Five9 Launches Global Engagement Center

Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement shows the telephone is far from dead as a channel of customer engagement. Although the research shows other channels are...Read more

NICE Integrates Cloud Platform for Customer Engagement

Our benchmark research over the last couple of years confirms what we all instinctively know: Consumers engage with each other and organizations using an increasing number of engagement channels....Read more

Aspect Software Makes Progress with New Customer Engagement Center

Not many years ago, building and running a contact center was a complex task. Organizations typically had to license all the systems they required (most of them proprietary and on-premises),...Read more

RingCentral Integrates Contact Center and Unified Communications

Customer engagement is undergoing its biggest transformation in decades. Consumers now use a significantly greater number and variety of channels to engage with organizations – everything from phone,...Read more

Amazon Web Services Introduces Turmoil to Contact Centers

I have been involved in the call center market for around 30 years, first as a consultant building call centers for organizations and later as an analyst covering developments in organizations’...Read more

Verint Ups Its Game in Knowledge Management

Customer engagement is nothing new – organizations have been engaging with customers in one way or another ever since business began. Over the years, however, the nature of this engagement has...Read more

Genesys Doubles Down on Customer Experience Platform

Today many conversations about contact centers and CRM focus on customer engagement and the customer experience. Customer engagement should be relatively straightforward, addressing how organizations...Read more

Technology Improves Customer Experience: Does Yours?

Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement finds that three-quarters (77%) of organizations participating in the research said  it is very important to improve the way...Read more

Customer Expectations Remain a Business and Technology Challenge

Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement shows that companies use, on average, seven channels of communication to engage customers. It also finds that supporting multiple...Read more

NICE Evolves Workforce Optimization Portfolio for Customer Excellence

I recently discussed how NICE continues to invest in its core products while creating a full customer experience platform, combining its core offerings with products newly acquired  from...Read more

Pitney Bowes Innovates Customer Engagement

Our benchmark research into the next-generation contact center in the cloud shows that organizations are supporting more and more channels of engagement; an emerging one is video. Adoption rates...Read more

Imperative for Customer Engagement Needs Attention

Not long ago, organizations engaged with customers by meeting them in person, speaking with them on the telephone or writing to them. To be competitive today, however, organizations cannot confine...Read more

mplsystems Optimizes Omnichannel Engagement

Our benchmark research into next-generation contact centers in the cloud confirms what many others are writing and talking about – that customer experience is now the business differentiator....Read more

NGDATA Innovates on DNA of the Customer

Ever since I became involved in the CRM and customer service markets, everyone – businesses, vendors, consultants and analysts – has been talking and writing about the “360-degree view of the...Read more

Genesys Advances Engagement and Optimization of Customers

In tracking Genesys for several years I have seen it grow through a series of product developments and acquisitions – from predominantly selling call routing and computer/telephony integration...Read more

Content Guru Brings Interactions to Cloud for Customer Engagement

Until recently, the contact center technology systems market was straightforward. Vendors typically provided on-premises systems that fell into four broad categories: telephony management, workforce...Read more

NICE and the Customer Experience Platform

In tracking NICE for a decade I have seen the company grow, through a series of acquisitions and product developments, from a vendor largely of workforce management systems to one that offers a...Read more

ShoreTel Offers Communications and Contact Centers

Until recently most organizations deployed systems on their own premises to build communications and contact center infrastructures, which often required them to integrate products from several...Read more

Zendesk Puts Real Meaning Back into CRM

One of the first applications I learned about in the contact center market was customer relationship management (CRM). The core capabilities of a CRM system were to manage customer data, marketing...Read more

Customer Experience Research Agenda for 2017

In 2016 Ventana Research saw a significant shift in the customer engagement and contact center software markets. Our benchmark research into the next-generation contact center in the cloud shows...Read more

Nexidia Unifies Interaction Analytics

NICE is a longstanding provider of contact center systems. At the beginning of 2016 NICE acquired Nexidia, a provider of customer analytics, which raised questions about the future of the acquired...Read more

USAN Integrates Management of Contact Centers and Communication Channels

Over the last few years the telecommunications and call center industries have undergone radical changes. Telecommunications was mainly in the hands of national and regional telecom companies, which...Read more

Teleopti Targets Workforce Management for Contact Centers

Our benchmark research into the next-generation contact center in the cloud shows that the telephone and other nondigital communication channels are far from obsolete: Participating...Read more

CallMiner Advances Customer Engagement Analytics

Our benchmark research into the next-generation contact center in the cloud confirms what most people intuitively know – that consumers now engage with each other and organizations through more...Read more

Zuora Empowers the Subscription Economy

Zuora provides software that supports the rapidly expanding subscription economy. I recently attended the company’s user event in London, called subscribe16. During his keynote speech CEO Tien Tzuo...Read more

Verint Advances Voice of the Customer

Verint is an established vendor of contact center systems. Its portfolio of products includes digital customer engagement, knowledge management, agent desktop, workforce optimization (for which...Read more

NICE Robotic Automation Improves Interaction Experience

Robotics is nothing new to some aspects of manufacturing and the IT industry, but it is relatively new in the customer experience (CX) market. The term often conjures up images of little gray...Read more

Clarabridge Engages Customer Experience

Analysts have been talking and writing about a “360 degree” view of the customer for years. Our own benchmark research into customer relationship management shows that only37 percent of organizations...Read more

SugarCRM Stays True to Its Vision

In the late 1990s, CRM systems were launched to help organizations become customer-centric, to manage customer relationships from end to end, through marketing to sales to customer service, and to...Read more

NGData Delivers DNA on Customers

During a recent briefing with NGData, I was initially put off by excessive “marketing speak.” The team began by describing its product, Lily Enterprise, as a “customer experience operating system.”...Read more

Evaluagent Focuses on Agent Engagement

Evaluagent is a U.K.-based company founded in 2012 that is carving out a niche in the workforce optimization market. Whereas most WFO vendors offer broad portfolios of products that focus on...Read more

NICE Advances Contact Centers for SMB

Over the years, our benchmark research studies on contact center systems have shown that larger centers use dedicated contact center systems to support their operations nearly twice as often as...Read more

Industry Changes Shake Up Customer Experience Management

I have been involved in the call center and customer engagement market for more than 25 years, first as a consultant and systems integrator and for the past 11 years as an industry analyst. There...Read more

Aspect Provides Customer Engagement Center in the Cloud

Aspect is a well-established global provider of contact center systems. Its portfolio of products includes applications for contact centers, self-service, workforce optimization and analytics. In May...Read more

Value Index Analysis Finds Workforce Optimization Market Mature

Ventana Research has published its Workforce Optimization 2016 Value Index. The Value Index provides a comprehensive evaluation of contact center workforce optimization vendors based on responses to...Read more

Verint Adds Robotic Process Automation to Its Portfolio

Verint is an established vendor of workforce optimization products that was the top-ranked vendor in our 2015 Workforce optimization Value Index. However, like many other large vendors in this...Read more

Five9 Contact Center System Provides Omnichannel Customer Experiences

Five9 provides contact center in the cloud systems. Its Virtual Contact Center is essentially communication infrastructure software deployed through cloud computing. At the heart of its products...Read more

Upstream Works Delivers Omnichannel Experience for Customers

Since I last wrote about Upstream Works it has expanded its focus on contact center agent efficiency and effectiveness to include omnichannel customer experience. Each of its core products has...Read more

Cloud-Based Contact Center Systems Embrace Analytics and Communications

I recently wrote that companies are struggling to provide omnichannel customer experiences and digital customer service is now seen as a business differentiator. To address these issues,...Read more

Workforce Optimization Undergoes Radical Change – Ready?

