Datamonitor (DTM.L), an independent market analyst, predicts that global enterprise spent on voice applications will increase by 196% over the next three years to nearly $1.6 billion by 2007, compared to only $540 million today. Datamonitor’s report, Vertical Voice Applications – Proving the value of investment, confirms that North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will remain the dominant markets, although enterprises across Asia Pacific, the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) will experience a strong upsurge in voice applications. The report also says that business to consumer (B2C) investment will comprise the majority of investment, expanding opportunities for voice vendors over the next four years.
Voice applications will open up a new segment of consumers as well as complement labor cost savings initiatives and Internet offerings, Datamonitor says. For example, voice-enabling portals will allow those customers, who unable to travel to an outlet or are unfamiliar with eCommerce, to securely purchase goods and services through the voice-enabled portal. Other transactions could include purchasing airline tickets, or filling a prescription refill requirement.
The company targets insurance and health care / pharmaceutical providers who may invest in voice to comply with government legislation and automate prescription and patient information requirements. Government, education, and utilities are also expected to voice-enable functions, including employee scheduling, information provision, and course registration.
“Vendors must not forget that call center automation, directory assistance, and communications revenues will account for nearly 60% of total applications sales by 2007,” said analyst Peter Ryan. “As the economy continues to recover, post-recession cost rationalization will continue to demand the benefits that voice solutions offer, including those that have been in use for some time.”
While enterprises across APAC and CALA will see a strong upsurge in voice applications revenues, Datamonitor notes that by 2007, the dominant markets will remain North America (41%) and EMEA (35%). Businesses in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and France will continue to adopt voice technology, while smaller markets including The Nordics and The Netherlands will also grow, due to increased localization, Datamonitor predicts.
“Voice vendors have a huge opportunity over the next four years,” Ryan adds. “By marketing the cost savings and customer satisfaction of their solutions along with transactional capabilities, a new consumer segment will be borne, and long-term profitability is certain.”