Earthquake setting back contact center investments – Aspect …
The 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile late last month is causing local companies to shelve new contact center investments, the Southern Cone sales director for US contact center platform provider Aspect Software, Mauricio Ramrez, told BNamericas.
Many technological investments that were set to be implemented towards the end of the first quarter have been postponed to the second quarter, the executive said.
“In Chile, we’re going to be waiting to see what happens during the next few months due to the affects of the earthquake,” he said. “It’s led many companies to reevaluate the technology investments they had planned, which is putting the breaks on some projects that we had ready to go.”
The executive emphasized that Chilean clients are not canceling the contact center investment plans outright.
“They’ve put off innovation,” he said. “Instead of saying ‘good-bye,’ they’re moving the date back.”
Telecommunications company investments represent the silver lining in this scenario, Ramrez said, underscoring that those firms are maintaining contact center expenditures to cope with rising customer calls.
In spite of increased uncertainty in Chile, Aspect expects its sales in the Southern Cone, which includes Chile, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay, to skyrocket 300% this year.
Argentina represents Aspect’s largest market in the Southern Cone, but the company is seeing an up-tick in contact center investments in Peru, driven mainly by overall economic growth and investment. Ramrez said Peru represents one of Aspect’s newer markets in Latin America, and that the company is looking to make in-roads in that country.
Many contact centers are channeling investments towards unified communications (UC) solutions, though Ramrez also noted an increased tendency towards outsourcing, especially in Argentina, Peru and Chile.
Aspect has started to provide services through hosting, and the company sees growth potential in that service model.
“There’s a strong trend towards outsourcing… especially related to gaining new clients and billing,” he said. “There are many hosting requests.”
Aspect has five partners in Argentina, as well as three alliances in Chile, two in Peru and one in Uruguay. Aspect is earmarking resources towards training the partner companies, Ramrez said, and the company is looking to form additional alliances in Peru and Chile.
Within Latin America, Aspect has offices in Mexico and Brazil. The company has no immediate plans to open facilities in the Southern Cone, according to the executive.
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