A new report from analysts Frost & Sullivan says that although hosted contact centre solutions in EMEA are still at an early adopter stage, they hold immense growth potential as evidenced by the increasing number of end users deploying these solutions to meet critical customer care needs.
Hosted service delivery models offer a universal value proposition that extends to not only large, multi-site operations, but also to the previously under-penetrated small and mid-sized business (SMB) markets as well as informal call centres. In 2005, new product introductions from technology vendors coupled with attractively priced and packaged service offerings from service providers further invigorated the market, making this an exciting time for these solutions in EMEA.
New product offerings from technology vendors with multi-tenancy support, and carrier grade reliability and scalability have served to increase the viability of hosted contact centre models within the service provider and end-user community, observes the analyst of this research service. The ability to leverage existing networks and upsell to existing customers makes these solutions even more attractive to service providers, who are now generating additional revenue streams with the addition of contact centre communications services to their portfolios.
Hosted Contact Centre Solutions Gain Ground over Premise-based Solutions
Hosted contact centre solutions offer several compelling advantages that make them an appealing and cost-effective alternative to premise-based solutions. For instance, they allow multiple sites and agent locations to be provisioned and managed centrally from the service providers facility with relative ease, as there is no need for any additional hardware or software apart from a PC, browser and a phone. This ‘virtualization’ of the call centre benefits the enterprise with a high degree of flexibility and scalability. On the other hand, integrating such disparate environments with traditional premise-based models could prove to be prohibitively expensive.
Reductions in upfront capital expenditure and associated lower total cost of ownership (TCO) further increase the appeal of these solutions, particularly for SMBs that seek contact centre technology, but lack the means to invest huge amounts in premise-based equipment. However, existing massive deployments in premise-based technology continue to challenge the growth of the hosted deployment model. Many end users have expressed concerns about the perceived lack of control over operations as well the security of important customer data, says the analyst. However, tenant self-administration capabilities in newer releases of the technology and processes with enhanced security options are helping to overcome these concerns.