In today’s intensely competitive markets, companies must strive to meet customer expectations during every interaction, and interactions occur through many channels. Our benchmark research into...Read more

SAS Make Customer Intelligence Engaging and Valuable

My colleague David Menninger recently wrote about the SAS Analyst Summit, concluding that “the SAS analytics juggernaut keeps on truckin’.” He observed, as I have done in the past, that SAS has...Read more

Market Research Finds Omnichannel Issues in Customer Service

In our benchmark research into the next-generation contact center in the cloud more than two-thirds (69%) of organizations said they need to improve customer service, and market dynamics require...Read more

NICE Systems Doubles Down on Customer Experience

NICE Systems was one of the first vendors I started to cover when I joined Ventana Research more than 11 years ago. Back then it was a pure-play vendor of workforce optimization (WFO) systems...Read more

Contact Centers Need Radical Change to Meet Consumers’ Expectations

I have been involved in the contact center industry for more than 25 years and often see organizations that are slow in keeping up with consumers’ expectations; many of them seem reluctant to change,...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Enables Contact Center in the Cloud

I recently attended the Interactive Intelligence Interactions 2016 conference and came away with four key insights regarding the company’s plans and progress in providing contact centers in the...Read more

Verint Gains Innovative Products through Acquisition of Contact Solutions

Verint is an established vendor of workforce optimization, advanced analytics and self-service products for customer experience management. Recently it announced its acquisition of Contact...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Doubles Down on Cloud Computing

Six months ago I wrote that Interactive Intelligence bases its product strategy on continued support of its three core products: CIC, CaaS and PureCloud. During a recent briefing CMO Jeff Platón...Read more

Genesys Has New Impetus for 2016

During a recent analyst briefing, I learned that Genesys finished 2015 with a bang and enters 2016 with high expectations. Last year it made several changes at the top of the organization,...Read more

TelStrat Achieves Success with Workforce Optimization in the Cloud

TelStrat is a company with a long history. Founded in 1993 it initially resold products of Nortel, Cisco and other telecom equipment vendors. The first product it developed and brought to market...Read more

Research Agenda: Transforming Customer Engagement in 2016

I have been involved in the contact center, CRM and customer engagement business for more than 25 years. Yet only in the past few years have I seen much change. Until recently nearly all...Read more

Customer Experience in 2016 Infuses New Digital Technologies

There were significant technology developments in customer experience management during 2015. Multichannel contact centers in the cloud took hold of the contact center infrastructure market; I...Read more

mplsystems Offers Array of Customer Experience Support for Contact Centers

Based in the U.K., mplsystems is a relatively small vendor of contact center in the cloud systems, having fewer than 200 employees, but it has a distinct portfolio of products. Its core product,...Read more

Diabolocom Provides Customer Interaction in the Cloud Solution

In our benchmark research into contact centers in the cloud, nearly two-thirds (63%) of companies said that adopting applications in the cloud would enable them to improve how they handle customer...Read more

Oracle Advances Applications and Technology for Customer Experience

Oracle has built one of the world’s largest software portfolios through a combination of developing products in-house and acquisitions. In the last few years it has put great effort into...Read more

Intradiem Enables Real-Time for Agents and Work

When I last wrote about Intradiem, its focus was on using numerous sources of data as input for a rules engine that enables companies to make better use of customer service agents’ idle time by...Read more

dvsAnalytics Makes Strong Showing in Workforce Optimization

Having covered workforce optimization systems for more than 10 years, recently I was contacted for a briefing by dvsAnalytics. I quickly learned that the analytics mentioned in the company’s name are...Read more

Enghouse Evolves Products for Contact Center Demands

Over the last few years, through a combination of acquisitions and internal development, Enghouse Interactive has developed a portfolio of contact center products and services. Recently it announced...Read more

Transera Embraces and Analytics

Transera is an established vendor of contact center in the cloud systems and analytics, and as I discovered at the Salesforce Dreamforce ’15 conference and during a recent briefing, it has added...Read more

LiveOps Empowers Contact Center in the Cloud

Founded in 2000, LiveOps has evolved a unique two-sided business model. On one side is LiveOps Agents on Demand,  an Uber-like business in which home-based workers sign-up as LiveOps agents, and...Read more

Three Tools to Boost Omnichannel Customer Experience

Much is written about omnichannel customer experience, and various software vendors now claim to focus on the customer experience. With various degrees of credibility they range from providers of...Read more

Subscriber Experience Impacts Recurring Revenue

The digital economy has changed the way many companies provide products. Some no longer deliver packaged products but provide them as services over a network, typically the Internet....Read more

Genesys Brings G-Force to Powering a Better Customer Experience

I recently joined more than 1,000 users, partners, consultants and other analysts at the first global G-Force 2015 conference, held in Miami. Sponsor Genesys put together an agenda that not only...Read more

Insights from Dreamforce ‘15 Exceeds Expectations

I recently attended my first U.S. Dreamforce, the annual event designed to showcase its products and services as well as those of its partners, and I was impressed. I was told...Read more

ResponseTek Makes Customer Experience Management Simple and Sophisticated

ResponseTek is a software vendor whose platform and services help companies collect and act on feedback from their customers. It supports a closed-loop process that collects feedback, analyzes...Read more

Calabrio Supercharges Workforce Optimization with Analytics for Customer Engagement

Calabrio is a vendor of workforce optimization software whose core product is Calabrio ONE. It includes the common workforce optimization applications: call recording, quality management, workforce...Read more

NICE Delivers Customer Journey Maps for Customer Engagement

Through a continuing program of acquisitions and internal development, NICE Systems has transitioned from being a vendor of workforce optimization systems to one focused on aspects of the...Read more

Pitney Bowes Doubles Down on Customer Engagement

From its history of managing postal mail, Pitney Bowes has expanded into products for data management, analytics and location intelligence, as my colleague Mark Smith noted. Continuing this expansion...Read more

Interactive Intelligence and Omnichannel Customer Engagement

At the end of last year, I wrote about Interactive Intelligence’s release of a new service, PureCloud. It was the company’s first step into the multitenant cloud computing market, using Amazon...Read more

Is NPS the Best Measure of Customer Experience?

Recently my colleague Tony Cosentino wrote an analyst perspective asserting that big data analytics will displace net promoter score (NPS) for more effectively measuring the entire customer...Read more

Upstream Works Helps Customer Service Agents Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness

My research and experience show that contact center agents and others handling customer interactions face the continuing challenge of meeting customer expectations while keeping down the cost of...Read more

Companies Need Disruptive Customer Experience Technologies

Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement finds that the top priorities in customer service for companies are to improve the customer experience (said 74%) and their...Read more

Envision Offers Comprehensive Suite for Workforce Optimization

Envision is a vendor of workforce optimization software that I have been following for many years. It is rated a Hot vendor in our 2015 Workforce Optimization Value Index. It offers a full suite...Read more

OnviSource Opens Up Workforce Optimization for Contact Center Excellence

OnviSource is a 10-year-old vendor of workforce optimization software whose core product, OnviCenter 7, includes interaction capture, quality monitoring, workforce management, coaching and training,...Read more

Corvisa Brings New Generation of Contact Center Communications in the Cloud

Contact centers in the cloud are increasingly popular alternatives to managing them on a company’s own premises. Running many business applications on hardware owned and managed by a third party is...Read more

Salesforce Helps Companies Innovate in Customer Management

In recent years I have tracked Salesforce, its product development and its announcements. Despite having grown into a giant corporation, it continues to introduce innovations. At a recent analyst day...Read more

Genesys Advances Omnichannel Experience for Customer Engagement

I recently wrote about six technologies that can help companies deliver experiences that live up to their customers’ expectations: an integrated multichannel infrastructure, analytics, a smart...Read more

Verint Introduces Gamification Software to Motivate and Engage the Workforce

Some new words can give the wrong impression. Take “gamification,” for example. It may sound as if employers are inviting their employees to play games just for fun, when actually this is a technique...Read more

NICE Systems Engages Analytics to Optimize Customer Experience

NICE Systems is an established vendor of workforce optimization products that has long included analytics in its portfolio. Its latest release in this area, NICE Customer Experience Analytics,...Read more

Panviva Embraces Cloud Computing for Guiding People and Business Processes

When I last wrote about Panviva I likened its product SupportPoint to a smart agent desktop – a system that helps contact center agents access the information they need to handle customer...Read more

In the Digital Economy, the Customer Experience Is Critical

Advertising and marketers tell us we now live in a “digital economy.” That implies the economy is based on and depends on digital technologies. It certainly is true that many consumers, especially...Read more

New Research to Examine Best Practices in Customer Interactions and Experience with Cloud Computing

In 2013, Ventana Research carried out groundbreaking benchmark research into contact centers in the cloud. It revealed that customer pressures have forced companies to support an increasing variety...Read more

Verint Engages on Customer Engagement

In covering Verint for several years I have watched it go from selling call recording systems to adding workforce optimization software, analytics, and support for multiple channels of...Read more

Nexidia Brings Compliance and Process Management to Interaction Analytics

Nexidia is a leading vendor of speech analytics vendor. I recently wrote about how it has enhanced its architecture to include text analytics and improve overall system performance. Version 11...Read more

VPI Applies Business Intelligence to Customer Experience

VPI is a well-established vendor of workforce optimization systems and rated a Hot Vendor in our 2015 Workforce Optimization Value Index. It offers a full suite of products for this market....Read more

