Frost & Sullivan announced that growth of agent performance optimization (APO) market in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has been restrained by the economic downturn affecting the region.
However, the research agency noted the seeds of recovery and future growth for both quality management (QM) and workforce management (WFM) categories were apparent in the region. The highest growth was witnessed among centers in the 150 to 200 seat range.
The report “EMEA Agent Performance Optimization Markets” found that the market earned revenues of over 122.7 million in 2009 and estimates these to reach 201.7 million in 2016.
According to Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), both QM and WFM represent significant growth opportunities in the underserved eastern and southern EMEA regions, where Greenfield contact centers are still being opened. Greenfield centers have been able to leapfrog a generation to the latest IP technologies and advanced add-on applications.
Call recording and QM have reached outside the contact centers to back offices and branch locations, said Frost & Sullivan principal analyst Keith Dawson (News - Alert). WFM has proven to be very adaptable to non-contact center environments for knowledge workers and retail staff.
With increase in collaboration, contact centers are now able to create and report on metrics that have meaning outside their narrow operating environments, according to researchers at Frost & Sullivan.
This trend highlights the importance of analytics tools that bridge the gap between the static activity-counting metrics (usually telephony-based) that centers usually collect and the goal-oriented business metrics that marketing, finance and c-level executives use to measure effectiveness, according to the research.
Due to decline in ACD and switch sales, there was decline in APO. Sales of the more expensive switching infrastructure often include APO tools as add-on products.
The study indicated that EMEA economies will begin to recover during 2010, with marginal growth in the APO sector. It also predicts a more robust growth rate in the range of 5 percent to10 percent in the future. The growth will be driven by the adoption of newer and more sophisticated applications for analyzing customer experiences and expediting operational efficiency.
Vendors outside the United Kingdom primarily follow reseller channel for selling APO applications. The tier 1 APO vendors coming predominantly from outside of the core EMEA market are aggressively nurturing networks of developers, integrators, and resellers to cover geographies where they do not have physical presence.
According to Frost & Sullivan, contact centers in EMEA are also underutilizing the enhanced applications that complement APO, such as analytics, coaching, and eLearning. However, the underlying call handling platforms are open enough to allow a wide choice of applications on top of them.
Frost & Sullivan recently conducted a similar study in the North American markets and found that APO markets were flat in the region during 2009. With Greenfield growth opportunities diminishing in North America, vendors in this space are scouting around for other growth avenues, the agency said.
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