A Strong Partnership for Cloud Contact Centre and Beyond
At Colt, we strive to transform the way the world works through the power of connectivity. Delivering on this for our customers requires close collaboration with an ecosystem of partners across the digital society, from technology to cloud service providers and technology specialists. We work with partners who share our values and place customer satisfaction at the core of their business. Our vision is to become the most customer-oriented business in our industry, and it’s important that our partners share this view.
I joined Colt in early 2020 and now serve as the Vice President for Market Development. I’ve spent my career in the telecoms industry and have seen how dedicated Colt is to award-winning innovation. Combining its commitment to innovation with Colt’s distinctive and visionary culture, it was an easy decision to join the business. Our dedication to innovation has built our reputation and this goes beyond technology, with our commitment to sustainability, diversity, and inclusion being one of the company’s greatest assets.
In my role as Vice President for Market Development, my focus is on contributing to the execution of our recently published three-year strategy with a market-led view. Our strategy builds on Colt’s DNA and the Colt IQ Network, innovating and accelerating growth through the power of our people to deliver on a vision of becoming the most customer-oriented business in the industry. We also aim to ensure the business is agile enough to support enterprises as they move into the future.
The strategy can be broken down further into three areas of focus, which are:
- Enabling the digital society
- Remaining at the forefront of innovation
- Delivering a better experience for our customers, partners, and people
For my team, this means developing strong, sustainable partnerships through Colt’s partner program called the Colt Partner Hub and, among others, to develop new services and business models that we can co-create with partners.
Launching a New Service with a Lasting Partner
In 2019, we decided to innovate and accelerate our voice offering and set out key parameters to provide Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions to our customers. The RFP process was designed to select an industry-leading solution supported by a strong integrator partner to expand our capabilities and drive quick results for our customers.
During the evaluation, one company stood out, especially in terms of technical requirements: Atos.
More than just technology, we needed a partner who could help us deliver a one-stop shop for Contact Centre in the Cloud and someone who could match the Colt footprint. Atos ticked all the boxes and stood out in terms of brand awareness, longstanding and deep Contact Centre expertise, ease of doing business, and the feature-rich nature of its solutions.
Atos also came to the table with a partnership opportunity for Colt that offered us a win-win-win situation by bringing three market-leading partners together; a best-in-class CCaaS platform; and renowned customer-obsessive integration capabilities that would allow us to leverage our industry-leading enterprise network and voice capabilities. Together, we have an impressive suite of assets to deliver on this.
Colt provides world-class network and voice connectivity to businesses in Europe, Asia, and the US through the Colt IQ Network. We have been specialists in our field for over two decades. We're recognised as an innovator and pioneer in Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) and continue to invest in our network expansion with over 29,000 connected buildings and counting.
Together with Atos, the European leader in cybersecurity, cloud, and high-performance computing, these combined resources bring a huge benefit to our mutual customers. We have the potential to service them with new value propositions, accelerate access into new markets, and deliver an end-to-end level of service beyond expectation.
A Seamless Transition to Remote Work
As CCaaS is cloud based, it allows for an omnichannel approach to communication and connection, providing remote workers with access to dashboards and the ability to respond to customers through their preferred channels. This has now become the expectation for customers as they demand a personalised experience built on their own terms, and is essential in building meaningful customer relationships. So these features enable personal customer engagement and a consistent user experience as part of an organisation’s customer experience strategy, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
The pandemic has forced a much larger percentage of businesses to adapt to working from home and accelerated or rapidly scaled up existing flexible working plans. Even after the pandemic passes, many businesses will continue to allow staff to work flexibly. Staff will continue to want this flexibility, and businesses will want to continue saving money on utilities and office space.
CCaaS is one of the best tools to let contact centre staff access all of their work applications at the same time. They can quickly manoeuvre around individual dashboards and consoles, regardless of the channel they use. It helps put our customers in a position to answer customer questions in a timely manner using a familiar interface and for them to maintain their customer experience.
CCaaS is also a way to build barriers between personal and private lives. A lot of people have encountered the challenges of remote work, particularly when it comes to their work/life balance. But CCaaS’ visual distinction between work and personal screens helps people better distinguish between personal time and work time.
It’s All About the People
Ultimately, people buy from people. We selected Atos because they repeatedly demonstrated a real “can do” and personal attitude and genuine commitment to the partnership. In their very complex and demanding journey of digital transformation, customers need the right underlying connectivity to enable their applications to provide a rich and consistent user experience—irrespective of location. But they also need the right expertise to take them and orchestrate that distributed environment.
Only the right partnerships can facilitate this in a way that demystifies the complexity for the enterprise. This is just one example, but there are many more ways in which Atos and Colt together can deliver the digital future for our mutual clients.
Enhanced Customer Understanding
Over the next five years, CCaaS forms a key component of our voice strategy, which is also reflected in available market data, our own research, and customer feedback about trends in unified communications.
Our CCaaS project was accelerated as the pandemic drove an increase in customer demand, with companies anticipating a promising future for activities in that space.
At Colt and at Atos, we firmly believe that the combined offering will provide a seamless, scalable, one-touch platform that will allow enterprises to better understand their customers. This is a pivotal moment—by increasing the analytics and integrations surrounding customer interactions, we can simplify communication from the different customer channels. The net result is that enterprises can more easily and reliably connect with their customers, creating a much stronger relationship overall.
The Future Relationship
I see a bright future for our joint activities with Atos. We have a significant number of deals in motion where we benefit from each other's client base, including associated market development activities and we are firmly on track with our project timelines together.
I have no doubt that the bilateral commitment to this partnership will lead to continued success exceeding the scope of these first activities. This is a pivotal moment in our partnership—CCaaS is happening and it is opening the door to much closer collaboration.
With our combined resources and the synergies in our approach, the sky really is the limit in terms of what we can achieve together.