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Contact centre hosting specialists 1Stream have partnered with Kathea a best of breed solution distributor in the ICT industry, to provide a comprehensive technology and service offering for hosted contact centres in South Africa.

“1Stream have excellent technology and services; Kathea have a great channel to market with strong partners already delivering services and solutions into this industry. The 1Stream offering is a niche service offering that will complement existing call centre operations and our existing partnerships” says Kathea’s Richard Henn. “We both believe that hosted contact centre services are a growth market for the future.”

1Stream supplies complete hosted solutions for contact centres on a pay-per-use model, using award-winning technology from US-based Interactive Intelligence. “Managing the technical aspects of running a call centre can be complex, and it’s far from core business for most companies,” says Hewson. “With a hosted contact centre solution, we manage the entire technology platform including all hardware, software, maintenance and upgrades. That leaves our clients free to concentrate on managing their people and their service.”

Kathea’s Richard Henn says Kathea, on the other hand, is largely a sales and marketing organisation.  The company is the sole distributor of Polycom voice and video conferencing products and of Jabra headsets, a leading brand sold mainly into contact centres.

“We know all the major contact centres in South Africa,” says Henn. “We supply quality products and have good long-term relationships with loyal customers. We wanted to expand into that market with other lines of business, specifically hosted applications if we could find the right partner, and 1Stream is it. The Interactive Intelligence platform they’re providing is a global market leader.”

1Stream’s Jed Hewson and Kathea’s Richard Henn say the fit between the two companies is excellent.  “Kathea have always chosen quality products to take to market,” says Hewson. “They’re not the cheapest; they target customers who want to do things properly, as do we. They also have a strong service ethic and a reputation for fixing things promptly when they go wrong.”

Hewson says this commitment to service is particularly important to 1Stream: “Hosted contact centres are a fairly new business, and more about service delivery than about products. Very few technology distributors have the kind of service orientation we were looking for. Kathea are used to selling high-value products and they have a national footprint. It’s an excellent match for both of us.”

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