Ovum Ltd., an independent analyst and consultancy firm, published its latest series of 2014 Trends to Watch. It outlines the expected changes, drivers in the market, and trends that will have the greatest impact and the players that will benefit from them. In one of the Ovum reports entitled 2014 Trends to Watch: Front-Office BPO, it says that contact center outsourcing vendors and their clients need to be aware of these four principal trends for 2014:
- Higher margin territory. By 2014, moving into higher margin territory by promoting deeper breadth of end-user-focused services will become a priority among competitive vendors in this space.
- Home-based agents. In the US, home-based agents will remain popular through 2014. The US will account for 90% of third-party home-based agent deployments in 2014. But this business model won’t remain as popular in the rest of the developed world. Ovum’s research found that in Australia, Canada, and Western Europe, deployments would be maintained or decreased. Meanwhile, less than 20% of outsourcers in any other country indicated any type of increase.
- Prime vertical opportunities in healthcare. During 2014, as payers and providers aim to maximize service efficiencies and manage costs, the take up of contact center services will grow faster in healthcare. Ovum predicts healthcare will emerge as the prime vertical opportunity mainly in countries where the government plays a majority role in healthcare.
- Offshore service. There will be renewed interest in certain mature locations and new possibilities in emerging countries. Asia and South Africa have vaulted into the four most popular locations for offshore delivery of contact center services.
According to Peter Ryan, principal analyst, global IT services and author of the report, “Ovum’s annual CRM Outsourcing Business Trends survey indicated that budgets would either remain flat or decrease in 2014. The net impact on contact center outsourcers is clear; the majority of enterprises are likely to drive the hardest bargains when engaging with third-party providers.”
He adds that “2014 will see options for outsourcers to avoid ceding excessive amounts of margin, of which the most obvious is to deepen their functional capabilities in conjunction with their more traditional offerings, rather than broaden their outsourced offerings.”
Ryan concludes, “Ovum recommends that enterprises should seek vendors that offer a mix of delivery models and have strategic capabilities in place. Vendors, on the other hand, need to invest in talent and technology, and determine the optimal mix of delivery models to stay ahead.”