Quality Management Market Forges Ahead
If Frank Sinatra could come back and revive his classic "It Was a Very Good Year," he would be serenading the quality management/liability recording (QM/LR) industry. According to statistics released by DMG Consulting, 2006 was a very good year, with total revenue reaching $2.1 billion, a 106.1 percent increase from 2005. The end of 2007 brought another good year: $2.3 billion in total revenue marking 10 percent increase from 2006, according to DMG Consulting statistics.
Donna Fluss, president of DMG Consulting, says mergers, acquisitions, product innovation, and organic growth are all catalysts pushing the "very mature, very unique" QM/LR segment to higher and higher revenues (Fluss stresses it is important to take into account that the total revenue figures reflect the total revenue for companies in the QM/LR market, including revenue from other market segments like contact center infrastructure.) "This is a really interesting market," she says. "There are mergers going on at the top, while at the same time new vendors [continue] to enter the market--vendors with new focus and very exciting product innovation. Amazingly, we've actually got innovation in some of the traditional areas--so that, on a high level, accounts for the growth."
According to DMG's statistics, the top players in the approximately 45-vendor market are now Verint, spurred by its purchase of Witness Systems in May 2007, and NICE Systems. Fluss says Autonomy etalk is now the third player in the QM/LR triumvirate. With the new power structure at the top, DMG's report predicts a new middle tier of vendors (contenders and new entrants) will fight for market share based on innovation, service, and pricing.
What many of these vendors will be looking for is to take advantage of a potential goldmine--small and medium businesses (SMBs). Fluss notes that while true penetration rate can't be known because no one can agree on the number of contact centers available in the market, there is one thing she can conclude. "The penetration rate of QM recording for SMBs doesn't look like its growing but it actually is, because the base is growing," she says. More and more SMBs--university offices, doctor's offices, travel agencies--are realizing they are essentially call centers and need QM/LR solutions to help them do better business.
In 2007, QM/LR vendors tried to tap into the SMB market by offering a wide variety of solutions specifically geared to SMBs--not just smaller versions of solutions created for large businesses. "SMBs want everything the large enterprises want," Fluss explains. "They just want the right size, right price, and right vendor."
Vendors specifically tailoring solutions for SMBs to take notice of in the coming year include KnoahSoft, OnviSOurce, and CallCopy. "Solutions now are really geared for SMBs," Fluss says. "Some of them [solutions] haven't come out yet, but will come out."
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