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Over the past several months, one trend in the contact center services space has been medium-sized players asserting themselves by carving out their own niche within the sector. One of the best examples of this is Knoah Solutions, which presented a positive outlook for its prospects at its recent client summit, focusing on diversifying its delivery platform and building on its technology capabilities.
In an era in which global outsourcers are promoting their own scale of operations and delivery capabilities, it is possible to assume that small-to-medium-sized vendors may be squeezed out of the market. However, it was clear at Knoah Solutions' recent client summit in Las Vegas that innovation would be the key to that company's long-term growth. Since its inception in 2001 as an email support vendor, Knoah has had an admirable upward trajectory, combining onshore and offshore delivery (from the US and India) with a strong technology suite, and shows little sign of slackening its pace. In fact, Knoah's executives have chosen to expand its delivery platform in the form of a Central American site, most notably in Guatemala (opening this year). Ovum sees this as a wise move, given the need for outsourcing vendors to have a decent pool of bilingual labor to service the US Hispanic population, coupled with the importance of balancing geographic risk. It is also noted that in Ovum's most recent CRM Outsourcing Business Trends Survey, Central America was among the most popular offshore / nearshore delivery regions chosen by enterprise contact center managers.
Knoah's plans to build on its existing strengths in the domain of omni-channel delivery (the bulk of its work is currently in nonvoice platforms) and functions (in which it has carved out a solid niche in technical support) is wise. Being able to maintain its position in its traditional areas of advantage while expanding into new channels and horizontals will help Knoah continue to grow. What will also be essential is to build on its impressive list of clients (which is weighted toward consumer goods and technology), so as to diversify into emerging sectors of the economy that aim to work with third-party vendors for contact center needs.
However, what is likely most forward-looking from Knoah is its focus on combining its above-discussed delivery capabilities with technology, in this case the aptly named KnoahsArk 360, which combines the key elements of analytics, workforce optimization, and cloud-based architecture. It is rare to see this type of offering from a medium-sized outsourcer, and this remains one of the principal selling points for Knoah in the current marketplace, given the hunger among enterprises for partners that are capable of providing such a suite of services.
Peter Ryan, Principal Analyst, IT Services
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