By Paul Thomas, Managing Director EMEA
Cloud - one of those buzzwords you'll hear frequently in technology. Cloud-based solutions, cloud adoption, cloud software - it's all about cloud. Now, if you are reading this from the US perspective you've been talking cloud for what seems like forever. But, if you are reading this from the UK you might think, "what is all this cloud talk about?" Many European markets have become interested in moving their technology away from legacy, premise-based solutions to cloud-based software. The need exists to expand a cloud solution into the European marketplace, otherwise I wouldn't be where I'm at today.
We've come such a long way since I began my journey in the technology industry 20 years ago; we were just getting started with the internet. Now with everything digital at our fingertips, cloud adoption has become a major milestone for not just Europeans but for everyone around the world. Consumers and businesses have overcome hurdles in adopting a cloud environment such as security challenges, IT jobs shifting, and the fear of the unknown. The benefits of a cloud environment have become much more powerful and appealing to all. Less maintenance, lower costs, more control, 24/7 reliability, high flexibility and by far more scalable - all benefits of moving a solution into the cloud.
The audience here in EMEA is ready to receive the benefits of cloud-based solutions. The proven track record of these solutions in the US has established a trust for Europe and other countries in the region to dip their toes in the water. As cloud-based technologies become more common in global markets, I am seeing a much stronger interest from enterprises wanting to move away from their legacy, premise-based contact centre solution. Here are a few highlights why Europe, Middle East and African regions are ready to reap the benefits of a cloud contact centre world:
1. Flexibility: Cloud-based solutions are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating demands. If needs increase it's easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service's remote servers. Likewise, if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is baked into the service.
2. Disaster recovery: Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery. Even for small businesses that do not have the required money or expertise, it is possible - by moving into the cloud. According to analyst reports, small businesses are twice as likely as larger companies to have implemented cloud-based backup and recovery solutions that save time, and avoid large up-front investment.
3. Automatic updates: The beauty of cloud is the servers are off-premise, out of sight and out of your mind. Cloud-vendors take care of the infrastructure for you and roll out regular software updates - including security updates.
4. Capital-expenditure free: Cloud solutions cut out the high cost of hardware. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model that's good for your cash flow.
5. Agents anywhere: With cloud, your agent can work from anywhere with an internet connection. With most serious cloud services offering mobile apps, a device can no longer restrict an agent, manager, or supervisor.
6. Security: Cloud gives you a high level of security. Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine or laptop.
7. Competitive advantage: Moving to the cloud gives access to enterprise-class technology. It also allows small businesses to act faster than big, established competitors. Pay-as-you-go service and cloud business applications allow small companies to run with the big boys, and disrupt the market, while remaining lean and nimble.
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