The IP call centre market is not growing as fast as first thought, according to analyst Datamonitor.
Customer relationship management technology analyst Elsa Lion said the worldwide market was still experiencing growth but not at the rate originally forecast.
"The market is not maturing as fast as expected," said Lion. "We expected 5,000 IP contact centres to be implemented by 2005, but this is unlikely to be the case."
She added that new figure was expected to be closer to the 3,000 to 4,000 mark, as the slowing of the economy means IP call centres are not a priority.
Currently, call centres based on IP technology tend to be concentrated on small operations of 10 to 100 seats, remote offices and greenfield sites. Existing call centres based on traditional time-division multiplexing will continue to use the technology as many companies have not accepted the business case for pure IP.
In the European market only three per cent of call centres are based on IP. Lion said she expected this figure to grow to eight per cent. There are currently over 34,000 call centres in Europe, with the UK boasting the most mature market in Europe for IP call centres.
Other analysts believe the real barriers to the uptake of IP call centres are the phones, which add greatly to the costs of any installation because they are not produced in the volumes of traditional analogue phones. But as IP becomes more mainstream these costs should come down.
Another reason is that the real savings from IP are not call centre-related.
"Savings in going over to IP come mainly from free inter-site calls," said Margaret Hopkins, associate analyst at Analysys. "Connectivity is a key area for savings on integrated access."
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