The North American hosted contact center market reached $1.76 billion in 2012, according to a new study from Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert). As increases are predicted to continue, companies appear to favor the hosted contact center market because of its scalability and flexibility. They also want to add new channels and applications – as omni-channel experiences emerge.
Looking ahead, the cloud option is “outpacing” more traditional solutions, the study adds. Also, the hosted contact center market is predicted to increase at a 12.1 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2011 and 2017. It includes hosted and cloud-based automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), outbound contact, chat, quality monitoring, workforce management and analytics applications, the report said. On the other hand, the contact center systems market is predicted to increase at a 5.5 percent CAGR.
Another emerging trend is that organizations focused on customer care are engaging with clients on multiple channels and use cross channel analytics, according to the study. Key in this process is the cloud – as third-party applications from SalesForce.com, SAP (News - Alert) and Oracle customer relationship management (CRM) integrate with cloud solutions.
"Cloud is no longer restricted to small or mid-sized enterprises," Nancy Jamison, a Frost & Sullivan analyst, explained in a recent statement. "Organizations of all sizes realize initial concerns related to the cloud, including doubts as to the security, have been addressed by solution providers. This includes providers' adherence to strict security requirements, including both physical and on an application layer."
Another clear emerging trend is being called an “omni-channel experience” – where organizations engage with consumers across different channels round the clock. Omni-channel will provide a tailored experience for consumers across brands, devices and platforms.
Increasingly, companies are using hosted services in the cloud to integrate these platforms and provide a format which can be accessed by consumers with greater reliability, Frost & Sullivan added.
"Customers are dictating the transformation of contact centers," Jamison said in another statement. "And companies are responding by stepping up from a multi-channel approach to omni-channel engagement, which is vital to seamlessly interact with customers from channel to channel without loss of interoperability or history. Fast time to deployment, combined with capabilities related to social and mobile, analytics and integration with the back office, all paint a clear picture of the drivers pushing organizations to wholeheartedly adopt the cloud."
During the growth, new players show up and the industry sees consolidation, the study said. Also, the cloud plays a key role to quickly and economically “adjust capacity based on traffic, season and business need,” Frost & Sullivan adds.
“Using an omni-channel approach to engage consumers provides more data, which can be used to improve customer experience by using cross channel analytics,” Frost & Sullivan explained. “The data gathered from each touch point helps organizations create better products and services and improve the way their customers engage with the company.”
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