Australian contact centre apps demand to rise: Frost & Sullivan

Australian contact centre apps demand to rise: Frost & Sullivan

Analyst firm predicts 8.1 per cent compound annual growth rate up to 2018

The contact centre application market in Australia is tipped to climb due to demand for call monitoring and workforce management offerings according to analyst firm, Frost & Sullivan.

In its Contact Centre Applications Market Report 2011, the organisation has forecast that the market will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1 per cent year-on-year up to 2018.

Frost & Sullivan ANZ ICT research director, Audrey William, said in a statement that this was due to four emerging trends happening in the call centre industry.

The first was the rise in the use of social media sites such as Twitter to handle customer service.

“As consumers increasingly use the social medium to voice their opinions and to interact with companies, contact centres are seeking to follow suit,” she said.

“Most vendors are now building offerings that integrate with social media, allowing agents to communicate with customers over multiple channels.”

However, William added that while uncertainty about the extent of social media’s impact on contact centres was expected to cause businesses to delay major deployments, it was clear that offerings such as social customer relationship management (CRM) and social media analytics would change the way organisations manage their customer service functions.

The second trend noted by the analyst firm was a vendor focus on speech analytics. For example, contact centre operators were discovering that they could improve customer enquiries and complaints by using keywords to understand the reason why a customer was calling and to track the frequency of a topic.

“Many speech analytics products enable contact centres to categorise calls based on the nature of the enquiry such as billing, sales or technical support, and to use the data to manage call volumes,” she said.

Cloud computing, and a shift away from license based on-premise software, was the third trend noted over the past 12 months.

According to the report, contact centres were attracted to Cloud offerings because the usage-based payment options meant companies avoided upfront licence costs while providing flexibility when call volumes increased.

“We predict that Cloud-based offerings will be a particularly important driver for growth within the price sensitive small to medium business [SMB] segment, and that these products will also help to speed the adoption of business continuity, disaster recovery and mobility technology within the industry,” William said.

The fourth trend was the use of devices such as smartphones or tablets to enable some call centre employees to work from home using platforms delivered over the Cloud.

Another factor for the predicted CAGR of 8.1 per cent was pent-up demand in the contact centre applications market during the past year as previously postponed projects were green lit.

For example, the Australian market achieved record growth in 2010 of 16.4 per cent.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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