New avenues are opening up for agent performance optimization (APO) systems in EMEA as contact centers begin to realize the importance of these tools in cost control and effective business management Advanced centers are becoming increasingly appreciative of the benefits of these tools, especially in workforce management (WFM).
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (contactcentres.frost.com), EMEA Agent Performance Optimization Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of €146.6 million in 2007 and is estimated to reach €316.5 million in 2014.
"APO applications remain the quickest way to demonstrably improve contact center performance and efficiency," say Frost & Sullivan analysts Keith Dawson and Kunal Kakodkar. "Although cost control will remain the primary driver, the tools' impact on operating efficiency and skill level of agents is becoming apparent, and advanced contact centers can no longer afford to ignore them."
The EMEA APO market differs from the North American market in not centralizing masses of agents into huge centers. Although the average number of seats under the contact center management in either region may be similar, the EMEA operations are likely to be fragmented into several smaller, but connected units.
The speedier adoption of IP technologies in EMEA and the splintered political set up of the region are likely to have contributed to this trend. This diversity of the EMEA will not only challenge vendors to develop a suitable channel strategy but also create a need for localized offerings. Vendors will also have to take into account the restrictive labor laws in some areas while planning to tap the potential of the under-served EMEA market.
"In some countries, workers' councils have a say in the purchase decision for APO software," notes Dawson. "Success depends on the in-depth knowledge of the local cultural and regulatory environment and a product that is adaptable to those conditions."
EMEA is dominated by smaller companies that provide WFM as a point solution and despite their size, these companies have had certain advantages over their larger competitors. One of the main reasons for their success is their longstanding language localizations and features that are built to comply with the numerous local labor laws.
"Since the adoption of suites has not moved as quickly in EMEA as it has in the United States, there is still significant room for those local incumbents to retain customers, especially in the smaller and mid-sized center market," remarks Kakodkar. "The next 12-18 months should see a tightening of the competition between local and global companies, as the latter aggressively localize their software."
APO vendors outside the core EMEA market have adopted the reseller channel as the predominant mode of sales. They are aggressively establishing and nurturing networks of developers, integrators, and resellers to cover territories where they do not have footprints yet. Most times, APO vendors win business with contact centers through partnerships with larger platform vendors and by leveraging the integrations with call routing engines.
"Meanwhile, product offerings have improved significantly in the last 12-24 months, and through these partner networks, vendors are poised to capitalize on the large number of Greenfield opportunities that still exist," observes Dawson. "Consolidation among vendors and the speed of adoption of IP technologies is driving growth, as is the rapid rise of consumer markets in and around Eastern Europe and the Middle East."
If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview of the EMEA APO markets, then send an email to Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at joanna.lewandowska[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by email.
EMEA Agent Performance Optimization Markets is part of the Contact Centers Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: North American Inbound Contact Routing Markets, North American Hosted Contact Center Markets, Latin America Contact Center Outsourcing Services Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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EMEA Agent Performance Optimization Markets - N329-76