IP contact centre investment set to hold steady in 2009

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Although the recession is bound to have a substantial negative effect on enterprises’ telephony products budgets, researchers are predicting that IP Contact Centre (IPCC) investment could buck the trend this year. Such technologies naturally lend themselves to cost cutting imperatives and smart businesses will be looking to strip out operational costs. However, it won’t all be plain sailing, IPCC still requires substantial upfront investment and, while vendors may be prepared to slit each other’s throats in search of deals, it’s a case of speculate to accumulate for enterprises.

Last year was a good for the IPCC market according to Infonetics Research. It says that revenues ended 2008 up 37% on the previous year, with many vendors reporting robust sales. However, the wider downward pull of the economic collapse will also negatively affect the IPCC and Unified Communications sectors albeit with less ferocity than other sectors. It’s also worth considering that after a feast comes a period of considered digestion and, with more than one million IPCC seats sold worldwide in the first half of 2008, capacity already in place may become a factor in new purchasing decisions.

IPCC, being so close to the delivery of customer service, may also find itself insulated as enterprises chase harder for each buck by aiming to service their existing customers more effectively. In any case, we’re not necessarily looking at a nuclear winter of non-activity. Analysts at Forrester reckon that communications investment will shrink by just 3% this year from US$364bn in 2008 to US$353bn in 2009. Compared to other industrial sectors, that’s a walk in the park.
Anthony Plewes

After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.