Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Increased App Functionality Widens Scope of Contact Center Systems in EMEA

December 06, 2013

As if confirmation were needed about contact center growth and transformation is being driven by the need to become multi-channel in order to improve customer engagement and the overall customer experience, research firm Frost & Sullivan is out with a look at the contact center systems market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) that validates this.

The new report, EMEA Contact Centre Systems Market, found that the market earned revenues of €694.2 million (US $949.55 in 2012) and estimates this to reach €854.9 million (US $1,169.44) in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4 percent.

The study covers:

  • Inbound contact routing
  • Interactive voice response and voice portal
  • Outbound dialer
  • Quality monitoring
  • Workforce management
  • Contact center analytics systems

Frost & Sullivan noted that inbound contact routing systems account for a majority of the market's share in EMEA, but the segment is not expected to grow as fast as other parts of the business, registering ter a CAGR of just 2.8 percent during the 2012-2017 period. Where the extra boost in growth will come from is in things like multi-channel and contact center analytics systems (which will be the fastest growing segment) as the needs to integrate speech analytics into quality monitoring. This is becoming paramount for better understanding of the voice of the customer and increasing agent responsiveness.

"The driver underpinning the growth of the contact center systems market in EMEA is the solid demand for contact centre analytics capabilities from organizations across industries," noted Frost & Sullivan Information and Communication Technologies Senior Industry Analyst Suvradeep Bhattacharjee. "The addition of social and mobile contact channels will also widen market potential."

Since this is a look at the systems market, the report does put certain parameters as to why growth will not be extremely robust.  Factors cited include the continuation of economic uncertainty in EMEA which is constraining IT budgets, the explosion in cloud-based contact centers, and what the authors say is, “Concerns on vendor viability in an ever-changing and consolidating market will further mar the market's prospects, particularly in Europe.”

"The changing landscape of the end consumer – digitally connected, social media-savvy, more demanding of personalized customer service – means system suppliers must work more closely with their clients," added Bhattacharjee. "Vendors today are expected to engage with multiple stakeholders within organizations in order to assess the possibilities for new interaction channels and design sound plans to incorporate these new channels, rather than just jumping on the latest trend."

One final observation that is noteworthy from the report is that as new customer-centric features and channels evolve, vendors are going to have to become more consultative in dealing with their clients.  Frost & Sullivan believes that this is the best way to ensure the loyalty of vendor installed bases as they budget for legacy system upgrades and moves to the cloud and hybrid alternatives.

What stands out in the report is that the need by enterprises to leverage organization-wide information to improve customer engagement through multi-channel and analytics by leveraging new technologies is a message the market has taken to heart. This is true worldwide, and even in EMEA where despite challenging times it has become clear that investing in the customer experience is mission critical.

Edited by Ryan Sartor