Call centers play a greater role in customer interaction than the internet but the two technologies are starting to merge, according to analysts, Ovum Inc, in a new report. The research says that the worldwide market for call center software will rise to $3.1bn in the year 2003, up from $580m in 1998. Growth will be further fueled by internet commerce, which the report says will help drive up the adoption of call center software because of the need to address customers’ requirements quickly and easily. The report identifies two main types of call center applications: specialized system and application development environments such as GT-X from Graham Technologies, and ready-made, but highly customizable, call center applications, such as TeamPoint from Point and VTT from Versatility. But it says that the two product types are converging, with development environments offering application templates with ready-made functionality and off-the- shelf applications offering sophisticated customization.