BT plans to launch CRM services in Irish market

28 Oct 2003

Esat BT’s parent company is to begin targeting the Irish contact centre market with one-stop shop customer relationship management (CRM) infrastructure services as well as outsourced call centre activities.

Ian Seedhouse, European marketing manager for CRM at BT Global, told that the company has formed an alliance with Swords-based outsourced call centre service provider ClientLogic to provide call centre activities to Irish companies on an outsourced basis.

As well as this BT will begin pushing multimedia call centre services ranging from CRM software to contact centre infrastructure and technology to the Irish market base. Among the products will be a Siebel-based CRM product called Agile Contact Central.

While many businesses have a call centre operation or have implemented ad hoc CRM initiatives, they are not necessarily part of a consistent CRM strategy that impacts upon all areas of a business, explained Seedhouse.

The European market for CRM services is growing rapidly and Gartner estimates that it will be worth €22.2bn by 2006. According to the research group, 60-70pc of EU businesses have already implemented CRM technology or have call centre operations and this is set to grow even further in the next three years.

According to pan-European research carried out by Prodata there are a total of 12,000 call centre agents working in 160 call centres in Ireland. Many of these are owned by multinationals and are focused on the ICT, travel, financial services and telecoms sectors. As well as this up to 10pc of these call centres operate on an outsourced basis.

Some 50pc of Irish businesses currently have an in-house call centre and research by Prodata indicates that 25pc of Irish businesses not currently using hosting or outsourcing would consider doing so in the future.

According to Seedhouse: “We have been up and running in Ireland for the past few months and are beginning to accelerate our push into the Irish market.” He said that the projects can range from handling a few seats to hundreds of workers and the company is conducting a similar exercise in Malaysia.

By John Kennedy