Enghouse Interactive Expands Portfolio of Contact Center Systems

Enghouse Interactive is one of three divisions of Enghouse Systems, a publicly traded Canadian company founded in 1984. The other two divisions provide network technology to telecommunications...Read more

Tracking the Customer Journey Is Critical for Engagement

Competition for customers is more intense today than ever before, and companies struggle to differentiate themselves from the competition. Our research repeatedly finds that customer experience is a...Read more

Verint Advances Feedback Management to Improve Customer Experience

Verint entered the enterprise market for customer feedback management when it acquired Vovici in August 2011. Since then the Vovici products have been integrated into Verint’s Customer...Read more

Cisco Provides a Portfolio of Contact Center Products

I recently attended a Cisco Collaboration analyst day in the U.K. and was impressed by what I heard and saw. Cisco  of course is known as a supplier of network equipment and software,...Read more

Genesys and Workforce Optimization

Genesys is best known as a provider of contact center management systems and has long provided computer/telephony integration (CTI) and single-queue call routing systems. Over the past few years...Read more

Research Agenda: Customer Technology for 2015

I recently wrote about customer experience lessons I learned during 2014 and the technologies required to deliver EPIC experiences. Both of these analyses focus on the people, processes,...Read more

Technology Requirements for Providing an EPIC Customer Experience

Customer Experience was one of the subjects most talked and written about during 2014, and I expect this to continue in 2015. Many observers and analysts, including me, believe it can be the...Read more

Workforce Optimization Software Vendor Ratings in Perspective

As with many other research topics, Ventana Research investigates workforce optimization in two ways. Our benchmark research into next-generation workforce optimization assesses how companies...Read more

ManyWho Brings New Approach to Workflow and Business Efficiency

ManyWho was launched in May 2013 by two former executives, Dave Norris and Steve Wood. They branded it the Cloud Workflow Company, It offers an innovative approach that allows...Read more

Customer Engagement Analytics Getting Simpler with Verint

Verint is a well-established vendor of workforce optimization systems. It recently acquired KANA Software, as I discussed, which enabled Verint to move further into the customer engagement...Read more

Salesforce Innovates in Customer Engagement

When began in 1999 its stated intent was “to reinvent CRM in the cloud.” In 15 years, the company has achieved much more than that, having a major impact on the way IT systems are...Read more

Lessons Learned about the Customer Experience in 2014

During this year talk has been widespread about the customer experience, which is good. What is not so good is that, according to my benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement, most...Read more

Workforce Optimization Vendors Rated in 2015 Ventana Research Value Index

The Ventana Research Value Index for Workforce Optimization in 2015 is now released. Workforce optimization covers all aspects of managing everyone who handles customer interactions and is thus...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Innovates in the Cloud for Contact Centers

Interactive Intelligence is a well-established supplier of contact center systems and just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Customer Interaction Center (CIC) is its on-premises product,...Read more

IBM Enables Business Innovation from 21st Century Technology

Those of us who have been in the technology industry for many years remember the phrase “No one ever got fired for buying IBM.” Then IBM was both a hardware and a system software vendor, and most IT...Read more

NICE Systems Delivers Customer Engage Platform

I recently wrote about NICE Systems expanding beyond workforce optimization, including more analytics in its product portfolio. This expansion is continuing. NICE recently announced the NICE...Read more

NICE Systems and Customer Engagement Analytics

I recently wrote about NICE Systems’ acquisition of Causata to enhance its analytics capabilities and expand from workforce optimization into customer experience management. NICE recently...Read more

NewVoiceMedia Advance Cloud-Based Contact Center Technology

Recently NewVoiceMedia announced that it has raised $50 million to fund its growth. The company was founded in 2000 in the U.K., initially offering call management and routing as cloud-based systems....Read more

Oracle Customer Experience in the Cloud

Oracle has a large and diverse set of products and now has most of its business applications operating in the private and public cloud. However, some recent acquisitions have enabled it to focus...Read more

IBM Brings Sophistication to Customer Analytics and Prediction

During recent IBM analyst big data event, I learned about a new product, IBM Predictive Customer Intelligence. It extracts and processes customer-related data from multiple sources to analyze...Read more

SAS Helps Manage Interactions and Gain Insights on Customers

By its own admission, SAS has a very large software portfolio (of more than 250 individual products), and it continues to develop and release more products and updates to existing ones....Read more

Nexidia Brings Sophistication to Customer Interaction Analytics

Last year I assessed how Nexidia had advanced its products to support customer interaction analytics. Since then the market has changed, and Nexidia continues to expand its products to meet a broader...Read more

New Generation of Recurring Revenue and Billing Inspired from Cloud Computing

Much has been written about how cloud computing changes the way businesses source their software and services. For software companies, instead of being installed inside the company, software like...Read more

8x8 Integrates Communications and Contact Center in the Cloud

8x8, Inc. was founded in the 1980’s to provide semiconductor products to the emerging personal computer market; in 2002 it was relaunched to focus on Voice over IP (VoIP) services. By 2008 it...Read more

Genesys and IBM to Improve Customer Engagement with IBM Watson

The contact center market continues to shift focus from handling customer calls as efficiently as possible to providing superior customer engagement across multiple touch points. The latest...Read more

NICE Systems Closes Voice of the Customer Loop

NICE Systems is best known for its suite of workforce optimization products [] that I recently assessed. However, after attending its user...Read more

InContact Advances Workforce Optimization for Contact Centers

InContact has cloud-based products that cover multichannel communications infrastructure (sometimes referred to as a “contact center in the cloud”) and workforce optimization. The channel...Read more

Contact Center Expo 2014 Highlights Cloud Computing and Customer Experience

I recently presented at the 2014 ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference and have a few insights I want to share. I was impressed by the two main keynote speeches. In the first Bill Rancic,...Read more

Panviva Enables Smarter Customer Service

On its website Panviva describes itself as providing “business process guidance,” which is a phrase I was notfamiliar with. As I searched the site, I found messages such as”it’s all about...Read more

OpenSpan Makes Smart Agent Desktop Simpler

My benchmark research into the smart agent desktop finds that in nearly two-thirds (65%) of companies, contact center agents have to access multiple systems as they try to resolve customer...Read more

NICE Delivers Customer Interactions with Next Generation Workforce Optimization

In my research of NICE Systems for several years I have remarked often that its biggest challenge is to integrate all the products that now make up its Customer Interaction Management suite....Read more

Customer Analytics Research Reveals Required Capabilities for Software

Our recently released research into next-generation customer analytics shows that the most participants (52%) use spreadsheets as a customer analytics tool. I recently wrote that...Read more

Confirmit Advances Social Analytics for Voice of Customer

The last time I reviewed Confirmit it had just acquired CustomerSat and was re-engineering its products to support a broader approach to voice of the customer (VOC), which Ventana Research...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Advances Contact Center Software Portfolio

Building a contact center is growing in complexity as companies struggle to support customers’ ever-higher expectations. Customers now insist on engaging with companies through the channel of their...Read more

Customer Analytics Deserve More Than Spreadsheets

I recently completed two closely related benchmark research reports, on next-generation customer engagement and next-generation customer analytics. The  research on customer...Read more Continues Move to be Platform Provider began with a simple message: On-premises CRM has come to the end of its useful life, and the way forward is cloud-based CRM. I have written several times that the company has won this...Read more

The Future of Customer Engagement Is Complicated

In my benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement three-quarters (77%) of participating companies said it is necessary to improve the way they engage with customers. The...Read more

Envision Takes Workforce Optimization to the Cloud

Envision has carved out a slice of the workforce optimization market by offering its suite of products as cloud-based services. In addition to core products such as interaction recording,...Read more

Uptivity Launches Gamification Capabilities for Workforces

I am not comfortable with the term “gamification” used in the context of business applications. It sounds as if employees are officially allowed to play games while working and thus take their...Read more

Customer Engagement in 2014: Agenda for Delivering Best Customer Experience

In 2013 we continued to see change in the contact center, customer service and customer experience markets: Consumers’ communication habits continued to evolve, more business units outside the...Read more

Verint Doubles Down on Customer Engagement with Acquisition of KANA

Verint recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire KANA Software. Its goal, in the words of the press release, is to “transform the way organizations engage with their customers.”...Read more

Infor Makes Customer Experience Management Simpler for Marketing

I recently wrote that Infor aims to reinvent business applications and its new developments make it a vendor to watch. I was therefore intrigued to have a demonstration of its latest...Read more

Aria Makes Billing Simple for Recurring Revenue

I have written lately about how digital customers change customer engagement. It’s no surprise that at the heart of this change, as well as many others that impact business, is the Internet....Read more

