Ovum’s latest contact center forecast looks out to 2019 and finds that the emerging markets will be where the industry sees growth for the rest of the decade. Overall, the number of agent positions will grow by 2% annually from 2013 through 2019. The Asia-Pacific region will see higher growth, in the 4% to 5% range. At the same time, the shift from premise-based to cloud-based technology will accelerate in all regions.
Maturity leads to little growth in the US but more action in emerging countries
Although the contact center market in North America is mature, major changes are coming to the industry. Technology changes are beginning to affect the agent pool in terms of the need for different mixes of skills and the ability to handle more complex kinds of interaction. However, the overall size of the agent population will not change dramatically over the next few years.
As in North America, growth in agent positions and contact centers in mature economies such as the UK, France, and Germany will remain relatively flat. Slight growth in agent positions will be seen as customer-facing companies adopt service performance as a competitive differentiator. Unemployment in Spain, Portugal, and Greece will impact growth in the sector, whereas expanding domestic consumer markets in Eastern Europe will continue to drive agent position growth. Russia, previously seen as a source of growth, is now a significant question mark.
The contact center markets will continue to grow in emerging countries such as India, China, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, and as a result the number of agent positions will increase. In Australia, South Korea, Japan, and New Zealand the market will remain relatively stable. By the end of the decade the emerging nations will become the centers of gravity in the market as vendors find richer opportunities for expansion. The driving force behind contact center growth region-wide will be serving local domestic consumer markets.
Global Contact Center Market Forecast: 2013–19, IT0020-000099 (March 2015)
Keith Dawson, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement