CRN Exclusive: Contact-Center-As-A-Service Player Zailab Makes U.S. Debut Via The Channel

Zailab, a cloud-based contact center software provider, is entering the U.S. market and giving solution providers a multi-channel, pay-per-use Contact-Center-as-a-Service offering for the underserved SMB market.

The company, founded in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2014, is partnering with master agent Intelisys, a ScanSource company, to reach SMB customers by way of MSPs, agents and VARs. While Zailab has sold its CCaaS solution directly in the South African market since its inception, the company is going all in with the channel in the U.S. market, said Nour Addine Ayyoub, founder and CEO of Zailab.

Going to market via the channel will let Zailab scale quickly and serve more customers, said Michael Cibelli, vice president of sales and marketing for Zailab.

"We are 100 percent channel-focused, and that positions us uniquely because our partners won’t compete with us," Cibelli said.

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[Related: Intelisys And ScanSource: UcaaS Sales Are 'Off The Charts']

Zailab offers a full, cloud-based contact center offering with omnichannel communications features, call recording and intelligent routing capabilities in a consumption-based payment model. Customers have access to all features without having to pay for separate licenses, and only pay when the tools are used with no fixed monthly licensing fees, setup or support fees, according to the company.

Zailab's communication and analytics software is entirely homegrown, with no third-party integrations, which allows the company to make changes and stay nimble, Ayyoub said.

The usage-based product is giving more customers, including SMBs with 100 or fewer seats, access to affordable contact center software, Ayyoub said. As a result, partners will also be able to close more contact center business with new customers, he added.

"We believe it's important to bring an offering that is truly differentiated, not just in the enterprise space, but in the SMB market that doesn't often get software on a consumption-based model," Cibelli said. "We have to focus on those SMBs because they could become the enterprises of tomorrow."

Solution providers often view cloud-based contact center products as only being practical for larger, more complex businesses, said Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president of cloud transformation for Intelisys.

"Zailab is making it possible for smaller businesses to leverage CCaaS solutions in ways that were out of reach to them previously," he said. "Their consumption-based pricing model could be very disruptive to the traditional contact center space."

Culture is an important part of Zailab's global expansion, Ayyoub said. The company has worked hard to identify the right partners that share Zailab's values, and Intelisys is a great fit to help with its U.S. launch, he said.

"Whatever we do, from designing software, to supporting and selling our products, to the way we treat our partners and customers, it's all about considering how the [users] will feel," Ayyoub said.

"I love their innovation around how they are aligning contact center technology with how real customers want to consume services. That’s a game-changer," Pryfogle said.