Companies Struggle to Engage with Customers Digitally

If you stop to compare communication preferences of the past to those of today, you can’t fail to notice some major changes, especially in younger generations. Talking on the phone – fixed or mobile...Read more

Failure in Agent Workforce Optimization Adoption Plagues Customer Interaction

Ventana Research defines workforce optimization as a set of processes and technology for customer agents that include interaction (call) recording, quality monitoring, workforce management, training...Read more

No Need to Dream of Customer Engagement at Dreamforce

I recently wrote how the recent U.K.-based Call Centre Expo showed that companies have shifted priorities for deployment systems from on-premises infrastructures to cloud-based systems and...Read more

Companies Need to Reconcile Customer Interaction Priorities

Today companies handle an increasing number of customer interactions and they do this through a greater number and variety of communication channels, and by using more employees that are dispersed...Read more

Infor Aims to Reinvent Business Applications

Infor is a vendor I haven’t covered much in the past, but after attending the recent Infor on the Road day in the U.K. that is about to change. I viewed Infor as basically a CRM vendor, and I...Read more

Zeacom Communication Center 7.0 Modernizes the Agent Desktop

When I last reviewed contact center vendor Zeacom it was in the process of being acquired by Enghouse Interactive, with its primary goal being a more global presence. At the time Zeacom’s main...Read more

IBM Social Business Bets on Key Application and Technologies

I recently attended an IBM event about its new social business products and services. I was skeptical at first: I have seen another vendor’s “social enterprise” come and go, and although...Read more

Key Insights from Call Centre Expo 2013

Two years ago I wrote about communications in the cloud taking over the annual U.K. contact center event Call Centre Expo. Now that dominance is almost complete. At one point at this year’s event I...Read more

Verint Utilizes Voice and Feedback to Advance Employees and Customer Satisfaction

Verint has been a major player in the workforce optimization and voice of the customer (VoC) feedback markets for several years. As I noted in a previous analysis, its major challenges stem from...Read more

Nexidia Advances Customer Interaction Analytics

Nexidia is best known as a vendor of speech analytics. It was one of the first in this market, and a key differentiator is that its product uses phonetics to identify words and phrases embedded...Read more

ResponseTek Goes Mobile for Customer Insight

ResponseTek is a well-established player in the marketing and customer feedback markets. It has four products that cover market research, customer feedback, knowledge management and...Read more

The Real Truth on Agent Performance and Workforce Optimization

Ventana Research believes that in today’s highly competitive markets the most important factor is the customer experience, or to be more precise, the way agents handle customer interactions and their...Read more

CallCopy Brings Insights to Agent Performance through Analytics

In my last review of CallCopy I wrote that it was moving further from its origin as a call recording vendor by expanding its product range to include workflow...Read more

Enkata Launches Action Center for Optimizing Employee Performance

Enkata, as I wrote not long ago is continuing to expand the range and capabilities of its products for optimizing employee actions while maintaining a firm foothold in analytics for the...Read more

Corvisa Cloud Provides Communications Management in the Cloud

Our benchmark research on the contact center in the cloud shows that today organizations have to support more channels of interaction with their customers in order to provide superior...Read more

Alteryx Advances the Process of Customer Analytics

The market for customer analytics continues to grow as organizations realize the current competencies and technology are not aligned to the priority of providing the best possible customer experience...Read more

Confirmit and Voice of the Customer Software

The last time I was briefed by Confirmit it had just acquired CustomerSat and, in addition to undergoing a number of internal developments, was transitioning from supporting market research,...Read more

NICE Systems Acquires Causata to Optimize Customer Analytics

NICE Systems is well known in the contact center market for its suite of workforce optimization products. However, over the past several months it has gradually been expanding out of the...Read more

Verint Brings New Business Solutions to Optimize Customer Relationships

Earlier this year I wrote that Verint Systems, which makes workforce optimization and analytics products for customer engagement, has changed its focus from individual product capabilities to...Read more

Agent Desktop Management in 2013 Is Hot for Improving Customer Experience

Ventana Research has just released its 2013 Value Index for Agent Desktop Management, in which we evaluate the competency and maturity of vendors and products that support the...Read more

Enkata Optimizes Claims Processing

Enkata used to focus its products on improving agent performance in the contact center. It has gradually expanded that focus to include improving the performance of workers in the back office,...Read more Is Full of Surprises

Anyone who follows is used to surprises, but over the last couple of months the company has come up with some that go beyond the usual. It rebranded the recent user conference in...Read more

IBM Improving the Science to Apply Business Analytics for Better Customer Engagement

I recently wrote how IBM is making customer analytics smarter. Since then IBM has run events in North America and Europe to demonstrate how it is continuing these efforts and expanding into other...Read more

SAS Aligns Marketing and Customer Intelligence

I recently attended SAS’s European analyst event, where I went to focus on new developments around customer intelligence, an application of big data that SAS includes in...Read more

Barriers to Omnichannel Customer Communications

In never ceases to amaze me, the number of new terms and acronyms the contact center market generates. Just as everyone is getting used to the fact that customers interact with companies through...Read more

IBM Watson Engagement Advisor for Smarter Customer Service

Recently my colleague Mark Smith wrote about the IBM Watson platform. Mark is our expert on technically complex subjects like IBM Watson and‎ cognitive computing and the value it can...Read more

SoCoCare Enables Social Customer Service

Much is being written about the impact of social media on customer service, although my research into the agent desktop shows it hasn’t reached the fever pitch that many commentators would...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Reveals Ambitious Plans for Customer Service

At its recent user conference, Interactions 2013, Interactive Intelligence (Nasdqaq: ININ) showcased its extensive product portfolio and its ambitious plans to improve the products both technically...Read more

IBM Making Customer Analytics Smarter

When it comes to today’s customers, companies have to be smart if they are going to anticipate and meet new customer expectations. These days IBM talks about doing most things in “smart” ways....Read more

NICE Systems Leading Change at Interactions 2013

I recently attended NICE Systems’ annual user conference, this year called Interactions 2013. In discussions of its different products and latest releases and testimonials from selected clients,...Read more

Attensity Uses Social Media Technology for Smarter Customer Engagement

When I last wrote about Attensity I classified it as a “pure play” text analytics vendor, but the latest release of its product has lead me to revise my opinion. Its product Respond uses...Read more

Kana Paints a New Picture of Unifying Customer Service

Back in July I wrote about Kana’s acquisition of Ciboodle and its previous acquisition of Overtone and what seemed to be its ambitious plans to release an integrated version of...Read more

Companies Need Smarter Agent Performance Management

I read a lot these days about how companies should pay more attention to contact center agent or customer service representative satisfaction, as it can have an impact on customer experience and...Read more Prepares Marketing for the Future

At the beginning of the year I wrote analyst perspective outlining why I think is a vendor to watch during 2013. I followed this up with a post noting that Salesforce has shifted...Read more

ClickFox Maps the Customer Journey

The last time I reviewed ClickFox it was primarily focused on capturing how callers transverse IVR menus. It produced visual maps of what options callers used and thus how they navigate...Read more

Astute Solutions Supports Integrated Approach to CRM

Like all analysts, I have a series of classifications to help group together vendors with similar capabilities. My challenge is to create categories that align with most users’ expectations so I...Read more

Companies Need Effective Contact Center Analytics

I began my involvement with contact centers – actually they were called call centers in those days -more than 20 years ago. I quickly learned that almost everyone involved in running a contact center...Read more

IBM Launches Customer Experience Lab

IBM recently announced its new Customer Experience Lab. During a briefing I learned that the lab is a response to what IBM discovered by interviewing more than a thousand CMOs, who are concerned...Read more

Taking Advantage of a New Generation of Customer Analytics Using Big Data

Organizations have been talking about how to effectively analyze customer data for more than three decades. This has evolved into a desire for a “360-degree view of the customer” - a comprehensive...Read more Helping Organizations Achieve Customer Excellence

I recently wrote that was a vendor to watch during 2013, and during a recent briefing I heard more messages that support this view. First there was confirmation about financials....Read more

Clarabridge Operationalizes Text Analytics for Better Customer Experience

Clarabridge is a well-known text analytics vendor that markets its products under the banner of customer experience management. As I wrote last year, its products allow organizations to...Read more

Welcome to the 2.0 World of Technology Marketing

Like me, you have no doubt spotted the propensity for software vendors and consultants to call anything new “2.0”; for example, we have ERP 2.0 and CRM 2.0. Just recently during a joint Aspect and...Read more

Three Unified Communications Trends in Evidence at UCExpo 2013

I recently attended the Unified Communication Expo exhibition and conference in London to find out how much communications has been changing. As I entered the exhibition center the first...Read more

