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Voice solutions to see jump in demand

The enterprise market for emerging and traditional voice applications is set for a giant leap, according to a new report by analyst house, Datamonitor.

The enterprise market for voice applications is set for a giant leap, according to a new report by analyst house, Datamonitor.

The research group predicts that businesses' spending on traditional voice solutions such as call centre automation and directory assistance, and more niche applications including voice authentication and interactive entertainment, will increase 196% over the next three years.

According to Datamonitor, this will translate into a worldwide market of nearly US$1.6billion by 2007, compared to US$540million today.

Although North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will remain the dominant markets, enterprises across Asia Pacific, the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) will enjoy a strong upsurge in take up of voice applications.

Business to consumer (B2C) investment will comprise the lion's share of investment, opening up huge opportunities for voice vendors over the next four years provided that they market the cost savings and customer benefits to the enterprise effectively, the research group says.

In Datamonitor's opinion, insurance and health care / pharmaceutical providers will invest solidly 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.

However, the analyst house urges voice solution vendors not to forget the profit potential from both traditional customers like financial services and traditional applications such as directory assistance.

"Voice vendors cannot afford to ignore large-scale investors, including financial services and telcos," says Datamonitor analyst Peter Ryan.

"While investment from these groups may be growing more slowly than health care / pharmaceuticals, insurance, and the public sector, their revenue volumes and requirements for enhanced customer care solutions will prove extremely lucrative. Likewise, vendors must not forget that call center automation, directory assistance, and communications revenues will account for nearly 60% of total applications sales by 2007," he adds.

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