looking to deploy hosted contact centers to assess providers’ capabilities in the areas of reliability, scalability, security, and features. When the hosted contact center market was in its infancy, some worried that hosted solutions were not as feature-rich as premise-based solutions. Historically, even in the premise-based systems market, lack of application functionality has largely been addressed by integrating best-of-breed point solutions. While long-term viability, vertical market expertise, and experience are essential, ensuring that the provider has the right set of solutions is equally important, so businesses need to assess whether contact center suites are comprehensive, or whether supplementing with point solutions makes more sense.
Businesses also need to ask what a potential vendor has done to address regional needs, such as in the realm of language support and regulatory requirements. If the company’s headquarters is outside of EMEA, does it still have an EMEA location? Having solid local expertise is vital, and it is also important to pay attention to regional go-to-market strategies and after-sale support suppliers. Does a supplier have in-country expertise? Does it offer a consultative sales approach? How much voice and data experience do those channel partners have? How does a channel partner technically support multinational companies? Do partners also have a depth of experience supporting different customer segments and vertical markets? Finally, do they have regional customer references?
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