Headsets On A High
Posted on 29/05/2013
Nimans is predicting a ‘perfect storm’ that will drive headsets sales into a new era of growth – based on advanced technology, customer demands, more manufacturer support and lower prices.
“All the big opportunities in the UK market are currently UC driven but we expect the general headset market will continue to blossom over the next few years,” says Richard Carter. “We recently landed a £500,000 order for 10,000 headsets (via a reseller) for an IT giant rolling out UC across Europe. This mirrors where the comms industry as a whole is heading. With UC you have the same headset whether you are in the car, office or home. Thee trends have been talked about a lot but it’s really happening now. The headset market has moved on tremendously in the last 12 months on the back of UC driving working practices and procedures. Home working is another influential factor.
“Five years ago, a headset would only pair via Bluetooth to your mobile phone. But now you can connect to a laptop, tablet, smartphone or deskphone for example. It’s about integrating lots of different communication devices via one headset. There’s some very clever and innovative technology being developed and this is further accelerating growth: UC and Microsoft optimised products. Prices continue to fall which again is another important consideration.”
Richard continued: “Growth forecasts with UC headsets are around 13% this year compared to 5% in the traditional call centre market and resellers should be able to capitalise in both areas. Corded remains the most popular in contact centres although UC is gaining ground.
“There’s more focus on the ‘last three feet’. Companies can spend millions upgrading their comms systems but they need to ensure their headsets are up to the job. Without a high performance headset everything can fall apart -voice, data and presence. The headset holds the key to it all because it’s the device that people have to use to communicate via voice.”
Richard says cordless DECT devices remain popular and are becoming even more affordable for small businesses, home offices and contact centres. “It’s refreshing to see people going wireless as work behaviour changes. There’s DECT technology that’s been developed specifically for hot desking. It pairs up automatically with any base station – generating much more freedom and flexibility. Resellers need to be aware that there are smarter ways of deployment.”
Richard concluded: “There’s currently a big focus on moving away from current sales practices. A lot of resellers say they don’t sell headsets because there’s no money in it, blaming the internet for trashing margin potential. However a lot of the big headset manufacturers have recognised this problem and have either set up or in the process of setting up accreditation partner programmes that control who can sell their products. They are trying to support resellers as much as possible. This isn’t going to happen overnight but I’d like to think in 12 months time there will be far more enthusiasm from the majority of resellers to sell many more headsets. It’s en education process. What they thought and what is the reality is, is often far different.”