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News | 08/04/2005 4:00 am EDT

Hosted voice services on the upswing
North American businesses will boost sales of hosted and managed speech services to 15% year-over-year growth through the next four years, according to the IT industry observers at Datamonitor. In its latest report, entitled Voice as a Service, the New York-based research company says growth will be spurred by two factors: IVR vendors trying to stem sliding revenues by focusing on new opportunities; and smaller communication service providers that are gaining steam. Businesses are eyeing hosted voice services as a low-upfront-cost alternative to expensive CPE-based systems, Datamonitor said late last month. As well, businesses increasingly view voice applications as customer-service enablers with a quick return on investment. By 2009 hosted speech service spending will hit US$849 million. In 2004, companies spent US$419 million on this sort of product. While the financial services sector will continue to play a strong role in those future sales, Datamonitor said the public sector and the travel and tourism sector are ramping up their investments in hosted voice services as well.

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