Genesys Acquires to Advance Contact Centers

The first positive signs for the “the new Genesys” emerged just 100 days after its sale by Alcatel was completed last year, and those positive signs have continued. The company has not only...Read more

Transera Uses Big Data for Customer Engagement Analytics

Transera is an established contact center in the cloud vendor with in-depth interaction routing capabilities. During a recent briefing I learned that it has now supplemented these...Read more

Cisco Advances Customer Interactions and Collaboration in Contact Center

Cisco is without doubt best known as a supplier of networking systems. Its products have been used by companies large and small to build local and wide area networks. It has played in the...Read more

LiveOps Improves the Agent Experience

My recent research into the contact center in the cloud shows the typical agent’s life is not an easy one. Agents are expected to handle more types of interactions that arrive through more...Read more

Subscription Billing Model Can Maximize Customer Value

You would think that all organizations would want to maximize the value of every customer relationship, but my research over the last couple of years suggests otherwise. Three particular insights...Read more

Intradiem Takes Customer Agent Task Management to Next Level

Intradiem is a vendor that not many people have heard about, for the simple reason that it is actually Knowlagent, which recently announced a complete rebranding. The company says the new brand...Read more

OnviSource Joins-Up Customer-Related Processes

OnviSource is best known for its OnviCenter Product Suite, which includes what is commonly referred to as workforce optimization (recording, quality, monitoring, workforce management,...Read more

NewVoiceMedia Expands Globally to Advance Contact Center in the Cloud

NewVoiceMedia recently announced it has raised $20 million of investment funds to aid its expansion overseas, including offices in North America. The company was founded in the UK in...Read more

Enghouse Interactive Advances Multichannel Customer Interactions

I recently wrote how Enghouse Interactive is building a portfolio of products to support contact center in the cloud. The foundation of all its products is the handling of interactions...Read more

Vertical Solutions Integrates Field Service and CRM

I hadn’t come across Vertical Solutions until a recent briefing, from which I found that the company offers an interesting combination of field service management and CRM. Vertical...Read more

Verint Announces Real-Time Personalized Guidance

Recently Verint announced a new development in its workforce optimization suite Impact 360 Workforce Optimization that it calls Personalized Guidance. It aims to improve the customer...Read more

Companies Miss the Point of Voice of the Customer (VOC)

The majority of companies think it is important to collect customer feedback, according to my recent research into customer feedback management, and they put that feedback to an average of five...Read more

Cisco Finesse Provides Innovative Agent Desktop

My recent benchmark into the unified customer service agent desktop shows how critical the agent desktop is to improving agent satisfaction, meeting key customer-related metrics and...Read more

Best Practices and Benefits from Using a Customer Service Agent Desktop

My research into the customer service agent desktop shows that most centers expect a lot of their contact center agents: more than half (59%) handle between two and five different services...Read more

2013 Direction of Technology for Customer and Contact Management

At the beginning of 2012 Ventana Research predicted that six major technologies would have an impact on the provision and supply of IT systems, and that these would bring about innovation in the way...Read more

Customer and Contact Center Management Research Agenda for 2013

Despite the recession, 2012 was a busy year in the contact center, customer service and customer experience markets. Ventana Research completed four benchmark research studies into customer...Read more

NICE Systems Addresses Fraud in Contact Centers

Back in 2007 when NICE Systems acquired Actimize I wondered how long it would be before someone figured out how to use the company’s fraud detection systems in contact centers. The answer...Read more

Verint Advances Integration and Interactivity for Workforce Optimization

In early 2012 I wrote a blog post about how Verint was overcoming some of its product integration issues by using an information-driven approach that allows users to drill down from key...Read more

Customer Service Presents Major Challenges

In today’s competitive markets, many organizations recognize that customer service represents an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition. However, our research into...Read more

Best Practice Customer-Related Metrics

Customers have always been important to companies, but what are the best metrics to measure the success of customer-related activities, and how well companies meet customer expectations? At the...Read more

2013 Vendor to Watch –

It’s hard to believe that was launched only 14 years ago. It has since grown into a multi-billion-dollar company that has changed the way companies source software. Back in the...Read more

Linking Customer Feedback and Business Benefits

Many organizations collect customer feedback, but my recent research into customer feedback management shows that most have yet to take advantage of modern techniques. The research shows...Read more

Interactions’ Virtual Assistant Provides Self-Service Innovation

Organizations have been struggling for years to find effective systems to support customer self-service. One of the most popular techniques has been to deploy an IVR system, but my research...Read more

Take Time Now to Get Mobile Customer Service Right

Recently I read that each person has an average of 1.8 devices connected to the Internet, and this number is likely to grow as people continue to buy smartphones and tablets. In parallel, the number...Read more

Altitude Software Supports Contact Center in the Cloud

Recently I completed a benchmark research project into the adoption of a contact center in the cloud, which I defined as the combination of contact center-related communications, applications...Read more

The Reality of Social Customer Service

Much is written these days about how consumers have changed their buying and communication habits, and how more are turning to social media to search for product and service information, complain,...Read more

SAP Launches SAP 360 Customer – New Offering but Old Mission

Over the last few weeks SAP has run several events for both customers and the analyst community to herald the launch of SAP 360 Customer in an attempt to regain ground in the CRM...Read more

Mplsystems Extends Beyond Contact Center in the Cloud

The parent company of mplSystems, Message Pad Ltd., was founded in the U.K. in 1994 and provides the infrastructure to support contact center operations. mplSystems’ main product family is...Read more

Zeacom Enters the Growing Enghouse Interactive Contact Center Solution Empire

I recently wrote a blog post about how Enghouse Systems is expanding its portfolio of contact center vendors, and another detailing more about what capabilities its products...Read more

Building The Collaborative Enterprise to Improve Customer Relationships

I have challenged some of the hype about the social enterprise because I feel “social” gives the wrong impression. For most people, social media is predominately about being social. While everyone...Read more

CallMiner Introduces Real-Time Speech Analytics

I recently wrote how CallMiner had expanded into text analytics and had released its myEureka product, which in my opinion took the presentation of analytics to a new level. My colleagues...Read more

Vocalcom Supports Contact Center in the Cloud

Vocalcom is one of the up-and-coming names in the contact center market. Founded in 1995, it is headquartered in France but has a worldwide presence, with 4,500 customers and more than half a...Read more Positions as Cloud Platform Leader launched more than 12 years ago as the founding CRM vendor in the cloud. Today it has grown to be the kitchen-sink vendor in the cloud. It seems every month it announces some new cloud...Read more

Call Centre Expo 2012 Reveals Some Surprising Trends

Call Centre & Customer Management Expo has been running for several years now. The event provides an opportunity for contact center and customer service managers in Europe to catch up with...Read more

Confirmit Moves to Voice of Customer and Feedback Management

Confirmit is one of the leading vendors of market research services. It has a full range of products that support every step of the market research cycle. Its software lets users create surveys...Read more

Enghouse Interactive Contact Center Products Offer a Range of Capabilities

Enghouse Systems Ltd. is not one of the best-known brands in the contact center market, but if it keeps acquiring vendors at the rate it has been doing then it might soon be. It was founded in...Read more

VPI Extends into Multi-channel Analytics

Voice Print International recently announced it has selected Hewlett-Packard’s Autonomy to deliver speech and multi-channel analytics. This news means VPI joins a small group of vendors...Read more

Other Side of the Pond Takeaways from Salesforce Dreamforce puts on a marketing event that no other software vendor can come close to. Any CEO that can get MC Hammer rapping about your company as an introduction to your keynote has to...Read more

Genesys Advances Customer Service to the Cloud

In what will no doubt be one of a host of announcements coming out of Dreamforce, Genesys announced a new set of cloud-based services especially for more

Customer Feedback Processes Lagging in Companies Today

Many people these days talk about voice of the customer (VOC) programs and how they can improve business performance. The foundation of any VOC program is collecting customer feedback, analyzing it...Read more

NewVoiceMedia Provides Contact Center in the Cloud

Our recent benchmark research into the adoption of cloud-based systems to support contact center operations shows that around 10 percent of companies have adopted what is commonly termed...Read more

Companies Should Consider Adopting Contact Centers in the Cloud

Our recent benchmark research on the contact center in the cloud shows companies are under more pressure than ever to upgrade their contact centers. The large majority of companies (73%)...Read more

SAS Furthers Cloud Computing for Business

After this summer’s SAS European analyst event, I wrote that I came away less than convinced SAS was truly committed to the cloud, based largely on the fact that most other vendors are blowing...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Embraces Business Process Management

