The increasing prominence of cloud computing has given enterprises the option of buying IT infrastructure on a pay-as-you-go basis. Under this model, enterprises will be able to easily scale their infrastructure up or down based on business needs. It will also allow them to change investment models from capital expenditure (CAPEX) to operational expenditure (OPEX).
In the midst of this envisioned transformation, communication service providers (CSPs) are seeking to expand their roles beyond mere connectivity, and offer non-traditional IT solutions as part of their portfolios. In the cloud value chain, CSPs are evolving from being cloud carriers to cloud providers.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (ipcommunications.frost.com), Cloud Networking: A Growing Opportunity for CSPs in South Africa, finds that the South African hosted contact centre market will expand from $3.2 million in 2012 to reach $47.8 million in 2018.
"Of all market participants in the cloud services value chain, such as hosting providers, IT service and equipment suppliers, over-the-top service providers and application providers, CSPs are best positioned to successfully deliver on the cloud computing vision," noted Frost & Sullivan’s Information & Communication Technologies Industry Analyst, Ishe Zingoni. "Through their cloud services offerings, CSPs have the power to help their customers evolve and take advantage of the changing communications marketplace."
The current move in South Africa towards hosted, cloud-based contact centres represents a unique opportunity for CSPs to grow and protect their revenue streams, where they are currently challenged by tremendous pricing and margin pressures. This can, however, be offset by offering higher margin products and value-added services beyond commoditised telephony.
Most contact centres in South Africa are, at present, using premises-based systems, with only 1.8 per cent under the hosted model. However, given the high levels of interest and enabling market conditions (such as declining bandwidth costs), it is anticipated that the market will achieve high levels of customer cross over / conversion to the hosted environment in the next few years.
"Hosted contact centres represent a unique opportunity for CSPs with tremendous long-term growth potential," stated Zingoni. "The main opportunity lies in the small- and mid-market segments, which will experience the greatest uptake due to the attractiveness of the OPEX model as opposed to the CAPEX model. For small contact centres, typically those that are budget constrained, there will be an additional benefit of gaining access to the latest, and more cost effective, technologies and upgrades."
As the market matures, there will be a steady increase in the average size of contact centres using the hosted systems, as larger enterprises seeking to reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) migrate to the hosted environment.
"CSPs can have a central role in serving the marketplace with cloud services. Their success will require them to initiate change in their service strategies and marketing approach, as well as underlying service delivery (network and IT) architectures," concluded Zingoni. "While CSPs will eventually build their own IT capabilities, strategic partnerships will be crucial in the interim."
If you are interested in more information on this research, please send an email to Samantha James, Corporate Communications, at samantha.james[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, job title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.
Cloud Networking: A Growing Opportunity for CSPs in South Africa is part of the Telecom Services Growth Partnership Services programme. Frost & Sullivan’s related research services include: Strategic Analysis of Cloud Computing Markets in South Africa, South African BPO Market, East African Data Centre Market and West African Data Centre Market
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Cloud Networking: A Growing Opportunity for CSPs in South Africa / M8CD-63