[London, ENGLAND] Data communications company KPNQwest said
Wednesday it has signed an agreement with voice-over-IP (VoIP)
specialist Wicom Communications to deploy an IP-based call center
solution across Europe.
The deal means that KPNQwest will host Wicom’s call center solution
at its CyberCentres as part of its package of IP-centric services.
The partners say it will allow customer care professionals to
offer a higher quality of service, with its capacity to add new
features and applications as well as offering cost and time
Competence Call Center AG of Vienna, Austria, is already using
the service as a pilot customer. It has a call center that is
split between sites in Vienna and Linz with a total of 205
workspaces. By adding the KPNQwest/Wicom IP solution it believes
it will be able to expand into Germany and elsewhere without
incurring major outlays on infrastructure and IT.
Ilkka Kivimaki, president of Wicom Communications, said the
combination of his company’s application know-how with KPNQwest’s
expertise in hosting and data communications was the right
way to bring the best value to customers with IP-based telephony
Julf Helsingius, chief technology officer of KPNQwest,
said the partnership would bring “unrivaled flexibility”
to call center technology.
“This partnership will also serve to bolster the introduction
of our pan-European retail voice-over-IP offering, and open new
opportunities for our IP VPN customers,” said Helsingius.
European companies that sell goods and services to the general
public have finally realized that call centers are vitally important
to their businesses. For this reason there is huge growth in
the market for network-based call centers. According to Ovum,
it is currently worth US $110 million but will rise to US $904
million in 2005.
At the same time, and in addition to direct services, there is
a burgeoning market for virtual call centers, worth US $7 million
today by rising to US $139 million in 2005.
KPNQwest will add the integrated IP Call Center solution to its
Application Infrastructure Provider (AIP) service, leveraging
it 20,000 kilometer EuroRings network and its chain of