The product page for Interactive Intelligence highlights what the company is best known for – IP-based business communications. This image is further strengthened by its...Read more

The Collaborative Enterprise to Support Customer Interactions

I’ve challenged a lot of the hype about the social enterprise, because I feel “social” gives the wrong impression. For most people, social media is predominately about socializing. While everyone...Read more

Calabrio Provides Integrated Workforce Optimization

Calabrio offers a suite of workforce optimization (WFO) products used in call centers that includes call recording, quality recording, workforce management and performance management, and it...Read more Advances Customer Interaction

Since it was founded in 1999, has been driving other vendors and end-user organizations to rethink how they supply and purchase software. The company has grown from being a...Read more

Enghouse Expands Its Portfolio of Contact Center Vendors

A look at Enghouse Interactive’s Products page shows it is not the easiest of companies to understand. Listed are six products – companies actually – that make up the parent: Arc Solutions,...Read more

VPI Optimize Agents for Quality Customer Interactions

VPI, a well established vendor in the workforce optimization (WFO) space, was recently rated as a Hot vendor in the Ventana Research Agent Performance Management 2012 Value Index, which extends...Read more

Knowlagent Increases Agent Utilization and Customer Satisfaction

Knowlagent has carved out a unique position in the agent performance management market. Everyone involved in running a contact center knows how difficult it is to manage agent time so that...Read more

Kana Acquires Ciboodle

This month Kana announced it had acquired contact center provider Ciboodle. This comes a few years after Ciboodle was acquired by Sword, a marriage that apparently didn’t work out because Sword,...Read more

Journey Maps Enhance the Customer Experience

My research into customer experience management shows that companies are increasingly aware that the customer experience has a profound impact on business success. In almost equal numbers,...Read more

Agents Performance Management is Hot for Successful Customer Interactions

Our benchmark research into agent performance management shows that the majority of companies are not very mature in their use of people, processes, information and technology in handling...Read more

Callminer Expands Into Text and Social Analytics

Callminer is best known as a vendor of speech analytics software. Along with its own suite, its products also are embedded in those of several other vendors to provide speech analysis. During a...Read more

Hold-Free Networks’ Can Enhance Customer Experience

Many companies have legacy systems in their contact centers, especially systems to manage telephony. My research into the use of technology in centers shows they can create headaches for...Read more

Mobile Customer Service: New Generation of Interaction Technology

Recently a flurry of vendors have announced new products that enable companies to build mobile customer service applications that I have analyzed, including Genesys, Interactive...Read more

Social Dynamx Enables Social Customer Service

I hear a lot of talk about  the impact of social media on customer service and the contact center. My research into customer relationship maturity shows much of this is only talk. The...Read more

SAS Expands Business Relevance in Using Analytics

After the SAS analyst event last year, I wrote that it is hard to keep track of everything SAS has to offer because it had so many products and developments in the pipeline. Back from this...Read more

Vitria Aims To Boost Adoption of Operational Intelligence

Ventana Research was the first analyst firm to cover operational intelligence, and a while back I wrote how the products of Vitria support proactive customer service by using...Read more

Jacada Supports Mobile Customer Service

Jacada pioneered what I call a smart agent desktop when in 1990 it created the tools that allow companies to develop a desktop application that follows the process of handling a call, hides...Read more

Echopass Demonstrates Value of Contact Center in the Cloud

Our benchmark research into the contact center in the cloud shows that almost all companies now support multiple communication channels to engage with customers. Most of them also involve...Read more

Cloudforce UK Shows at Its Best

When the marketing machine rolls into town, you have to sit up and listen, and that’s what 14,000 attendees did at the latest Cloudforce event in London. The company took...Read more

Splunk Provides Intelligence for Customer Analytics

Recently my colleague Mark Smith wrote about Splunk and its latest technology supporting analytics for IT on machine data and providing operational intelligence. I wasn’t familiar with the company,...Read more

Genesys Moves into Mobile Self-Service for Customers

It has been a busy time for Genesys, a company best known for computer/telephony integration (CTI) and routing software for contact centers. In February it split from Alcatel-Lucent and...Read more

NICE Systems Mobile Customer Self-Service Connects to Agents

Conventional wisdom in the contact center is that self-service options for customers reduce the number of their telephone calls. However, my benchmark research into the use of technology in...Read more

Market Dynamics Force Change at Transcom

I have written several times that the market dynamics around customer relationships are changing faster now than at any previous time in my experience. Smartphones and tablets are changing the way...Read more

Make It Simple for Customers To Engage with You

A recent research project involving 7,000 consumers carried out by the Harvard Business Review concluded that to retain customers and get them to buy more products, organizations must make...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Offers Customers Mobile Self-Service

Interactive Intelligence announced Interaction Mobilizer, the latest application in its growing portfolio of products. As I recently wrote, Interactive Intelligence has come a long way...Read more

Customer Engagement Day Reveals New Issues and Opportunity

I recently attended the second in the series of customer engagement days organized by the Directors Club (GB & NI). The format of the event was the same as the first day that I wrote...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Puts Meaning Back in Innovation

Marketing claims about a company’s innovation have become so common as to be almost meaningless, and this is true in the software business. That’s a shame because it obscures cases in which a vendor...Read more

Verint Revamps Applications in Information-Driven Approach

Verint is one of the major players in the contact center market, with two suites of products that support contact centers and voice of the customer analysis. The company’s...Read more

Merced Acquisition Spurs NICE Changes

Last December NICE Systems announced a definitive agreement to acquire Merced Systems. I have been covering both companies for several years, and initially it wasn’t obvious to me why the...Read more

SAS Advances Customer Intelligence

SAS is one of the largest and best-known independent vendors of BI and analytics. The company’s website shows  16 product lines, and product variations to match almost every business...Read more

Tello Launches Innovative Method To Collect Customer Feedback

The various media, including the social form, insist that the customer is king;  exaggeration or not, it is true that understanding their customers is of greater importance to companies than...Read more

Businesses Should Hear Voice of the Customer

In the last several years many companies have shifted away from the mad pursuit of new customers toward focusing on retaining existing customers and winning more business from them. Against that...Read more

inContact Supports Customer Interaction Management

Managing contact centers typically includes five areas: communications management, workforce optimization, business applications such as CRM, analytics and customer experience management. Last year I...Read more

Aria Heralds a New Era for Billing Systems

Recently I was introduced to Aria, which provides a billing and subscription management system in the cloud. Its target customer is any company that offers subscription- and/or usage-based...Read more

ResponseTek Enhances Understanding of Customers

If they haven’t done so yet, businesses ought to become acquainted with two relatively new concepts: customer experience management (CEM) and voice of the customer (VOC). Ventana Research defines CEM...Read more

A Smart Desktop Enables Customer Service Process Improvement

A desktop or laptop computer is an essential tool for people who carry out customer-facing activities, especially contact center agents. My benchmark research into the use of technology in...Read more

Expo Shows Maturity of Unified Communications

Like many other observers with a business perspective, I have been skeptical of unified communications, but a day I spent at the recent Unified Communications Expo 2012 went a long way to...Read more

Research Reveals Challenge of Building Customer Relationships

Businesses have long struggled to build ongoing, profitable relationships with their customers.  Our new benchmark research into customer relationship maturity shows that this is...Read more

Customer Engagement Day Highlights Issues for Companies

My namesake Jon Snow is chairman of the Directors Club (GB & NI), an association for professionals who focus on dealing with customers.Recently he organized the first of a series of customer...Read more

Cicero’s Desktop Helps Users Work Smarter

Cicero provides what I call a smart desktop product. The software allows users to hide multiple applications behind an easy-to-use interface and build rules to complete tasks more efficiently...Read more

The Customer and Contact Management Research Agenda for 2012

In all the years I have spent building contact centers and tracking this market, from both business and technology perspectives many things have not changed. Center managers are still under pressure...Read more

Zeacom Announces Full Support for Microsoft Lync

A few months ago, I evaluated Zeacom CommunicationsCenter (ZCC), which provides a multichannel contact center that is integrated closely with business process automation. This allows...Read more

Enkata Expands Customer Analytics for a Better Customer Experience

The products of Enkata have generally been designed for what Ventana Research terms performance management for customer service and call centers, including applications connected to agent...Read more

Confirmit Provides Customer Insights through Surveys

Ventana Research believes that to provide excellent customer experiences it is necessary to understand what customers want and their likely behaviors, and one direct way to achieve this is by...Read more

Feedback Management Can Improve the Customer Experience

There is a lot of talk today in customer service circles about the “voice of the customer” (VOC). For some people it means speech analytics (literally the voice of the customer), some others use it...Read more

