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Call centres ramp up VoIP rollouts

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Author: WildC@rd

Nearly half of contact centres in North America will use voice over IP (VoIP) systems by the end of next year, according to new research. The new report from the Yankee Group says that despite VoIP adoption lagging behind earlier predictions, the call centre market is embracing the technology. Forty-seven per cent of call centres are expected to roll out VoIP by 2007, compared to just 17 per cent in 2005. The key reasons for using the new technology are to manage multiple call centre sites cheaply and flexibly and to be able to place agents anywhere, including at home. The largest contact centres - those with over 500 seats - will see the greatest uptake of VoIP from now until the end of 2007, the analyst predicts. Though VoIP for the enterprise has been much-hyped in recent years, Yankee Group said adoption has not met its predictions. The report said: "This lacklustre performance of VoIP products and services in the enterprise - and more specifically in the contact centre marketplace - indicates that much more than technology and end-user perception are involved in driving the market for VoIP applications to a higher level." The biggest concerns for contact centres looking to roll out VoIP are costs, including fears of high upfront costs. Overall respondents believed they would see savings of six to 15 per cent from using the technology. Other concerns include voice quality - a worry for 46 per cent of the market - and security and reliability. Call centres are looking to buy VoIP systems from telcos and telephony hardware/software vendors over system integrators and value-added resellers, and though data networking vendors are still in the minority, they've made progress in capturing market share, according to the analyst.
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