CTI Group, a provider ofonline billing, self-care and communication management applications, has released a hosted call recording product. In general,on-demand contact center applications have been proliferating over the last year. CTI Group’s new product, called “SmartRecord IP,” differentiates itself by targeting the specific needs of a distributed contact center operation, CTI Group Chief Technologist Sid Rao told CRM Buyer.
Most companies record their calls with customers for either quality control or regulatory reasons, henoted. However, contact centers that use a remote workforce have to install hardware at the agent’s site in order to record conversations. Because it is delivered over the Internet, CTI Group’s SmartRecord IP does not require hardware to record calls. Few of the hosted contact center applications on the market currently offer this functionality.
CTI’s new application has another distinctive feature: It is configured so that the government caneasily monitor calls. One issue the feds have complained about in varioushearings and regulatory proceedings is that it is difficult to wiretap calls made over new technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.
SmartRecord IP is also switch- and contact center application-agnostic, Rao added. Some contact centerproviders allocate a different switch for each customer, which is cost-effective only for large operations. SmartRecord IP, he said, can sit on top of the existing contact center application, as it is Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) interoperable.
The Hosted Contact Center Space
The hosted contact center market is the fastest-growing subsector of the on-demand CRM space, based on recent studies. The hosted IP telephony market, InfoTech estimates, will grow from US$310 million in 2005 to almost $6 billion by the end of this decade — an 80 percent compounded annual growth rate.
Hosted contact center providers in North America earned revenues of $127 million in 2005, and that figure could reach $1.2 billion in 2012, according toFrost & Sullivan. Growth in the space will explode this year, the firm predicts, attaining a 57 percent increase over last year. By 2012, it is expected to increase by an additional 38 percent.
Hosted contact center applications are also benefiting from favorable timing, as many companies are replacing investments made in 1999 through 2000. Comfortable with the on-demand model — thanks to the efforts of earlier CRM providers — many firms are opting for the hosted model in the call center as well.