2008 was an impressive year for the hosted call center infrastructure market, and the first half of 2009 is proving to be even better. Research showed that the worldwide economic recession drove many organizations in all verticals to consider hosted contact center infrastructure solutions. DMG found that many of these companies were not classic risk takers, but rather companies that viewed hosting as an opportunity to do business differently, without a great deal of initial investment.
Growth of this market can be attributed to several factors including better, more stable and feature-rich solutions, increased contact center domain expertise, implementation of call center best practices, and flexible pricing. The future is very promising for hosted contact center solutions, even after the recession abates. DMG forecasts that growth for the hosted contact center infrastructure market will be 30 percent, 35 percent and 20 percent each year from 2009 to 2011, respectively.
One of the more interesting aspects of the market is how the customers feel about their solutions. DMG Consulting finds high levels of customer satisfaction for most of the hosted vendors. Quick deployments, minimal cash outlay, a rapid and quantifiable return on investment, a reduced maintenance burden and the opportunity to “try before you buy” are among the top reasons for satisfied customers.
•Of the 12,198,289 contact center seats as of the end of 2008, only 2.2 percent are hosted. This creates a huge opportunity for vendors to target customers and prospects aggressively by offering reduced prices and flexible options.
•Customer satisfaction is very high for the hosted contact center infrastructure providers due to highly successful implementations and excellent ongoing support. Fifty percent of the customers surveyed indicated that they were completely satisfied—this is extremely rare for any technology sector.
•The majority of sales of hosted contact center infrastructure solutions are replacements for premise-based systems. Clearly, it’s no longer business as usual for the premise-based vendors, and it’s time for them to wake up to the emerging competition.
•DMG finds that customers using hosted contact center infrastructure solutions can achieve a return on their investment in as little as one month, although 3 to 12 is more common.
•Use of SaaS-based applications in contact centers is still relatively new, and adoption is low, with the exception of IVR, where more than half of the sector’s revenue is already from hosted/managed service vendors.