4conceptWith smart phone penetration and social media usage on the rise, an increasing number of organizations are working closely with system integrators and independent software vendors to implement the omnichannel platform. Their objective is to overcome the existing silo nature of communication channels and provide a consistent and seamless customer experience across voice, email, SMS, web-chat, social media and real-time video interactions, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

In response, contact centers are transforming into 'customer engagement centers' with multi-channel strategies that are tightly integrated with mobile applications and self-service capabilities. Since they support various customer interaction channels - including telephone, email, chat, web self-service, mobile, video and social media interactions - contact centers play a critical role in most organizations as the primary channel for interacting with customers and driving customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue growth.

Frost1Frost & Sullivan’s study, Analysis of the Asia-Pacific Contact Centre Applications Market, finds that the market earned revenues of almost US$700 million last year and is estimated to reach around US$950 million in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.5%. The research covers automatic call distributors, outbound systems, computer telephony integration, interactive voice response, workforce management, call monitoring, speech technology and multimedia systems. Whereby workforce optimization and analytics are expected to lead revenue growth across these segments, driven by the continuous focus on contact center operation performance management.

"System replacement and software upgrades, along with the adoption of advanced contact center applications will be the key drivers for mature markets in the region," notes Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Industry Analyst. Shuishan Lu.

While voice interaction remained the key communication channel, the concept of “omnichannel” has spread across a couple of markets in APAC with social media integration and smart phone penetration being the key drivers behind this transformation.

Frost2"In the Southeast Asian markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, contact center application providers will find mixed opportunities, with a handful of greenfield and system upgrade projects," Lu adds.
However, some organizations' long decision-making process, and resolve to hold back system replacement projects and solution upgrades due to tight capital budgets, could dampen market development. Many APAC organizations are still keen to consolidate their current ICT resources to find means to optimize their systems and are thus poor targets for new business.

"Although the support of multi-channel interaction has been a must for contact centers in APAC, many companies are eschewing investment in agent-facing applications. Cost centers continue to be the top-line concept for these companies, whose key consideration is the profitability of their contact centers rather than the enhancement of customer interaction," Lu notes.

Several companies, especially in the small and medium sized segments, are evaluating hosted/cloud contact center services in the interest of lowering out of pocket costs. Rather than completely moving their contact center infrastructure to the cloud, companies are adopting the hybrid model. This involves deploying on-premise inbound contact routing applications and using other value-added applications through the Software-as-a-Service model, Frost & Sullivan concludes.

Source: Frost & Sullivan