What’s the future for premise-based contact center applications? It depends on who you ask. Recent studies from multiple analysts have shown robust growth in the cloud-based contact center applications market and much flatter growth for the premises-based marketplace. Interestingly, the growth is different depending on geography, with cloud adoption higher but maturing in North America and Europe, and lower but accelerating rapidly in Asia.
The Australian contact center applications market shows an interesting snapshot of call center solutions in the on-premises versus cloud markets. According to analyst group Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), the Australian contact center applications market grew 11.3 percent in 2012 from the previous year. But, the analyst group anticipates that the premises-based contact center solutions market will see only moderate increases of 6.2 percent CAGR from 2012 to 2019. Instead, it’s the emerging cloud based contact center market in the region that will explode, with a predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of an astonishing 38.9 percent.
The report noted that most of the growth is centered on contact center solutions that achieve performance optimization, quality management and multimedia applications, as companies move to a more “omnichannel” approach to customer service, looking to accommodate customers that demand to be able to contact a company via a number of communications channels, and sometimes multiple channels for a single transactions. This is another area where the cloud-based model can help companies achieve their goals.
"Organizations are increasingly evaluating alternative solutions offering similar capabilities with more flexible deployment and payment models; this is driving demand for hosted and hybrid solutions, where vendors such as Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) have been particularly successful,” said Audrey William, head of research, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan ANZ, in a statement.
The cloud-based model has traditionally been more popular with smaller companies that lack upfront capital and are shy to commit to long-term contracts that are often a part of premises-based deployments. Larger companies often let fears of reliability and security – which vendors say are groundless – keep them away from such hosted solutions. As the companies that deal in cloud-based solutions gain more prominence and the model is more tried-and-true, larger companies may see the financial benefits of moving to the cloud model, as well.
"As momentum gathers towards third party hosted and delivered contact center solutions, telcos with their network expertise, will be advantageously positioned to capitalize on this trend,” said William. “Telcos will be well positioned to leverage their market reach to offer bundled solutions. Telstra (News - Alert) and Optus have strong vendor partnerships to go with their carrier and local data center capabilities. Additionally, global telcos such as BT are strengthening their market presence through vendor partnerships.”