Magazine article CRM Magazine

Contact Center Infrastructure

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Contact Center Infrastructure

Article excerpt

THE MARKET

While many trends are shaping the contact center infrastructure industry, none has been as disruptive as the shift to the cloud. Some analysts estimate the number of cloud vendors at about 150, all vying for a piece of a very lucrative market valued at more than $2.8 billion. And though that $2.8 billion represents only 11.4 percent of total contact center seats worldwide, analysts project that the cloud market will grow at greater than 20 percent per year for the next three to five years.

Nevertheless, the market for on-premises contact center systems recovered slightly in 2017, fueled by growth in some sectors--including interaction recording--and by slowing declines in inbound contact routing, outbound dialing, and interactive voice response systems.

Innovation has also been fast and furious in this market, particularly around artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language, analytics, and data security. Customers, meanwhile, are pressing vendors for suites of integrated products from a single source; cradle-to-grave integrated reporting and analytics; and easier system management.

THE LEADERS

Aspect Software has a very functional set of infrastructure offerings, as evidenced by its 4.1 score in that area. "Aspect is always a good choice. It's proven, reliable, and delivers an infrastructure that buyers can depend on," says Paul Stock-ford, president and chief analyst at Saddletree Research. The company, though, has a bit of an identity problem, according to Sheila McGee-Smith, president of McGee-Smith Analytics. "With three different solutions in its portfolio, Aspect struggles to get the deserved attention for its multitenant, Amazon Web Services--deployed Via solution" she says. Despite that, the company still scored an impressive 3.9 in company direction.

Cisco Systems, a perennial favorite among analysts, remains a top contender in the space. It scored a 4.1 in depth of functionality, and Stockford says that Cisco "is hard to beat. They own innovation, dependability, and company stability, and their overall contact center strategy is stellar." Though the company fell off a little in many of the other judging criteria, analysts remain optimistic about Cisco's future, particularly as it incorporates technology from its BroadSoft acquisition. …

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