Every two years Pelorus Associates publishes a comprehensive analysis of the global market for workforce management software. Our most recent report, cleverly named 2020 World Workforce Management Systems Market, was released in August. The report revealed that in 2019 Verint Systems was again the global leader, capturing 28% of the $605 million market for WFM software. This is a repeat of the results for 2017. To no small measure, Verint’s success can be traced to its exceptional results in Asia-Pacific and Latin American markets. In our report we combine these two regions. In terms of business volume, the APAC region is by far the largest of the two geographies.
The following table from the report shows that Verint is far out in front of its leading competitors.
Intrigued, I contacted Verint’s Martyn Riddle, VP Marketing for the Asia-Pacific region, to get his take. Martyn is a resident of Australia and a veteran of the contact centre industry. The first thing I learned (unsurprisingly) is that the Asia-Pacific region is made up of many countries each with their own languages, customs, regulations, and maturity levels when it comes to contact centre technology.
Before we get to his answer, a little background on the APAC region is in order. The three largest employers of contact centre agents are the Philippines, India, and Australia. The Philippines has supplanted India as the location of choice for BPO contact centres due to its less expensive operational and labour costs, a constant stream of college-educated graduates entering the already mostly young workforce, and proficiency in American-style English as well as slang. Today, the value of the BPO industry is estimated $150 billion. More than a million Filipinos are employed by contact centres
India has the second-largest population of contact centre agents. The Indian contact centre industry was in its heyday in the early 2000’s but employment and revenues have since plateaued. Factors for the industry’s decline include high levels of attrition, health and safety issues for employees, competition from nations with even lower wage rates, and the accent of Indian contact workers.
Australia is the most advanced APAC nation in terms of contact centre maturity. In addition to a rebounding outsourcing industry, executives from the largest Australian businesses see customer engagement as a top priority. This leads them to invest in advanced technology as well as modern recruitment and training procedures.
The nations of China, Japan, and Korea employ large numbers of contact centre agents but do not represent strong markets for Verint or its competitors.
Now, for the answer to my question regarding Verint’s secret sauce for its success in APAC; Martyn revealed that the key to Verint’s success was very simple – it is the way they interact with customers. Unlike a lot of other companies that claim to be international, Verint has physical offices or representatives in the major business centres right across the APAC region. Verint personnel understand local customs, work practices, and regulations. They spend time with major enterprise customers and channel partners, explaining the products but more importantly understanding their unique needs and assisting them with the tools and resources they need to be successful in their businesses. This is not to say that their advanced solutions like AI-powered WFM, analytics, automation and knowledge management are not important – they are – but what really matters is the quality of customer relationships. It is this personal approach that is behind Verint’s discovery process where theConsulting teams use their vast experience to curate specific models by working closely with customer operations.
That’s quite a tasty secret sauce!
Founder and Chief Analyst