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February 19, 2009

Report: Hosted IVR to Flourish in EMEA, Especially in Call Centers



By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor


Businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are adopting more and more hosted interactive voice response, or “IVR” services, according to an international market research firm with U.S. headquarters in Mountain View, California.

 
Officials at Frost & Sullivan say they see strong growth potential in the EMEA region, in part because the technology automates simple customer interactions. Especially with hosted IVR, the firm says, businesses are seeing a cost-reducing technology that’s helping them navigate this recession.
 
Generally speaking, hosted solutions reduce upfront capital expenditure. In this case, the associated lower total cost of ownership is driving increased adoption of hosted IVR, particularly in small- to mid-sized markets, Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) says.

“The hosted model makes it easier for enterprises to deploy speech applications, bringing together the best of both worlds – the business benefits of the software as a service model, and improving the customer experience by making IVR’s more user-friendly,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Director Ashwin Iyer.
 
In the telecommunications space, “hosted” products are services that an outside company offers and manages, such as hosted VoIP.
 
A major selling point for those services, especially in this slow economy, is that they reduce installation and maintenance costs. As TMCnet reported recently, one IT strategy firm predicts that although overall IT spending is expected to drop in 2009, channel partners say revenues from managed services will grow about 20 percent.
 
According to Frost & Sullivan’s report, “EMEA Hosted IVR Services Markets,” hosted IVR forms one of the largest and fastest growing markets for contact center technologies in the EMEA region.

One industry analyst at the firm, Kunal Kakodkar, said that although enterprises in EMEA are relatively unfamiliar with the hosted model, there exists tremendous growth potential in the region.
 
“Given that the average contact center in EMEA is typically smaller than its U.S. counterpart, enterprises in EMEA will be drawn to the business benefits that hosting provides for their contact center application needs,” Kakodkar said.
 

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.


Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan


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