Personalization and New Channels Bolster Growth in Hosted/Cloud Contact Centers

Growth in the North American hosted/cloud contact center market will be driven by flexibility, scalability, business agility, converged tools, the addition and integration of new interaction channels, improved analytics capabilities, and agent engagement, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan.

The research firm, therefore, recommends that contact center service providers will have to expand their offerings to cater to a wider audience that prefers self-service and personalized, contextually aware service. Strong partnerships will also be central to success, particularly as new capabilities and channels are added and competition intensifies, the firm found.

Frost & Sullivan's research, featured in the "Growth Opportunities in the North American Hosted/Cloud Contact Center Market, Forecast to 2021" report, finds that while contact center system sales staved off heavy movement to the cloud as many adopted hybrid options, cloud sales remain very strong. Analytics and inbound contact routing are projected to have double-digit growth. The overall market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7 percent until 2021. The study focuses on business models and technology areas, including inbound contact routing, interactive voice response, automated self-service outbound dialing, workforce management, call recording, and analytics.

"Cloud contact centers should incorporate maturing technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, and mobile and social customer care to drive growth and user-base expansion," said Digital Transformation Principal Analyst Nancy Jamison in a statement.

Top predictions for the North American hosted/cloud contact center market include the following:

  • Service providers will continue to build out suites of integrated contact center capabilities;
  • Service providers will have to bring in new technologies, such as predictive analytics and machine learning, to enhance capabilities, add value, and remain competitive;
  • Service providers will continue to provide multiple deployment options (public-private clouds), as well as adoption of micro-services architecture to provide new functionalities more quickly;
  • Service providers will embrace the changing consumer base and, consequently, the emerging workforce, through the development of new tools and analytics capabilities to help with performance and agent engagement and to reduce churn; and
  • Service providers will continue to tackle flexibility and usability in applications, such as WFO, to attract companies reluctant to take on complexity.

"In terms of vertical markets, hosted/cloud sales will be fairly evenly distributed across all verticals, with strong growth in banking, healthcare, government, and education," noted Jamison. "In addition, growth will be seen in the lower end of the market, driven by numerous feature-rich competitive offerings from small vendors, as well as the introduction of offerings from well-known suppliers such as Amazon."