The increasing complexity of the digital space is leading to a new era of consolidation, with companies looking to integrate a wider skills pool to compete on a customer service level, according to South African company EOH Digital.

According to the end-to-end web, mobile, social and marketing solutions company, 2013 saw connectivity in South Africa increase significantly – from all sides including network, device and services – leading “visionary” companies to realise they must invest in customer experience enhancements.

“It has been long talked about, but we’re seeing more and more companies shift from product or service-centric viewpoints to genuine customer-centricity,” said EOH.

“This all about embracing the customer experience as a competitive advantage, usually with a heavy focus on leveraging digital channels, sophisticated workflow engines and advanced analytics to delight customers.”

The company said customer acquisition is no longer the core focus, but rather there is a shift to providing a personalised and convenient experience which will improve customer retention.

Given the changes in the market, companies are increasingly opting to expand their skills through mergers and acquisitions taking place across the sector, pointing to the maturing of the market, EOH said.

“The digital sector is maturing, so it’s hardly surprising that we’re seeing a new wave of consolidation take place. We’re seeing big mergers and acquisitions by the global tech giants – the likes of, IBM, SAP and Oracle keep digging into their pockets to strengthen their technology platforms,” said EOH.

“Web and social media services companies such as Facebook and Google are buying up any companies they see as a potential threat or as a source of hot skills or new technologies. And closer to home, we’ve seen much consolidation among digital agencies and consultancies.

“All of this consolidation activity points to the growing complexity of the digital space. Companies need a broad set of skills to handle the systems integration, business process, strategic and creative aspects of digitising their customer experiences. We can expect this trend to continue this year.”

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