Clarabridge Advances Customer Experience Management

Clarabridge is an established vendor of text analytics products, which it sells both directly to the market and indirectly through an extensive set of partnerships with companies such...Read more

Customer and Contact Center Management in 2012

After reviewing the benchmark research I carried out during 2011 into customer and contact center analytics, the use of technology in contact centers and the adoption of...Read more

Cloud-Based Contact Center Research Finds Deployment Growth

Cloud-based systems have arrived as an option for how organizations source their IT systems, now and in the future. Proponents of the cloud – of which I am one – will tell you they have several major...Read more

Maturing Customer Relationships Continuously

The old proverb “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” applies well to the management of customer relationships. If business technology vendors are to be believed, managing...Read more

Actuate Brings Business Intelligence to Customer Information

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...Read more

Contact Centers Should Align Objectives and Metrics

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...Read more

Zeacom Simplifies Multichannel Interaction Management

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,...Read more

Despite Recession, Acquisitions Continue in Contact Center Market

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...Read more

Transera Delivers Contact Center Interactions in the Cloud

Throughout this year we have seen more vendors begin to offer a contact center in the cloud. The latestis Transera, which offers an integrated set of products that focuses on enabling...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Offers Trial Access to Contact Center in the Cloud

Cloud computing offers companies opportunity to innovate in the ways their contact centers handle customer interactions. Systems vendors have been gradually moving call and other interaction...Read more

Moments of Truth in the Customer Experience

I find that customer experience management (CEM) means different things to people. Recently I attended a seminar organized by Rapide, a U.K. technology vendor that specializes in helping...Read more

New Customer and Contact Center Technology at Call Centre Expo

I have spent the last two days at the U.K.’s largest contact center trade show, which this year moved to London Olympia from the NEC in Birmingham. While the overall number of visitors seemed to be...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Advances Cloud-Based Contact Center

Interactive Intelligence recently released version 4.0 of its Customer Interaction Center (CIC). CIC provides companies with integrated communications and contact center functions that can...Read more

Verint Will Acquire GMT To Extend Workforce Management

Recently Verint announced its intent to acquire GMT, a provider of workforce management products. My initial reaction was that Verint was primarily interested in acquiring GMT’s...Read more

NICE Acquires Fizzback for Customer Feedback Analytics

NICE Systems has agreed to acquire Fizzback, a specialist vendor of customer feedback management software. On first read this appears to be another acquisition to gain market share, as NICE...Read more Presents the Social Enterprise

As he opened last week’s Cloudforce 2011 conference in London, CEO Marc Benioff declared that companies “must become social or die.” He reiterated the message in answer to a direct...Read more

Merced Customers Apply Analytics and Metrics To Improve Agent Performance

Ventana Research’s benchmark research into agent performance management shows that most companies recognize the vital role contact center agents play in creating good customer experiences and thus...Read more

For Dovetail CRM Means Customer Service

LinkedIn’s CRM experts group is hosting an active discussion about what are the top three CRM systems. Along with the blatant promotion of certain well-known products, you can’t fail to notice that...Read more and the Big Picture from Dreamforce

Even here in the U.K., we are well aware that’s annual event Dreamforce is happening this week in San Francisco. Unfortunately I couldn’t be there, but a contingent of the Ventana...Read more

Alpine Access Supports Home Agents and Cloud Communications as Outsourcing Alternative

In the past companies had two basic choices in how to provide call center services: internally or by outsourcing the service, typically to a company based where labor costs are low. Recently some...Read more

Echopass Enables Contact Center in the Cloud

In the past year various vendors have begun to offer some or all of the systems required to build and run a contact center through a cloud-based service. I recently came across another one, Echopass,...Read more

Envision Closes Quality Monitoring Loop

Envision is an established provider of workforce optimization (WFO) products and last year was rated a “Hot” vendor in the Ventana Research Value Index for Agent Performance Management (APM). Its...Read more

OpenConnect Enables Process Improvement

It has taken me a long time to recognize that companies function through a series of processes, mostly executed by people (employees) and supported by information and systems. I was familiar with...Read more

Vitria’s Operational Intelligence Enables Proactive Customer Service

Vitria is one of a small group of vendors offering a type of analytics called operational intelligence. The term is not widely known, although Ventana Research has defined and tracked this market for...Read more Customers Demonstrate Tactical Success (SFDC) brought five customers to a recent U.K. analyst event to talk about how they used different SFDC services to solve what turned out to be down-to-earth business issues. SFDC of...Read more

KANA’s SEM Resembles CEM

I’m no great fan of three-letter acronyms, so I wondered what KANA Software means by positioning itself as the leader in service experience management (SEM), which is a term I had not heard. I have...Read more

CallCopy Continues To Refine Agent Performance Management

About a year ago I wrote that CallCopy had emerged as a major vendor of agent performance management (APM) software. Ventana Research has updated its definition of APM to mean the people, processes,...Read more

Verint Expands Feedback Management with Vovici

Verint recently announced that it has acquired Vovici,a vendor of enterprise feedback management systems. In light of the fact that Verint was recently rated the top vendor in the Ventana Research...Read more

Optimizing the Customer Experience Requires Dedication

In my research area, a lot is said and written these days about optimizing the customer experience. Some say it is done by improving key performance metrics such as customer satisfaction (CSAT), net...Read more

SAS Helps Optimize Key Business Processes

If you look at the SAS Institute home page it appears easy to identify what it does – “the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the...Read more

Managing Customer Communications in a Multichannel World

In the customer service and contact center markets we used to talk about phone calls, letters, faxes and email; now we talk about “communications,” “interactions,” “contacts” and “touch points.”These...Read more

Jacada is Back with a Smarter Agent Desktop

Jacada was one of the first vendors to provide a unified desktop for contact centers. It simplified the agent’s desktop by replacing several application views with a single view that better followed...Read more

inContact and Siemens Enterprise Communications Working the Contact Center in the Cloud

While the contact center business is not the most dynamic market, it is undergoing more changes than I have ever seen. One of the biggest changes is coming about because of cloud computing. This...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Unveils Process Automation for Customer Service

Providing good customer service has never been easy, but today it’s more challenging than ever, because of three factors. First is the growing overlap between marketing, sales and customer service....Read more

Attensity Makes Text Analytics Smarter

My research into customer analytics shows three important things: Text analytics are at the early adopter stage; companies still use spreadsheets as their main tool for analysis; and to move...Read more

InContact Enhances Contact Center in the Cloud

I have been writing quite a lot lately about the contact center in the cloud. Now it seems that more vendors are moving in this direction. One of them, inContact has evolved from a telecommunications...Read more

Clarabridge Expands to Europe and Deepens Text Analytics

In March U.S.-based text analytics vendor Clarabridge opened an office in the U.K. and recently celebrated it at the British Library in London. Sid Banerjee, the company’s founder and CEO, brought...Read more

Conference Highlights Social Media, Analytics and the Customer Experience

The Directors Club of the U.K. recently held its inaugural National Customer Show in London. The event was well attended and attracted sponsorship from some of the biggest vendors in the contact...Read more

Verint Bolsters Workforce Optimization

Recently Verint Witness Actionable Solutions announced the latest release of its Impact 360 Workforce Optimization software, which it calls the first  “fifth-generation” product in this space....Read more

Think Carefully about Social Media and Your Customers

Unless you have been on a long vacation somewhere without newspapers, mobile phones or the Internet, you must have noticed all the buzz about social media – some of it factual and lots of it hype....Read more

SAP Diversifies into Contact Center and Communications Technology Market

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...Read more

Verint and the Multichannel View of Customer Interactions

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...Read more

It’s Time for the Contact Center To Change

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...Read more

Interactive Intelligence Integrates Contact Center Interactions

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...Read more

PBBI Provides Portrait of Customers through Predictive Analytics

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...Read more

Executives Learn about Advances in Customer Experience Management

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...Read more

Contactual Delivers Contact Center in the Cloud

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...Read more

IBM’s Smarter Commerce Hits Most of the Right Notes

According to IBM everything now has to be “smart,” and its latest announcement heralding smarter commerce addresses customer-related activities. I find it interesting, as I have been researching for...Read more

Four Steps for Improving the Customer Experience

There is a lot of talk today about customer experience management, but use of the term is vague, much as customer relationship management meant different things to different people. For some it is...Read more

CallTower Powers Communications in the Cloud

The contact center market is buzzing with talk about cloud-based computing. It began with applications such as CRM from, then came IBM with services based on hardware in the cloud and...Read more

VPI Makes Contact Center Operations Suite and Simple

Running a contact center has never been easy, and today it is harder than ever. Customers have become more demanding of good service and less tolerant of errors and are inclined to communicate over...Read more

The Contact Center Technology Revolution in 2011

With the new year has come a significant advance in contact center technologies, enabling enterprises to roll out new applications and interaction-handling processes in record time. What used to take...Read more

Alcatel-Lucent Future Depends on Software

Recently I wrote that Genesys is transforming itself from a near-pure-play CTI/call routing vendor into an agent performance and customer experience management vendor. If you look at its parent...Read more

NICE Systems Reports Great Financial Results and Acquisition

NICE Systems has announced its financial results for 2010, and they make impressive reading in what many consider a difficult market, for contact center systems. I’m not prone to quoting...Read more

Jacada Withdraws Analytics While Market Heats Up

My latest research into contact center analytics shows how important it has become for companies to improve the way they monitor and assess the performance of their centers. In fact 41% said...Read more

Genesys Expanding to Agent Performance Management

In the contact center market Genesys is synonymous with computer/telephony integration (CTI) and call routing. It was the first vendor to combine routing of calls to agents and using CTI to pop...Read more

Is the World Ready for One Source of Customer Data?

