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Malaysia on track as regional hub of contact centre industry

AvantiKumar | Feb. 3, 2010
Local contact centre industry to grow by 20 to 30 per cent in 2010: ININ
KUALA LUMPUR, 3 FEBRUARY 2010 -- Malaysia is on track to be a major hub of contact centre business in the Asia Pacific, according to business communications software firm Interactive Intelligence (ININ).

"Last year, Malaysia's contact centre market contributed 13-15 per cent to the Asia Pacific market, making it one of the leading contributors to the growth of the country," said ININ regional general manager for Asia, Simon Lee.

"In 2010, we expect 20-25 per cent growth, compared to 17 per cent in 2009, with a market size of US$27.52 million (RM94 million)," said Lee, citing data from analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. "Malaysia's contact centre total number of seats is expected to reach 32,470."

"For BPO (business process outsourcing) services, Malaysia is ranked third in the region, according to a study by consultant AT Kearney," he said.

"Malaysia's core differentiator is her pool of multilingual talents," said ININ ASEAN regional sales director, David Toh. "Apart from the English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil speaking communities, there is a growing pool of Korean and Japanese communities residing in Malaysia as well."

"Our Malaysian office is a regional centre," said Toh. "Seventy to eight per cent of issues are solved locally by local staff of more than 20 fully certified technical support professionals."

"Despite the downturn, 2009 was a good year for the company," he said, adding that further business came from local customers, which include Air Asia, UTS Telemarketing, Tourism Malaysia, and CIMB Group.

"There are plans to increase public sector accounts such as health, education and various state governments," said Toh. "We are also expanding our technical support staff in Malaysia by 50 per cent this year."

Founded in 1994, ININ is a NASDAQ public-listed company headquartered in the US, with more than 600 employees with strong emphasis on R&D. More than 3,000 organisations across different industry sectors are customers in more than 80 countries.

 Transforming call centres from cost to profit models

"One of our differentiators is that we supply the only all-in-one platform solution offered on the market that follows industry standards," Toh said. "CIC (customer interaction centre) is our flagship solution that is an all-in-one IP communication software suite targetting mid to large organisations."

He said the company focuses on three main areas - enterprise IP telephony, contact centre and business process automation. "We are excited about this product solution, which is an enhancement that automates some new contact centre processes."

Toh added that the entire mix of communication applications is created in-house. "These include PBX and/or IP PBX, unified messaging, speech recognition, interaction supervisor, e-mail services and so on, organised as a platform offering 100 per cent redundancy and backup."

"In addition, options such as outbound contact centre, which is telemarketing,  along with debt collection services  in respect of loans are powered by autodialling functions of our suite," he said. "This along with a host of functions helps to bring about a profit centre model for a call centre from what used to be traditionally a cost centre."

"Companies can choose between premise and an on-demand communications-as-a-service [CaaS] offering to benefit from an all-software architecture," said Toh.

"A second differentiator is the company's stress on innovation of call centre functionality that is often 12 to 18 months ahead of other providers," added Lee.  "We spend 17 per cent of our revenue globally on R&D, and the company won the Frost & Sullivan award for innovation last year."

"We firmly believe that Malaysia can be a hub for contact centres, as a spillover of outsourcing from traditional markets like India and Philippines is taking place," said Lee. "This, along with a steadily increasing infrastructure as well as support from government through MDeC, has further strengthened the attractiveness of Malaysia as the emerging hub for outsourcing."