|Speech Deployments to Grow at a Fast Clip|
Datamonitor forecasts strong growth for speech-enabled solutions in call centers
In a new report, market research firm Datamonitor forecasts strong growth for speech-enabled solutions in call centers. Sales to small and mid-size centers will account for a growing share of the expanding revenue pie. Datamonitor expects that voice business supply-side revenues1 from call center automation applications to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31% between 2001 and 2007. These include speech-enabled applications that automate incoming and outbound calls to and from call centers. Examples include automated customer service, name and address collection, form-filling, customer surveys and troubleshooting.
Large call centers are the primary customers for speech recognition technologies. However, as license prices decrease notably two to three years from now, small and medium-size call centers will increasingly deploy speech solutions. Call center outsourcers, able to leverage customer premises equipment (CPE) investments across several enterprise customers, are investing in the most advanced technologies, including apps based on natural language understanding. Call center managers have been early adopters of voice solutions that demonstrate a rapid ROI over agents or touchtone-based interactive voice response (IVR) systems. In Datamonitor's opinion, these managers should increasingly deploy scalable, packaged voice business solutions. Skeptical call center managers, or small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) for which CPE costs are prohibitive, should investigate outsourcing options to take advantage of speech recognition solutions with limited up-front investment. For example, an outsourcing customer might pay $10,000 a month instead of $500,000 upfront for a software license.
Datamonitor expects penetration of basic speech-enabled call center applications, such as directed-dialog name and address collection and FAQs, will grow rapidly through 2004. After 2004, growth rates will decline and incremental application improvements will signify the relative maturity of basic call center automation applications. More advanced applications, such as natural language understanding-enabled transactions apps, will fuel continued, though slower overall growth, through 2007.