The appeal of the pay-per-use model and the high level of flexibility, scalability and business agility offered by the hosted models are driving the Asia-Pacific contact center market towards double digit growth.
The global economic uncertainty has had a positive impact on the growth of this sector with some businesses exploring options beyond premise-based solutions and the ones that are low on capital investment. Moreover, the increasing number of vendors and service providers that are actively expanding into the hosted contact center services segment in the region is also aiding market development.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the Asia-Pacific Hosted Contact Center Market, finds that the market earned revenues of US$220.1 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach US$597.2 million in 2019 at a compound annual growth rate of 15.9 per cent.
"While cost reduction continues to be a key objective, the predominant driver is no longer just the financial benefit of moving an expense from capex to opex," said Frost & Sullivan Information and Communication Technologies Research Manager Krishna Baidya.
"Enterprises have also come to appreciate the host of other benefits for the cloud model, particularly; reduction and simplification of ongoing maintenance, faster deployment and realisation of business value," he added.
The greater focus on customer services by small and medium businesses (SMBs) also boosts the demand for hosted contact centers in the region.
While SMBs are particularly attracted to the pay-per-use model, enterprise customers are taking advantage of the flexibility and scalability of hosted solutions, which ideally suit expansion, overflow and disaster recovery (DR) needs. SMBs are looking for simplified, bundled solutions whereas large enterprises are likely to require customised offerings that align well with their existing infrastructure and applications.
The region as a whole still has a very large installed base of legacy infrastructure and it is likely to delay the adoption of hosted technology. There are few total replacements of premise-based systems. As companies reach the end of the product life cycle with some of their existing premises' infrastructure, it is expected that the potential growth curve for hosted systems will become steeper.
However, a perceived lack of security, reliability and privacy amongst certain segments of customers, especially in the financial and healthcare segments, is likely to impact the adoption rate in the short term. To change this mindset, hosted solution providers must comply with government regulations and private standards.
"The market continues to shift to a wider range of pricing tools, with vendors also creating hybrid pricing models that provide greater flexibility to the end user," opines Baidya.
"The emergence of these models is a clear indication of vendors' interest in tapping the potential of the Asia-Pacific market," he added.
With benefits such as low upfront investment, instant access to cutting edge technology and rapid results, hosted contact center services are gaining popularity with customers over the range of existing options.