Choosing a contact centre solutions partner in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has become complex owing to the presence of myriad contact centre providers.

Buyers will do their due diligence in assessing vendor capabilities irrespective of the deployment method. Beyond features and functionality, they will look at long-term financial viability, track record, product roadmaps, services and support before taking the plunge. As such, vendors will have stay ahead of the innovation curve to gain market share.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “2015 EMEA Contact Centre Systems Buyers Guide”, finds that consumer preference for self-education and self-help, coupled with the prolific way they broadcast thoughts, ideas, compliments and complaints about brands on social media, is forcing a sea change within the contact centre industry. Vendors and end users alike are adapting to new interaction channels that provide richer self-service capabilities.

“Contact centre systems suppliers in EMEA will need to expand more heavily into adjacent customer support areas such as omni-channel support, big data, and mobility,” says Frost & Sullivan ICT principal analyst Nancy Jamison. “Integrating disparate solutions will quicken the move to omni-channel customer care.”

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 centre solutions, is further affecting market revenues.

While contact centre systems providers continue to produce compelling, feature-rich premise-based solutions, the spectre of the cloud will not go away. Hence, providers are bound to take an ‘if you cannot beat them join them’ attitude and answer with cloud-based options of their own.

“Over and above discussing roadmap plans for various trends, buyers should understand how contact center systems providers are addressing the cloud,” says Jamison. “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.”