EMEA Contact Centers Need to Look to the Cloud

Consumer preference for self-help, coupled with the prolific way they broadcast thoughts, ideas, compliments, and complaints about brands on social media, is forcing vendors and end users alike to adapt to new interaction channels that provide richer self-service capabilities, according to analysis from Frost & Sullivan in its 2015 EMEA Contact Center Systems Buyers Guide (https://www.frost.com/mb50). The company calls this "a sea change within the contact center industry."

"Contact center systems suppliers in [Europe, the Middle East, and Africa] will need to expand more heavily into adjacent customer support areas, such as omnichannel support, big data, and mobility," said Nancy Jamison, a principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, in the report. "Integrating disparate solutions will quicken the move to omnichannel customer care."

The research also found that for many companies, choosing a contact center solutions partner in EMEA has become complex because of the large number of contact center providers. Buyers, it said, will need to do their due diligence in assessing vendor capabilities irrespective of the deployment method. Beyond features and functionality, they will also need to look at long-term financial viability, track record, product roadmaps, services, and support before taking the plunge. As such, vendors will have to stay ahead of the innovation curve to gain market share.

In the past few years, the slowly recovering global economy has affected buying decisions and held back investment in new systems and upgrades. The emergence of hosted and cloud services, which allow companies to reduce capital and operational expenditure on contact center solutions, is further affecting market revenues.

"Over and above discussing roadmap plans for various trends, buyers should understand how contact center systems providers are addressing the cloud," Jamison said. "Whether it makes sense for a company to move all or part of their systems to the cloud, it is imperative for end users to understand its bearing on their infrastructure and business in the long run and make the right choice."