After a somewhat grueling and costly process, Orange Business Services cleared the final hurdle, which was an audit step, to become a certified Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Authorized Technology Provider (UCCE ATP) late last year.
The certification means Orange is authorized to offer ATP-restricted UCCE products across Europe, APAC and North America. The certification also allowed Orange to be registered on the Cisco Partner Locator.
The reason the certification is important to Orange, according to Niels Helkov, head of digital solutions for Orange Business Services in the Americas, is because it allows Orange to serve multinational customers via large global contact centers that have 1,000 or more agents.
"Those multinationals are our target customers across a number of different verticals, and customer experience is a growing part of their digital transformation as the world digitizes," Helkov said in an interview with FierceTelecom. "The way they are going to differentiate themselves even more so now is through customer experience. They're also seeking, as part of that, to build coherent, consistent, global customer experience platforms across their operations worldwide. We are certainly not seeing a lot of competitors being able to compete with us globally."
Helkov added, "Cisco's UCCE solution is on prem and we also have that in our cloud as well. Sometimes customers want hybrid solutions, too. Sometimes they want to stay on prem, while other parts can go in the cloud. We're proud to say we're one of the only Cisco partners out there that has that capability around the world, and we are able to support it around the world."
In order to reduce costs and better reach customers, contact centers are located across the globe, according to Helkov. North American companies may choose to locate their contact centers in the Philippines or India. With the ATP certification, Orange Business Services can support its customers globally in ways that its competitors can't.
Adding North America to its contact center portfolio also gives Orange Business Services a stronger foothold in the U.S., where it also offers other services, such as SD-WAN.
In terms of the investment and how long it took to get the ATP certification from Cisco, Orange went through a gauntlet.
"It took us close to probably eight months or nine months to get the certification," Helkov said. "It cost us in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We had to build a whole lab here in the U.S. market as part of our cloud to be able to demo the solution, which we did as well. So it was a heavy investment both in terms of financial resources as well as in terms of people."
Helkov said Orange Business Services is positioning itself as an overall integrator and operator of contact center platforms for its customers globally, which means Orange is constantly refining its customer experience portfolio.
In addition to Cisco, Orange is also working with contact center vendors NICE and Genesys for solutions, such as contact-center-as-a-service globally, or robotic process automation.
"We want our customers get on the right platform," Helkov said. "By helping them further optimize their work processes, and reduce redundant tasks, or low value tasks, with automation and so on, so they can spend more time with theirs customers to provide a more personalized service."