Long read: Blue skies ahead for Irish cloud technology

Business | Fri 17 May | Author – Business & Finance

Ireland’s bad weather won’t put off companies setting up their contact centres, especially with improvements in cloud technology

While Ireland’s infamous lilt lends itself well to the contact centre market, this isn’t the only reason businesses are making use of the country for its customer communication needs; a favourable business climate, good geographical links and with companies of all sizes setting up presence in the region, there are a number of key factors.

Ireland is the 3rd most competitive economy in the Eurozone and the 5th most competitive in the EU. For the tech industry specifically, 37,000 people are now employed by the sector and it generates €35 billion in exports annually. This buoyancy is largely due to the infrastructure behind the market; there is a supportive infrastructure with in excess of 30 large-scale datacentres and tier 1, high-speed, low-latency networks to the US, UK and EU, not to mention the competitive rates due to lower costs and reputation for data and IP protection. But, is this the only thing driving demand?

Changing tides

Another clear factor driving change in the Irish market is SMEs looking to digitally transform. They have recognised that consumer expectations are changing and a digitally unified, seamlessly journey is the bare minimum. Many SMEs are hot on the heels of bigger more established players that have also recently made the switch to a more unified, technologically powered customer experience. It also makes sense financially for many businesses that can utilise technology to streamline processes and remove siloes within their business and specifically within their contact centres.

Indeed, removing siloes also helps the contact centre agents themselves, who if assisted by technology can have a far better work experience. Consider the value of an AI powered chat bot behind the scenes, for example, sourcing relevant information and providing detail on the caller’s history to support the contact centre agent. With more knowledge at their fingertips and calls which are rooted specifically in accordance with their expertise, careers within the contact centre market in Ireland are set to flourish.

As part of this employee centred culture there is also a clear demand for flexible and remote working from employees. The job search engine Indeed revealed recently that the number of Irish people searching for jobs using the term ‘remote working’ surged 171 percent in 2017. All these factors mean cloud makes sense for businesses in Ireland.

An infrastructure built for change

For the contact centre market, it takes more than the data centre facilities and connectivity to make cloud a success. Customer expectations for a sophisticated and intelligent service mean that it is not simply a transition of services to the cloud, the entire way customer service is delivered needs to re-invented. With new cloud-based services, plug-ins and adds-ons, a company’s customer experience can become a competitive advantage. Indeed, this is often why the services chosen vary, by company and by industry; customer experience is becoming a differentiator.

On a technical level it means ready-made solution sets, pre-integration and disparate applications that can talk to each other through the open APIs and converged UC and CC platforms. Making even the most advanced, cutting edge communication solutions simple, cost effective and quick to deploy for businesses.

Above all, the message to businesses in the Irish market – whether founded in Ireland or those that have a base or contact centre in the region – is that cloud is transforming the technology market and the economy. From employee working lives to innovation possibilities, the key is to be flexible to change; to reap the benefits of a more motivated and engaged workforce, as well as be able to integrate and transform with agility.

David Flood is managing director of Avaya, Ireland.