Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

SAP Diversifies into Contact Center and Communications Technology Market

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 28, 2011 1:37:40 PM

Most people associate SAP with enterprise software: ERP, CRM and more recently with business analytics and business intelligence. The majority also see the company as committed to providing these as on-premises applications and having only begun its presence in cloud computing for business applications. But there’s more to the story, as I recently discovered. With its Business Communications Management (BCM) software SAP has quietly diversified into the contact center market, while at the same time increasing its presence in the cloud.

Read More

Topics: SAP, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Voice of the Customer, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Business Intelligence (BI), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Unified Communications

Verint and the Multichannel View of Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 27, 2011 10:46:03 AM

Verint’s Audiolog for Contact Centers provides recording and assessment of customer interactions. The latest product release adds functionality that the market wants. My latest research into the state of technology in contact centers confirms that most companies now support multiple channels of communications with their customers. The results show that companies on average support four channels, which may include anything from the telephone to text messaging, chat and social media. As well as the challenge of implementing and supporting these channels, companies need to understand  which ones most customers are using, for what purposes and how many channels they use to resolve their issues; it’s important to know, for example, if someone begins on the website, transitions to social media and finally calls the contact center.

Read More

Topics: Social Media, Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Verint

It’s Time for the Contact Center To Change

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 26, 2011 4:07:13 PM

Twenty years ago, when I began consulting in the contact center industry, building a call center was a hard, resource-consuming task. Just to begin handling calls required purchasing lots of proprietary equipment, such as PBXs and automatic call distributors (ACDs), as well as software for computer/telephony integration (CTI) and business applications such as case management and CRM – and then spending a lot of time and effort integrating them. Lots of tasks were managed using spreadsheets, and if you wanted anything more than the basic reports available from your PBX/ACD supplier, you would have to budget a great deal more money. Right from those early days, call center managers focused on efficiency and relied on basic metrics such as queue lengths, average call-handling time, hold times and call transfers.

Read More

Topics: Predictive Analytics, SAP, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, InContact, LiveOps, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Contactual

Interactive Intelligence Integrates Contact Center Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 22, 2011 7:11:34 AM

Interactive Intelligence (ININ) recently invited partners, consultants and analysts to Portugal to hear about the latest developments in its products. Not surprisingly given the extensive range of products it now supports, none of us had much time to enjoy Lisbon but were put through an intensive program of presentations and discussions.

Read More

Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, RightNow, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

PBBI Provides Portrait of Customers through Predictive Analytics

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 13, 2011 9:25:21 PM

Since last summer, Portrait Software has been part of the Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI) subsidiary. Since the acquisition the combined teams have been putting together a comprehensive set of products to support data quality and customer interaction management. The suite includes the Portrait Self-Service Analytics, Miner, Uplift, Uplift Optimizer, Dialogue, Interaction Optimizer and Foundation modules. The first four provide insights to understand customer interactions and the other three support acting on those insights. Recently PBBI announced updates to both Miner version 6.0 and Uplift Optimizer.

Read More

Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Data Mining, Sales Performance Management (SPM)

Executives Learn about Advances in Customer Experience Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 6, 2011 5:50:12 PM

IQPC Europe, a global organizer of business conferences, recently held its Executive Customer Contact Exchange, where contact center and customer service executives and senior managers gathered to find out about developments in the management of customer interactions and the customer experience. Attendees had a variety of reasons for coming; the largest group consisted of attendees who  (29%) said they were interested in customer experience management (CEM), while others expressed interest in specific applications or systems (18%), multichannel customer service (10%), self-service (10%) and social media (8%). The remaining one-fourth said they were interested in various subjects including performance management, outsourcing, agent training and scheduling. The low interest in social media seems to go against the media hype about this channel but reflects my latest research into the state of technology in contact centers, which shows that less than one-quarter of companies have implemented social media.

Read More

Topics: Social Media, Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

Contactual Delivers Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 1, 2011 7:27:57 AM

Creating the technology architecture for a modern contact center is no easy task. To do so, companies typically have to integrate lots of technology: systems to manage their communication channels (voice, e-mail, postal mail, mobile, Web, IM, etc.), systems to route interactions to the best available resource to handle the interaction, be it human or automated (routing, IVR, CTI, etc.), applications to manage the workforce that is handling interactions (quality monitoring, workforce management, training, coaching, etc.), applications to manage business transactions resulting from the interactions (CRM, ERP, billing, etc.), and performance management systems (operational, business, speech, text, social media, desktop analytics). In my recent blog about the contact center technology revolution in 2011, I alluded to the fact that some vendors are making this task easier by making many of these systems available in the cloud and pre-integrating them.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Cloud Computing, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Contactual