SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

March 24, 2011 08:30 ET

EMEA Agent Performance Optimization Markets Gravitate Toward Enhanced Applications, Finds Frost & Sullivan

LONDON--(Marketwire - March 24, 2011) -  The economic downturn that affected Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as a whole, was the primary factor restraining growth in the agent performance optimization (APO) market. Even as the sector declined in 2009, the seeds of recovery and future growth were apparent. The highest growth was witnessed among centers in the 150-200 seat range.

Both quality management (QM) and workforce management (WFM) represent significant growth opportunities in the under served eastern and southern EMEA regions, where greenfield contact centers are still being opened. In those areas, greenfield centers have been able to leapfrog a generation, going straight to Internet protocol (IP) technology and advanced add-on applications.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, EMEA Agent Performance Optimization Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of over EUR 122.7 million in 2009 and estimates these to reach EUR 201.7 million in 2016.

"Call recording and QM have found homes in some business environments outside the centre, including back offices and branch locations," says Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Keith Dawson. "WFM has proven to be very adaptable to non-contact centre environments for knowledge workers and retail staff."

An increase in collaboration has also encouraged centers to create and report on metrics that have meaning outside their narrow operating environments. This has put the spotlight on analytics tools that bridge the gap between the static activity-counting metrics (usually telephony-based) that centres usually collect and the goal-oriented business metrics that marketing, finance and c-level executives use to measure effectiveness.

The decline in APO sales was related to the decline in ACD and switch sales. Sales of the more expensive switching infrastructure often include APO tools as add-on products. Trends indicate that the EMEA economies will begin to recover during 2010, with marginal growth in the APO sector, and experience more robust growth rate in the range of 5 percent to10 percent in the future. The key to spurring growth will be the adoption of newer and more sophisticated applications for analyzing customer experiences and expediting operational efficiency.

Outside the United Kingdom, the predominant model for selling APO applications is through the reseller channel. The Tier 1 APO vendors coming predominantly from outside of the core EMEA market are aggressively nurturing networks of developers, integrators, and resellers to cover geographies where they do not have physical presence.

"Contact centres in EMEA are also underutilizing the enhanced applications that complement APO, such as analytics, coaching, and eLearning," says Dawson. "At the same time, the underlying call handling platforms are open enough to allow a wide choice of applications on top of them."

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country.

EMEA Agent Performance Optimization Markets is part of the Contact Centers Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: EMEA APO systems market is part of the Contact Center subscription, which also includes research in the following markets: customer care outsourcing markets, inbound contact routing (ICR) markets, outbound dialing markets and agent performance optimization markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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