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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Importance of Cloud to Asia

Asia is still recognized as the growth region of the world. Look at any research firm and they will be talking about Asia and if not they will have read someone else’s report and realize that this is where the growth engine of the global economy now resides. But like any new engine Asia is not yet purring smoothly - especially for new businesses looking to expand rapidly into the region. The challenge for these businesses is how to grow faster than the competition but at the same time reduce the risk of burning out the engine before they have had a real chance to maximize its potential.

Asia is an incredibly dynamic region and unlike Europe or the US, it is complex. It is a dynamic patchwork of markets, each with their own challenges, opportunities and relationships. To be successful businesses need to be able to rapidly test new products, new services and new approaches – but with minimal risk and maximum flexibility. This is where Cloud technology comes into play.

In a market like Asia, Cloud provides an avenue to address the challenges of low risk, scalability and rapid response that business leaders have been trying to articulate to their CFOs and Management teams for years. Yes Asia is a growth engine, yes it comes with risks that mean we have to be able to change direction or approach quickly BUT now for the first time we have a Cloud technology toolkit which supports, not prevents, this agility.

Contact centres in Asia are a classic example of the need for increased flexibility, sounds like a leap right, but stay with me and I will explain. Customer engagement has become a critical differentiator in Asia. Why? Simply because it is increasingly difficult to gain any sustainable advantage through price or functionality alone. Therefore businesses need to differentiate through the manner in which they engage with their customers – which for most businesses means the contact centre.

With a population of over 2 billion, Asia has a large number of customers looking for personal attention! To retain those customers and to differentiate through service businesses need to be able adapt to their changing needs, views and preferences of engagement. That’s right, we are truly a complex people and technology hasn’t helped matters. Mobile phones, social media and applications have empowered the end user to define their individual anywhere, anytime and anyhow needs. In addition consider the diverse segments a regional business in Asia must engage with – language, culture, age, religion, nationality and above all personal preference – a significant opportunity but to adapt to all of this successfully in a static technology environment is near impossible. Hence flexible, scalable, low cost cloud services simply MUST be an integral part of any future customer experience provided by businesses in Asia.

Cloud-based contact centres provide us with the confidence that we can scale with the ever changing demand ensuring that our costs are always in line with business needs. More importantly, a cloud-based contact centre means businesses can take back control and respond to market changes in real time.

Imagine for a moment a certain country in Asia is announced as being the no. 1 tourist destination - and, as a tourist airline, that could mean big business for you. But how do you inform your regular customers and the tourist agencies that your airline is a key provider of flights to that country and that now you are going to increase flights to that country as well? Traditionally getting these new campaigns live might take weeks or even months, but with a public cloud-based contact centre you can make these changes in minutes and across all media channels. As a result you have been able to rapidly take advantage of a market shift faster than your competitors and secure new business ahead of the rest of the market. Equally as important is the confidence that your cloud technology platform will be there to support rapid business growth as and when you need it.

Cloud services in the Asia market represent a key opportunity for businesses to minimize the key risk factors often associated with high growth markets. Use these services to embrace Asia for what it is – the growth engine of our global economy. If you don’t have public cloud in the contact centre you’re not agile. And in Asia if you’re not agile you’re not competitive.

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