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Asia's Investments in Interactive Technology

F.Y. Teng | June 25, 2012
Two senior executives from vendor Interactive Intelligence talk about global contact centres, unified communications and business process automation in Asia.

Tell us more about your plans to build your business further.
Simon Lee:
We have been growing steadily in double digits for many years despite the difficult economic situation worldwide. We have over the years developed a contact centre that is, first and foremost easy to use but at the same time scalable, reliable, flexible, cost effective and easy to maintain. We also launched our cloud based contact centre, called CaaS-Communications as a Service-just 18 months ago worldwide and we already have a few hundred customers.  It is now our fastest growing section of the business. Customers really like our CaaS as it offers them flexibility. They can choose our premise-based options and switch to CaaS, or they can choose CaaS and then switch to premise-base options easily.  Any investments made on either choice are protected and the best part is the user experience remains the same, so no retraining is required.

What are the biggest trends of adoption of your technologies?
In the US and the APAC region, the biggest shift we are seeing is definitely towards the cloud and mobility. Customers continue to want to take advantage of the devices-consider BYOD, bring your own device-they already own and get the most unified communication features from them. Additionally, more and more customers in the US and the APAC are asking about how they can move their communications into the cloud.

Among those, which suffer from a lack of attention by enterprises in Asia, the US, and other parts of the world?
The large enterprises in Asia are moving in the right direction, looking into mobility and shifting to cloud computing. The same, however, cannot be said about the small and medium enterprises, SMEs.  The adoption of technology by SMEs in the APAC region is gaining ground though not at the pace of their counterparts in more economically advanced countries.  A lot has to do with the wait-and-see attitude they have, in wanting to see a proven successful application by SMEs from elsewhere round the world.  SMEs, generally, are hardly the first movers but I would need to qualify that there are still exceptions. Some SMEs are pushing through the barrier and are doing remarkably well.

Another factor would be costs. For example, for companies in the US or Europe, their investments in technology can easily be justified in terms of the savings gained from seeing resulting reductions in manpower costs, which are typically high in those geographies. In contrast, for companies in the APAC region-such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia-the SMEs' investments in technology would often be higher than the reductions they can immediately gain on the manpower costs front, so they would have to wait a lot longer for high ROI on their technology investments.


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