If you listen to (SFDC) then you’d have to believe the answer is an emphatic “Yes.” Shortly before Christmas, Kevin Akeroyd, the general manager of’s Jigsaw Data...Read more

Cisco Finesses Agents with Real Time Support Using Nexidia

Contact centers face a number of challenges beyond simply answering customer calls. Among them are improving  customer satisfaction, increasing the number of calls resolved at the first attempt...Read more

Verint Adds New Dimension to Contact Center Analytics

One of the problems in the contact center and IT worlds is that terms mean different things to different people. Take “contact center” for example. The meaning was clear when it was just the call...Read more

NICE Systems Rebrands Smart Desktop for Agents

A few weeks back I wrote about how NICE Systems was venturing into the back office and my surprise that the core smart desktop product it had acquired with eglue, while a key part of this...Read more

NICE Systems Ventures into the Agent Back Office

Most people involved with contact centers know of NICE Systems and its SmartCenter suite of workforce optimization products that support key contact center management capabilities such as...Read more

inContact Provides Contact Center in the Cloud

All the buzz in the contact center market these days is about the “contact center in the cloud.” I have written on the subject, in particular “Is a Contact Center in the Cloud a Reality?” and “Will...Read more

LiveOps Enhances Contact Center in the Cloud

I have written a couple of pieces this year about the exciting news that a few vendors are now able to provide companies with a call center they can access in the Internet cloud – Will Cloud...Read more

Enkata Advances Contact Center Analytics to Improve Customer Experience

Among the important findings of our latest benchmark research on contact center analytics were these two: 88 percent of companies said they can use analytics to improve the performance of the...Read more

Aurix Powers New Generation of Speech Analytics

Aurix is not a widely recognized vendor in the speech analytics market even though its technology powers products provided by companies such as CallCopy, KnoahSoft, NewVoiceMedia...Read more

Think Outside the Box when Investing in Salesforce Chatter

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog discussing (SFDC) Chatter and the buzz the technology is making in which one of my biggest questions was how a non-SFDC customer could justify...Read more

Merced Systems’ European Event Showcases Best Practices and Customer Insights

Merced Systems provides software to support performance management in both sales and service. Its products extract data from various systems to produce business-related reports, dashboards,...Read more

Teradata Advances Personalized Marketing Using Analytics

Most people would describe Teradata as a data warehouse and analytics vendor as my colleague has reviewed its core technology. In addition to that, through its own development and by...Read more

Cicero Has Smart Agent Desktop for Contact Centers

My research over seven years persistently shows that the two main business objectives in a contact center are to reduce average call-handling time (AHT) and improve customer satisfaction. It doesn't...Read more

SAS Supports Marketing through Customer Intelligence

SAS is a presence in analytics of virtually every kind and my colleague the broader value of SAS earlier this year. Only a couple of months back I wrote briefly about one of its newest...Read more

The Buzz Is about Chatter

On Wednesday, September 9, 2010 the massive marketing machine called rolled into London to stage its 2010 Cloudforce event at the Royal Festival Hall. The clout of CEO Mark Benioff and...Read more

Contact Center Analytics Help Reduce Average Call-Handling Time

My research continues to show that the most important key performance indicator (KPI) for call centers is average call-handling time (AHT). Furthermore, second in importance only to improving...Read more

KnoahSoft Harmonizes Agent Performance Management

Over the last decade in my research into contact center operations has revolved around the four operational challenges faced by center managers: to reduce average call-handling time, increase agent...Read more

Clarabridge’s Text Analytics Improve Customer Experience

I have been doing research into customer relationship management (CRM), contact centers and analytics for seven years. Throughout that time some customer-related themes have remained constant:...Read more

Vitria Adds Operational Intelligence to Customer Experience Management

In my writing and speaking, I try to avoid “market babble,” which numbs ordinary readers with technology buzzwords and three-letter acronyms. Lately I have been accused of overusing the phrase...Read more

Agent Performance Management Is Important to the Customer Experience

My research into Customer Experience Management shows that four of the top five factors that influence a customer’s experience in dealing with a contact center relate to agents: their attitudes,...Read more

Knowlagent Increases Agent Effectiveness

My benchmark research into agent performance management (APM) found that the number-one objective of companies trying to improve the handling of customer interactions was to utilize agents more...Read more

CallCopy Emerges as a Player in Agent Performance Management

Last year I carried out research to discover how companies manage their workforces in handling customer interactions; I investigated their best practices, technologies being used and priorities for...Read more

Infor Launches Innovative E-mail Management

On August 2, Infor launched its next generation of products for customer relationship management (CRM), which are built on its Interaction Advisor that in May I called “its CEM...Read more

Will Cloud Computing Finally Bring Innovation to the Contact Center?

I have been associated with the contact center industry for more than 20 years, first as a systems integrator building centers and more recently covering it as an analyst with Ventana Research. From...Read more

SAS Helps Companies Make Sense of Social Media Comments

I often read and hear today that social media is the new channel for marketing and customer service channel and also that companies must improve customer satisfaction to survive (I agree with the...Read more

IBM Innovates in Call-Routing for Agent Performance

One often-cited approach to improving the performance of contact centers and customer service agents is skills-based routing. This involves tagging data about the skills of individual agents – for...Read more

Snowfly Motivates Agents To Improve Performance

I have often seen evidence that contact center agents’ performance is strongly influenced by the key performance indicators managers use to judge, and often reward, their performance. In one extreme...Read more

Upstream Works Helps Improve Contact Center Performance

Anyone involved in running a contact center is aware of the imperatives my research has highlighted: reduce operating costs, transition to multichannel support, raise customer satisfaction levels and...Read more

ResponseTek Underpins Customer Experience Management

Most of all, customer experience management is about a company delivering the optimal experience during an interaction. For example, during a conversation the contact center should ensure that the...Read more

inContact Provides Contact Center in the Cloud

All the buzz in the contact center market these days is about the “contact center in the cloud.” I have written on the subject, in particular “Is a Contact Center in the Cloud a Reality?” and “Will...Read more

NICE Systems Ventures into the Agent Back Office

Most people involved with contact centers know of NICE Systems and its SmartCenter suite of workforce optimization products that support key contact center management capabilities such as...Read more

Merced Systems Has a Secret: Quality Monitoring for Agents

In my recent vendor-specific research called Value Index for Agent Performance Management (APM), I took a different view of what customer service organizations operating contact centers need for APM...Read more

NICE Systems Extends Further into Customer Experience Management with eglue Acquisition

NICE systems is an established vendor in the market for agent performance management (APM) systems, and it recently took the top ranking in the Ventana Research APM Value Index awards...Read more

The “Social” Revolution Is About the Customer Relationship

I have been in the customer service and contact center space for over 20 years and have seen many fads, hot topics, three-letter acronyms and "end of an era" predictions come and go. The latest trend...Read more

Upstream Works Helps Improve Contact Center Performance

Anyone involved in running a contact center is aware of the imperatives my research has highlighted: reduce operating costs, transition to multichannel support, raise customer satisfaction levels and...Read more

ResponseTek Underpins Customer Experience Management

Most of all, customer experience management is about a company delivering the optimal experience during an interaction. For example, during a conversation the contact center should ensure that the...Read more

Cincom Drives “Winning Conversations”

My research into customer experience management shows that the customer’s experience is equally important in creating customer loyalty and in getting customers to recommend a company to others. It...Read more

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