Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Actuate Brings Business Intelligence to Customer Information

Posted by Richard Snow on Nov 21, 2011 10:02:49 AM

Actuate, which develops commercial versions of the open source Business Intelligence Reporting Tool (BIRT) technology, recently held a one-day event in London. My colleague Mark Smith covers Actuate’s products, but I was impressed by the simplicity of the company’s message, the core of which is that the ActuateOne suite of products allows companies to extract data from multiple data sources, use one product to analyze it and present the results in multiple formats in response to individual user requirements. A key component of this visualization is how easily it can display the results on smartphones and tablets. Actuate presenters demonstrated these capabilities in a lengthy session designed to show that this is “BI for the layman”; that is, after some from help from IT in setting up access to data sources, users can do everything else through the software’s drag-and-drop capabilities. My recent benchmark research into contact center analytics suggests that such simplicity is critical for more business users to adopt BI; if companies are to move away from using spreadsheets to produce their customer and contact center analyses, in addition to being able to do more the new products will have to be as easy to use as spreadsheets.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, 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, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Actuate, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Contact Centers Should Align Objectives and Metrics

Posted by Richard Snow on Nov 10, 2011 9:59:32 AM

It never ceases to amaze me, when you ask people what their business objectives are and how they are measured, how often the two have little in common. This has been the case consistently in the research I have carried out over the last eight years into customer service and contact center performance. The main objective for contact centers is to improve customer satisfaction, but the key performance metric is average call-handling time. Despite hours of contemplation and discussions with colleagues, I still can’t see how one relates to the other.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, 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, 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, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Zeacom Simplifies Multichannel Interaction Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Nov 8, 2011 11:27:17 PM

For years building a call center was technically challenging as it typically involved integrating proprietary products from multiple vendors. Although more vendors now offer integrated solutions, even these can difficult to administer and use because of variable user interfaces and gaps in the integration. These challenges become harder as companies expand their contact centers to support multiple communication channels and agents of several kinds dispersed over multiple locations.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Zeacom

Despite Recession, Acquisitions Continue in Contact Center Market

Posted by Richard Snow on Nov 2, 2011 12:41:29 AM

It has been a busy year for relationships among vendors in the contact center market and despite tough economic times, it doesn’t look like things are slowing down. For example, early this year Salesforce.com acquired Radian6 to strengthen its position as a supplier for what it calls “the social enterprise.” This is not a term I particularly like, but there is no doubt CEOs are interested in understanding what customers are saying about them on social media, and so this looks like a smart move. Just how many companies fully understand social media and the implications for their business is another question, but social media is not going to go away so I expect more companies to develop plans for it in 2012.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, 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, 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, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), [Vendor references]