IBISWorld, a firm that specializes in industry and procurement research, provides organizations better understanding of market conditions, enabling them to make smarter and faster purchasing and business decisions. Given the restrictive nature of the helpdesk and call center software market, IBISWorld’s updated report is of great significance.
There was a time when call centers and helpdesks required onsite hardware systems and software but the advent of cloud-based solutions has ended provider worries about infrastructure and maintenance. This has not only reduced total cost of ownership but has allowed suppliers to maintain stability in prices in spite of increased demand.
According to IBISWorld procurement analyst Andrew Yang, “an unfavorable market structure reduces buyer power, but pricing trends have been favorable for buyers, with prices remaining stable in the three years to 2014.”
As the ‘Helpdesk & Call Center Software Procurement Research Report’ contains growth forecasts for a three-year outlook period, buyers do not have to worry about rising prices and can take their time while making purchasing decisions. More importantly, buyers can create more accurate budgets and forecasts.
With the helpdesk and call center software still in the early stage of its product life cycle, providers can afford to keep prices low, encouraging adoption by buyers. But as the economy recovers and wages rise, prices are bound to increase. The report notes that prices will be higher in the three years to 2017 and underscores the market risks that buyers may have to face.
As most of the suppliers are small to midsize companies, Yang notes that they might find it difficult to procure the software; some of them may even go out of business. Those that are still in the run may be forced to raise prices or compromise on quality of their software. With little substitutes available and expensive switching costs, buyers will face vendor lock-in. A lack of financial stability further adds to the market risks.
The only advantage—if any—is that even if prices rise, there will not be severe price fluctuations, and buyers will still be able to manage their budgets and predict prices.
Hence, the IBIS report cautions buyers against making hasty purchases and urges them to evaluate the providers and ensure that the software has all the features they want.