CRM software vendor FrontRange has teamed up with convergence specialist CyTrack Telecommunications to crack the SME call centre market, developing a middleware solution that integrates computer telephony with call centre operations.
Archie Wilson, vice president of FrontRange Asia Pacific, says less than 6 per cent of businesses with under 100 seats have a CRM solution installed in their call centres due to the hefty cost and time required for installation.
"Sub-100 seats is a burgeoning industry throughout the Asia-Pacific region, but it's no use trying to force the big enterprise solutions down the throats of the smaller operations," he says.
The product, called the CTI server for Goldmine, quarters the cost of the high-end systems while focusing on a more standardised package, according to FrontRange. It is designed to integrate across any switching platform (PBX or IP) and hardware.
Wilson feels the current climate is forcing call centres to either cut costs or increase customer satisfaction. "This market is ready to explode, but we have to get in before anyone else," he says. "Up until now these guys have focused most of their energy on getting good voice infrastructure in place, not on the transference of data as the call is passed along the chain of command."
FrontRange has been soft-piloting the solution since March, using an average seat size of 25, and has 30 customers already on the boil. Wilson says the uptake has been strongest among voice and data resellers that have a large base of SME customers.
"They couldn't offer the solution before because it was out of the ballpark price-wise," he explains.