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Hosted and Cloud Contact Center Solutions Finally Gain Traction in Latin America

Juan Manuel González, Research Director ICT, Frost & Sullivan.

Recent findings from Frost & Sullivan show that only 20% of the current contact center (CC) users in Latin America have an omnichannel solution in place, which represents a clear upselling opportunity for vendors. Companies are still integrating newer contact channels such as mobile, chat, messaging, and social media, while facing enormous challenges to provide omnichannel customer experiences (CXs).

Omnichannel CX is a crucial part of the shift toward a new digital landscape, providing a seamless journey no matter the customer’s starting or re-engagement point. Omnichannel CX capabilities will be the leading differentiator for vendors in the years to come. Providers are working on adding new product capabilities enabled by mobile, cloud, social, messaging, WebRTC, Big Data, and personalization, along with richer integrations to differentiate their solution portfolios. The inclusion of maturing technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP), will also drive growth as companies seek to add intelligence to existing applications and new self-service channels.

Growth Perspectives for the Hosted/Cloud Market

Frost & Sullivan’s latest research on the CC solutions market in Latin America and the Caribbean (CALA) shows that the on-premise contact center solutions market remains relevant. In contrast, the hosted and cloud market finally gained traction in the region. Furthermore, revenue for the on-premise solutions market will keep showing a positive growth trend during the forecast period, with a decent 4.3% CAGR during 2018–2024. The increased adoption of hybrid solutions and the fact that companies in CALA push to get the most value out of existing infrastructure is keeping this market afloat. 

On the contrary, revenue for the hosted and cloud contact center market in the region will experience robust growth in all application segments. The total hosted/cloud market registered a revenue growth of 37.1% in 2018. This prosperous market encompasses on-premise vendors, hosted/cloud CC vendors, integrators, carriers, and SPs that compete increasingly harder based on pricing and not on the quality or performance of the solutions.

The private cloud model is still primarily used in the CALA region. However, public cloud offerings (such as Genesys’s PureCloud) have proved to be successful. While this leads to increased competition, it also introduces more choices to enterprises so they can select the option that best suits their needs.

Customer contact will continue to evolve from interactions on different channels to seamless customer journeys that are proactive, asynchronous, and persistent. Only through the addition of new capabilities enabled by mobile, cloud, social, messaging, WebRTC, Big Data, and personalization, along with richer integrations, will companies in CALA unleash new demand and drive user-base expansion.

Designing for Changing Customers and Workforce

While customer interactions will increase considerably over the forecast period and the share of voice will decrease (as a percentage of the overall interactions), the voice channel itself will remain strong as agents take on more complex interactions not handled through self-service channels.     

Additionally, companies are being pushed to acquire tools that cater to a changing workforce. Top of mind is work/life balance, training, gamification, refreshed agent desktops, mobile applications, and Workforce Engagement Management (WEM). Voice of Employee (VoE) solutions promise to drive actionable insights to improve CX and agent performance.

The digital transformation of business is pushing CC vendors and service providers (SPs) to develop product strategies that drive customer care beyond the traditional CC environment. Driving brand positioning and messaging around innovation and digital transformation will be key to vendor success going forward in a market that has not been inclined toward change. Vendors and SPs should elevate their messaging by raising it above “call centers,” forging new narratives around business innovation and digital transformation capabilities.

They also need to design to the needs of a changing consumer base and workforce. Mobile-first strategies, the addition of automated self-service, including bots, RPA, and VA, and the provision of new tools within the agent/supervisor workspace are a must to succeed. 

Furthermore, CC vendors and service providers have enormous opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting the business process automation and intelligent self-service initiatives of enterprises in the short and medium terms. However, they will need to further embrace the changing consumer and workforce base through the development of new tools to help with performance, engagement, attrition, and churn reduction.

Finally, vendors and SPs need to expand their offerings to cater to a broader audience. Strong partnerships are necessary to succeed in a diverse and dispersed region. Further investments in partnership programs, branding and messaging around hosted and cloud solution benefits and migration are required. 

Juan Manuel Gonzalez

The author is Research Director of ICT at Frost & Sullivan.

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