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Industry Research : Hosted Call Centre Market to Hit $47M
The South African hosted call centre market is expected to expand from $3.2 million in 2012 to reach $47.8 million in 2018.
This is according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan in its report "Cloud Networking: A Growing Opportunity for Communications Service Providers (CPS) in SA", which found that the increasing prominence of cloud computing has given enterprises the option of buying IT infrastructure on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Frost & Sullivan notes that, under this model, enterprises will be able to easily scale their infrastructure up or down based on business needs. It will also allow them to change investment models from capital expenditure to operational expenditure.
"Of all market participants in the cloud services value chain, such as hosting providers, IT service and equipment suppliers, over-the-top service providers and application providers, CSPs are best positioned to successfully deliver on the cloud computing vision," says Frost & Sullivan’s ICT industry analyst, Ishe Zingoni.
"Through their cloud services offerings, CSPs have the power to help their customers evolve and take advantage of the changing communications marketplace," he adds.
The market research firm also notes that the current move in SA towards hosted, cloud-based contact centres represents a unique opportunity for CSPs to grow and protect their revenue streams, which are currently challenged by pricing and margin pressures.
However, it points out that this can be offset by offering higher-margin products and value-added services beyond commoditised telephony.
Frost & Sullivan also says most contact centres in SA are, at present, using premises-based systems, with only 1.8% using the hosted model. However, it explains, given the high levels of interest and enabling market conditions – such as declining bandwidth costs – it is anticipated that the market will achieve high levels of customer crossover or conversion to the hosted environment in the next few years.
"Hosted contact centres represent a unique opportunity for CSPs with tremendous long-term growth potential," states Zingoni. "The main opportunity lies in the small and mid-market segments, which will experience the greatest uptake due to the attractiveness of the opex model as opposed to the capex model.
"For small contact centres, typically those that are budget-constrained, there will be an additional benefit of gaining access to the latest and more cost-effective technologies and upgrades."
Frost & Sullivan also believes that, as the market matures, there will be a steady increase in the average size of contact centres using the hosted systems, as larger enterprises seeking to reduce their total cost of ownership migrate to the hosted environment.
"CSPs can have a central role in serving the marketplace with cloud services. Their success will require them to initiate change in their service strategies and marketing approaches, as well as underlying service delivery (network and IT) architectures," Zingoni sates.
"CSPs will eventually build their own IT capabilities; strategic partnerships will be crucial in the interim."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013