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Frost & Sullivan: Cloud Based Contact Centre Solutions Poised to Challenge Traditional On-Premise Model - Growing Awareness of Cloud Based Contact Centre Solutions

- Cloud, Mobility, Social Media and Big Data Changing the Face of Customer Service

SYDNEY, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The contact centre market in Australia is expected to experience a major transformation as cloud based solutions and mobile devices change the way organisations provide customer service. Cloud based contact centre solutions are expected to gain momentum in the next 3 to 5 years. On the other hand, growth and revenues of traditional on-premise models will decline as most organisations facing a contract renewal or new deployment will be reluctant to commit to long contract terms in a rapidly changing technology landscape. Although the on-premise model is the predominant deployment model for contact centre applications in Australia, the market is in the early stages of a transformation towards third party managed solutions.

Anand Balasubramanian, Industry Analyst, Australia & New Zealand ICT Practice says that Australia's contact centre market is moving from on-premise to third party managed solutions. "While organisations value the level of control offered by on-premise models, cost constraints and flexibility (in terms of scalability and pricing) requirements are causing organisations to evaluate alternative options at the time of a new deployment or upgrade. Organisations are becoming increasingly inclined towards deploying hosted and cloud based solutions," he states.

According to Frost & Sullivan's report, Australian Contact Centre Market 2012, a combination of changing business models and impact of enabling factors such as the NBN will make cloud based deployments the preferred model for new contact centre deployments in Australia. As demand grows over the 2013/2014 timeframe, several new players, including global vendors, will enter the market.

According to the recently published report, cloud based solutions will present the greatest threat to the traditional on-premise based model. With the changing shift in customer preference for hosted and cloud based solutions, traditional contact centre vendors will look to supplement their on-premise solutions with cloud based versions. A number of vendors have already announced plans to introduce cloud based versions of their contact centre solutions by 2013.

A less visible and often ignored advantage of cloud based contact centres is the built-in resiliency capabilities through Business Continuity Plans (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DR) features. The floods and bushfires of 2011 made organisations acutely aware of risks of a major disruption to their contact centres and the need for a BCP and DR plan to ensure a business stays operational in the event of a major disruption.

Currently, existing investments on contact centre infrastructure (hardware and software) and perception among organisations are the biggest hurdles for adoption of cloud based alternatives. However, as organisations approach renewal or end-of-contract, they will closely evaluate on-premise alternatives before committing to a solution. In addition, organisations will less willing to commit to long contract terms given the constantly changing nature of technology and customer service. Frost & Sullivan estimates 2015-2016 to be the inflection point for cloud based contact centre solutions as end of contract terms and availability of high speed internet (in the form of NBN) combine to create conducive conditions for the market to grow.

The other major factor to impact the contact centre market is being driven by the increasing use of smartphones and tablets by consumers to contact an organisation. Audrey William, Head of Research, Australia and New Zealand, ICT cites the proliferation of smart devices (smartphones and tablets) as a key factor that will enable organisations to provide superior customer service, thereby gaining a competitive advantage in the market. Most organisations, particularly telcos, banks and organisations in the retail sector are already focusing on enabling their contact centres to provide a full mobile experience for customers. "This strategy provides a richer experience for the customer, and enables the organisation to reduce call volumes by providing basic service functions for mobile devices," William explains. Apart from cloud and mobility technologies, contact centres have been impacted by the rise of social media and are starting to deploy social media technologies within the contact centre environment.

William says that analytics and big data are major trends that will shape the way organisations provide customer service. "Organisations will be able to capture data from customer interactions from multiple communication channels such as voice, email, web and social media. This will allow organisations to customise individual service for customers."

As a result, we will see a number of contact centre vendors partnering with analytics/big data vendors. For instance, NICE Systems announced a partnership with IBM to integrate its contact centre solution with IBM's big data analytics software. Going forward, contact centre vendors will look to partner with major global big data and analytics players such as IBM, SAP, SAS and Oracle.

Frost & Sullivan's report Australian Contact Centre Market 2012 forms a part of the Frost & Sullivan Enterprise Communications Research program. This reports looks at trends across the Contact Centre Applications, Hosted Contact Centre and Cloud Based Contact Centre markets. All research services included in this subscription provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. For media queries and more information please send an e-mail with your contact details to Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at djeremiah@frost.com.

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