US comms vendor has expanded into Ireland, saying that lessons learned from an earlier launch into France will be applied to its Irish operations
UCC vendor 8x8 has entered the Irish market in a collaboration between its UK subsidiary and its sole Irish partner Workair.
Chairman and CTO Bryan Martin (pictured) told CPI that the San Jose-based firm sees Ireland as being on the cusp of a "blossoming" adoption of cloud.
"I think that when you look at the market here, it's still a lot of legacy and on-prem solutions. We see a lot of Alcatel, and certainly Avaya and Mitel systems, and very little of the new world," he said.
"That's an exciting contrast for us, and something we're going to capitalise on with our single platform.
"Ireland has come on in leaps and bounds over the last five years, with fibre really emerging on the scene.
"The more robust WAN means it is more of an exciting market for a real-time provider like us. It's not just about voice, but also about video and real-time messaging and everything else you can do.
"And our partnership with our leading channel partner will allow 8x8 to capitalise on the growing cloud communications demand in Ireland."
Martin (pictured) also pointed to lessons learned from when 8x8 put its "first proper foot into Europe" with its launch into France in March.
"Our French endeavour was all channel-partner led and we're trying to copy the model here in Dublin," he said.
"One of the lessons is around localised marketing. It's one of the toughest things as a global provider. We can't just take your marketing collateral and translate it and say 'I'm done'.
"You have to learn how the local businesses speak, what their vocabulary is and what their use cases are for UC products.
"There's a real localisation lesson we've learned that may not have been apparent to us when we first came to the UK but certainly, as we've got into more specialised markets, it has become more important to understand that."
Workair is a Dublin-based cloud provider with a headcount of several hundred people, most of whom are based in Ireland.
Its MD is the former Carphone Warehouse CEO Stephen Mackarel.
Martin said their new endeavour is a first for both companies.
"We are their very first cloud communications product, which again, is similar to what we did in France with our distributor there [Itancia] - it was their first foray into cloud," he said.
"And I think on both sides of the table you get more energy and excitement when it is the version of going to market with cloud in a region."
8x8 currently has no distributors covering its Irish business, but is considering a local distribution player as well as more local partners.
"We're trying to target companies that are headquartered in the region, selling locally, and distribution does make local support and fulfilment easier," said Martin.
"For France for instance, we do all the customer contracts through our distributor.
"I think Ireland is close enough to our UK market that we may not need that but we are considering it, for sure."