Contact Centers under discussion at the 1st International Conference of the sector in Portugal

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Today began the first international conference of Contact Centers held in Portugal. With 260 registered participants, the event will debate over two days the main challenges of the sector, which in Portugal has about 450 companies. João Cardoso, president of the Portuguese Association of Contact Centers, organizer of the event in partnership with IDC, underlined the potential of the sector in Portugal and its average annual growth of 8 percent, to consider that the weight in the European context can increase significantly , namely through the export of services.

Currently Portugal has a weight of 1.3 percent in the sector at European level, employing around 45 thousand people. In Europe, the available data point to the existence of 29 thousand contact centers and 150 thousand employees, about 1 percent of the active population, underlined João Cardoso.

The association estimates that in Portugal the contact center sector, accounting for its added value, has a direct impact on GDP of 1.3 billion euros. In terms of time savings, the organization believes that the introduction of contact center services has an impact of 228 million hours annually on citizens’ lives, which in many cases eliminated the need to physically go to a particular institution to solve a problem. .

In his opening speech at the event, João Cardoso also stressed the need for a clear commitment to self-regulation, as a way of promoting sustained growth in the sector and avoiding more restrictive external regulation.

The Portuguese Association of Contact Centers was formally introduced at the beginning of the year and today has 19 members, representing around 20 percent of the sector. One of the main projects of the organization is to carry out a study that allows to know the sector in detail and diagnose its main problems and opportunities.

In order to carry out this work, the APCC is negotiating with a specialized partner that has the capacity to perform the task, he explained to Tek João Cardoso. The official does not yet have a date for the start or completion of the work, but he adds that it will already include data for 2005 that will allow a more accurate characterization of the national universe of contact centers.

For now it is clear that the market is «mostly composed of companies with less than 100 positions». Above that barrier will be only about 6 percent of players, estimates the responsible.

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