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Thursday, 08 November 2012 19:53

US cloud contact centre players expected down under


Several major US players in the cloud based contact centre space are expected to enter the Australian market in the next 12-18 months.

iTWire reported earlier this week that US based LivePerson was acquiring local cloud based contact centre service provider Engage, bringing competition to local player IPscape. That move, according to Frost & Sullivan's head of ICT research for ANZ, Audrey William, is likely to be just the first of many by US players into the Australian market.

According to Frost & Sullivan's recently released report,  Australian Contact Centre Market 2012, a combination of changing business models and impact of enabling factors such as the NBN will make cloud based deployments the preferred model for new contact centre deployments in Australia.

"[Contact Centre from the cloud] is a very interesting market," William said. "IPscape is one of the first pushing it and the only player with a true cloud offering. They currently have a sweet spot in the market but I believe in the next 12 to 18 months you are going to see a lot of cloud players making their way to Australia. There are some big names in the US like inContact and CosomoCom that directly compete with IPscape."

CosmoCom was acquired in 2011 by global enterprise software provider Enghouse Systems and its subsidiary Syntellect, which already has a presence in Australia. In 2011 also CosmoCom named Sydney based Mobile Mentor as a customer. CosmoCom has a number of global carriers as resellers, including BT, which also sells IPscape in Europe.

William predicted that these new players would spark some stiff competition with the incumbent providers of premises based contact centre technology.

"The top end of town is still owned by the big contact centre vendors but a lot of organisations realise it is expensive to pay for maintenance and professional services...That is going to spark a lot of competition with those players.

She said that LivePerson was particularly well placed to tackle this market following its acquisition of Engage because it already had a strong presence with major global enterprises, albeit in only a niche role.

"They have some of the very big names using their technology and they are well known. They have a lot of customers that like their technologies but it has been very niche. They specialise in web chat, real time scoring, rules based targeting predictive targeting....This touches contact centre but is more about outbound and marketing. Now [with Engage] they can talk about other call centre technologies in the cloud.

"The conversation for LivePerson will change to 'We can offer you other call centre technologies.' They will start positioning themselves as a call centre provider."

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