Partnering is the key word for any reseller or integrator that is looking to cash in on the booming call centre market.
It is a growth market that is opening up even to smaller and regional resellers, because increasingly call centres are being relocated away from Sydney and Melbourne and situated in other areas, said Martin Conboy, director of Call Centre Reseach (CCR). CCR last week released its Australian Call Centre Location Report.
The market is certainly one that Australian resellers and integrators would do well to investigate because $300 million is spent on the IT component of call centres each year and it is growing by 20 per cent every year, Conboy said.
"There's a lot of low hanging fruit for those that commit to this market," he said.
The CCR report said technology advances were enabling customers to save money by relocating call centres to regional centres and capital cities other than Sydney and Melbourne.
Savings are made because staff turnover is typically much lower in these places. In the competitive and fickle Sydney and Melbourne markets, a typical call centre staff turnover rate is 35 per cent, according to Conboy. Each lost staff member costs tens of thousands of dollars, he said.
Market opening up
With call centres being relocated or opened in other areas, this market is naturally opening up to IT suppliers other than those based in Sydney and Melbourne. However, resellers and integrators who want to crack the market will have to partner - and not just with other IT suppliers.
"Remember your selling a solution not a technology so you need to partner," Conboy said.
Any call centre operation's IT requirements include the initial sale and implementation, support and maintenance, and training for all staff. A regional call centre also needs telecommunications capacity which means teaming with a carrier.
"Moreover you need community-wide support - state and regional development groups, property people and so on."
The sweet spot for these call centres is 20 to 60 seats.
"People who have the technology that is applicable to that space and can demonstrate that they can support that by way of selling service contracts will find a very appreciative audience," Conboy said.
"It'll be raining and you're the only one selling umbrellas."