Cloud or hybrid contact centre options have the edge, says research house

Consumer preferences for self-education and self-help, coupled with the prolific way they broadcast thoughts, ideas, compliments and complaints about brands on social media, is forcing a sea change within the contact centre industry, according to analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

Vendors and end users alike are adapting to new interaction channels that provide richer self-service capabilities, said the firm.

"Contact centre systems suppliers in EMEA will need to expand more heavily into adjacent customer support areas such as omni-channel support, big data, and mobility," said Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Principal Analyst Nancy Jamison. "Integrating disparate solutions will quicken the move to omni-channel customer care."

In the past few years, the slowly recovering global economy has affected buying decisions and held back investment in new systems and upgrades. The emergence of hosted and cloud services, which allow companies to reduce capital and operational expenditure on contact centre solutions, is further affecting market revenues.

While contact centre systems providers continue to produce feature-rich premise-based solutions, the spectre of the cloud will not go away. Hence, providers are bound to take an 'if you cannot beat them join them' attitude and answer with cloud-based options of their own, says the research firm.

"Over and above discussing roadmap plans for various trends, buyers should understand how contact centre systems providers are addressing the cloud," added Jamison. "Whether it makes sense for a company to move all or part of their systems to the cloud, it is imperative for end users to understand its bearing on their infrastructure and business in the long run and make the right choice."

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