IP vendors must fix quality of service, infrastructure reliability, and network security to effectively enter the price-sensitive emerging market.
Posted Oct 5, 2005
Asia's call center market is expected to grow from $617.4 million in 2004 to $1.418 billion in 2011, fueled by the continued use of Internet Protocol technology, according to a Frost and Sullivan report, "The Asia Pacific Interaction Customer Relationship Management (ICRM) Market."
With many North American enterprises reaching the end of their product life cycles in the Asia Pacific markets, replacement of existing contact center applications like automatic call distributor (ACD) with more modern, IP-based solutions could lead to more money for IP telephony vendors. IP-based contact centers are expected to find greater uptake in countries that do not have fully developed voice networks, say Audrey William, industry manager at Frost and Sullivan. "Outsourcing telecommunication requirements helps enterprises reduce their maintenance and support staff and shift the technology risk onto the service provider. It also helps them gain access to newer services at lower cost, due to scalability and competition."
In general the ICRM market is projected to increase at a CAGR of 11.3 percent from 2004 to 2011, mainly due to the returns from IP-based contact centers, hosted contact centers, and self-service solutions. The market will also get a boost from the increasing demand for self-service solutions, as contact centers look for ways to lower costs. This will create larger markets for email, interactive voice response (IVR), and speech technologies, according to the report. With contact center technologies having to compete with limited enterprise IT budgets, hosted contact centers are expected to solve this issue by expanding the market by bringing contact centers to the mainstream.
IP technology vendors must resolve certain glitches in three areas: quality of service, infrastructure reliability, and network security. They must offer multimedia capabilities, ACD, computed telephony integration (CTI), IVR functionalities, and statistical reporting tools so call centers can better manage incoming calls, agent staffing, and improve upon network service and reliability, according to William. Vendors and channel partners also must strategize innovatively, taking into account the varying budget restraints of the SMEs, which differ significantly between countries.
William says there is a "strong focus on selling packaged applications to the SME market. Vendors have to position themselves with key channels in the most lucrative SME markets to offer lower-priced solutions tailored for call monitoring for enterprises in the less than 50 seats segment."
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