Sick and tired of forecasted doom? … We certainly are and so we thought we would highlight the voice technology which is attracting the smart money, because this is the mainstay of the leaner business, it increases productivity, uses less staff and reduces costs.
In call recording we are seeing significant changes in the two big market sectors of call centre applications and financial trading floors. By far the biggest movement can be seen in the use of speech analytics. Datamonitor’s research in the last few years has shown that customer acceptance of this technology is shifting beyond the small groups of ‘innovators’ to the wider category of ‘early adopters’ with take-up accelerating. Business Systems’ successful implementation of analytics applications in 2008 through its professional services division also reinforces Datamonitor’s main cautionary note; that being:- it will not be enough for vendors to offer this technology in the traditional manner as customers will not be able to leverage satisfactory results or achieve the necessary ROI unless the appropriate blend of technical and domain knowledge is suitably deployed during the implementation period and followed through as a business service.
Regular readers of the Monitor may recall that four years ago we cautioned against this technology as too little, too expensive and too few results – today that is not the case. BSL believe this technology is a top tip for 2009 and especially so as the economy contracts. The companies that successful move to this level of sophistication will be the real winners in the next few years but we do emphasise caution; this technology is about as far away from plug-and-play as you can get, so do the homework to avoid the tears.
Both Gartner and Datamonitor reports in the last few years have had much to say on the subject of hosted applications and most industry publications are running feature articles on SaaS along with heralding the concept of cloud computing. Whilst cloud computing is considered as ‘very early days’ with a recent poll putting it at 17% of IT interest, hosted applications have moved above 50% for consideration in 2009. BSL’s own hosting division run under the OPEX banner has experienced good growth in 2008 and expects the analysts’ assessment to be borne out through 2009. The financial benefits afforded by hosted services such as low cost of access, ability to scale services based on demand, ensuring and securing ROI is undoubtedly a more compelling business case today than it was six months ago.
With an upward trend in companies repatriating back to the UK and returning to the home shoring model the hosted telephony market should experience further growth as these companies strive to avoid huge start-up costs and unnecessary investment in in-house IT resources. In addition real opportunities exist for SME’s and those companies looking to substantially drive down costs this year.
Ultimately the bottom line is that in a tougher climate tremendous opportunities exist for those companies prepred to use technology to establish a competitive edge whether that’s through using more cost effective hosted applications or implementing state-of-the-art analytics tools
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