Huge Growth Predicted in Mobile Field Services

Global spending on speech-enabled mobile field service applications is expected to jump more than 35 percent per year over the next four years, according to a new Datamonitor report. Spending was at $16 million in 2005 and is expected to reach $72 million by 2010, says the report, entitled The Future of Speech in Mobile Field Services.

"We do see this as a growing market. It is still a pretty small market, but there is a lot of potential as speech recognition, in general, gains a greater mindshare. Individuals will be looking more at how speech can benefit the enterprise outside the contact center," says Daniel Hong, senior analyst at Datamonitor.

To achieve that level of growth, though, the market will require some assistance from speech vendors to continue. "The technology has to be validated by large-name players in the field services market with name brand and equity, such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, and IBM. By introducing speech into their current portfolios, it will help establish speech as a mature technology for enterprises to investigate and implement in their workforce," Hong states. The report also lists other influences that will affect the market trajectory, including the roles of resellers and systems integrators.

Even though the report doesn't go into great detail, it does show how "This is a new growth area to get into that has a very high potential, so it is important to the enterprise in the sense of a new way to do automation that is less expensive and offers positive attributes vs. previous technologies. It is also important to vendors who are looking for new areas to grow their businesses," says Doug Brown, senior director of product management at Datria Systems.

In drafting the report, Datamonitor conducted interviews with key vendors in the mobile field services area to determine what is happening in the market and translate that into an industry overview. Datria Systems was one of the companies involved in the survey.

Datamonitor went to great lengths to establish the major field service vendors and segment them into three areas of classification. "From an enterprise standpoint, these categories reflect the maturity of the vendor, which enables enterprises to determine key differentiators in the market space," Brown explains. The mobile field service vendors listed in the report include: Intervoice, LogicaCMG, ProNexus, Datria Systems, Gold Systems, Antenna Software, Metaphor Solutions, Twenty First Century Communications, Viecore, and Symbol (acquired by Motorola).

By reading this report, Hong hopes that individuals will "be able to understand that speech technology has matured and that it is a commercially-viable technology as well as that speech can be used in areas outside the contact center." Opportunities to save money and improve efficiency exist beyond the incoming call volumes in the everyday operations of employees on-the-go. "There is a really large opportunity for speech to have a major growth area and get a real surge of opportunity in what has been a plateauing market," Brown concludes.

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