Contact centre specialist Ocular Technologies is taking its new, 100% cloud contact centre solution aggressively to market, aiming to put enterprise-grade contact centre features into the hands of every business.
Ocular Technologies' new O!Connect cloud contact centre, which launched in South Africa on 1 February, brings to market the first fully flexible, 100% cloud-based contact centre hosted within the country. In partnership with Internet Solutions (IS), Ocular is delivering cloud contact centre functionality without the potential high data costs and latency that can affect cloud contact centres hosted internationally.
Through the partnership with IS, Ocular Technologies can also facilitate the roll-out of the necessary infrastructure to customers in unconnected areas, if necessary. Pommie Lutchman, CEO of Ocular Technologies, says O!Connect may be extended into other key regions of Africa on the back of the IS network in future.
Lutchman explains that O!Connect was developed customised and enhanced by Ocular using a core platform international contact centre firm and long-time Ocular partner, Aspect Software. "Aspect's Zipwire cloud centre is tried and tested abroad, but the company was not inclined to bring it to Africa, where most of our contact centres are under 75 seats. We approached them in Miami last year to discuss developing a white label product for us. The result is O!Connect, a significant change in tack for us, since we have focused primarily on on-premises solutions in the past. But we believe 2015 will be our year of cloud," he says.
Lutchman believes there is a significant gap in the local market for cost-effective, feature-rich cloud-based contact centre solutions, particularly as customer service becomes the competitive differentiator in business. O!Connect, offering monthly pricing, flexibility in feature sets and exceptional ease of use, is designed to democratise the sector and put contact centre capabilities into the hands of any business. "With a traditional contact centre, you might be looking at set-up costs in between R3 500 and R10 000 per user, depending on complexity, not to mention the skills and resources needed to support the system over time. O!Connect pricing starts at R699 per user per month, and set-up takes just minutes," says Lutchman.
Ocular is conservatively targeting 500 O!Connect users within the first year, but Lutchman believes that as companies which have not traditionally had contact centres discover the simplicity and benefits of the solution, uptake could be a great deal higher. "We have had a lot of queries from customers about enterprise-grade contact features in a locally hosted cloud model. O!Connect is designed to meet this demand, as well as addressing concerns about security and reliability."