Technology Investments, Onshoring on the Rise in Contact Center Outsourcing, Everest Group Finds

Technology is the leading investment theme in the contact center outsourcing (CCO) industry, followed by scale. Enabler technologies accounted for about three-fourths of the reported investments in 2014-2015, with analytics, automation, and multichannel tools being the major areas of investments, according to new research from Everest Group, a consulting and research firm.

"Contact centers across the world are moving into the digital era with a focus on enhanced customer experience in a multichannel environment," said Katrina Menzigian, vice president at Everest Group, in a statement. "Service providers are responding by shifting their value proposition from the traditional, FTE-based focus on cost containment and implementation to an emphasis on providing insights and innovation to enhance the customer experience."

Another aspect of the CCO market showing a notable increase in 2015 was onshoring activity, as buyers increased their focus on improving service quality and demonstrated a preference for agents located close to customers. In 2015, the percentage of CCO contracts with significant onshore delivery rose to 53 percent, as compared to 35 percent in 2010 and 49 percent in 2013. This trend also has led to the growth in adoption of a work-at-home agents model, which incurs lower operational costs than onshore full-time-equivalents, according to the research firm.

Otherwise, movements in the market were modest in scale. Experiencing a period of transition, the global CCO market grew at a rate of 4 percent in 2015 to reach $75 billion to $78 billion. The global contact center spend stands at $300 billion to $320 billion, of which third-party outsourcing accounts for approximately 25 percent, the firm found.