Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

NICE Systems Acquires Causata to Optimize Customer Analytics

Posted by Richard Snow on Aug 19, 2013 7:55:25 AM

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 pure-play contact center market into back-office and mobile applications, as well as the broader market of customer interaction handling. My research on the contact center in the cloud shows that customer interaction processes are getting more complex as customers demand faster, more personalized responses, interactions occur through more communication channels, and more lines of business are involved with interaction handling. My recent benchmark research shows that companies are becoming increasingly reliant on analytics to monitor and assess how well they are performing these critical tasks and in what areas they need to improve.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, NICE Systems, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

Agent Desktop Management in 2013 Is Hot for Improving Customer Experience

Posted by Richard Snow on Aug 13, 2013 10:31:46 AM

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 management of the desktop systems that agents use to handle customer interactions. Our firm has researched this software category for many years, and our benchmark research into customer service and the agent desktop shows the impact the agent desktop has on agent satisfaction and efficiency and the business outcome of such interactions. Because of its increasing importance, we have taken agent desktop management out of our Customer Experience Value Index and created a separate category for it.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Customer Experience, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Cincom, Genesys, Jacada, Kana, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Upstream Works, OpenSpan

NICE Systems Leading Change at Interactions 2013

Posted by Richard Snow on May 1, 2013 11:34:13 AM

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, I was surprised by how the messages were packaged. NICE has a long history of acquiring companies, and it has let many of them continue to operate as autonomous lines of business. Often there was minimal integration with other NICE products, a variety of user interfaces, no common software administration tools. In my opinion this policy prevented it from taking advantage of having a suite of products focused on handling customer interactions. At the conference, Zeevi Bregman, CEO and President, positioned NICE as supporting three lines of business: interaction management, fraud and compliance, and security. He explained at length how the three are inextricably linked, tying fraud and compliance and security to interaction management and customer service. Fraud and compliance is linked to customer service because market segments such as banking have to ensure that the customer service they provide conforms to legislative requirements, and security is an increasing part of knowing customers and ensuring the safety of their information. Other executives also stressed these themes.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Mobile Apps, Self-service, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Force Optimization

NICE Systems Addresses Fraud in Contact Centers

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 9, 2013 11:13:49 AM

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 is now, as NICE Systems announces its Contact Center Fraud Prevention system.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, NICE Systems, Speech Analytics, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

Take Time Now to Get Mobile Customer Service Right

Posted by Richard Snow on Dec 7, 2012 11:21:36 AM

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 of apps available in the various app stores is growing exponentially, with the iPhone store alone having more than 700,000 active apps. The big question for me is how much of this is about business and how much is purely social. Recently GenesysInteractive IntelligenceJacadamplsystems and NICE Systems made announcements showing they are banking on a greater portion being about business, as they all released tools that allow organizations to build what they call mobile customer service apps.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, NICE Systems, Social CRM, for example Genesys, Interactive Intelligence Jacada, Mobile Apps, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

Agents Performance Management is Hot for Successful Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 16, 2012 12:23:44 PM

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 customer interactions. Companies are most mature is their use of information, but even in this area they are hampered by their failure to use the latest technologies available to support their efforts.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, VPI, Call Copy, Enkata, Envision, Genesys, KnopahSoft, LiveOps, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, coaching, Compensation, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), OnviSource, Training, Verint, Workforce Force Optimization

NICE Systems Mobile Customer Self-Service Connects to Agents

Posted by Richard Snow on May 18, 2012 11:35:23 AM

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 contact centers throws doubt on this, finding that companies still expect the volume of interactions through all channels, including the phone, to increase. This is further supported by my benchmark research into customer experience management which shows many customers starting out with self-service opt to call the contact center because they cannot resolve their issues. In recognition that for the foreseeable future agent-assisted service is likely to sit alongside self-service,  NICE Systems recently announced Mobile Reach,an application that ties self-service on mobile devices to agent assistance.

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Topics: Customer Experience, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Information Applications (IA), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Customer Engagement Day Reveals New Issues and Opportunity

Posted by Richard Snow on May 1, 2012 11:15:47 AM

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 about and included three keynote presentations and three roundtable sessions where attendees discussed how organizations should engage with customers. As for the first event I chaired the roundtable on perfecting multichannel customer engagement in the contact center and gave a keynote on how social media is impacting the contact center.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Sustainability, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Genesys, InContact, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), Interactive Intelligence, IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Noble Systems, Verint

NICE Acquires Fizzback for Customer Feedback Analytics

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 29, 2011 12:25:50 PM

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 already provides a customer feedback tool; however,  Fizzback’s customer base is much smaller than NICE’s, so this looks unlikely. Representatives of NICE explained to me that the acquisition is part of its long-term strategy to enhance its customer feedback management capabilities and to build a stronger voice of the customer.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

NICE Systems Reports Great Financial Results and Acquisition

Posted by Richard Snow on Feb 15, 2011 5:54:55 PM

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 financial figures, but with revenues up to US$695 million (from US$589 million) and non-GAAP profit and margin up to US$451.9 million and 65%, respectively (from US$371.1 million and 63.1%), it certainly seems NICE’s customers are in safe hands. The company also is generating lots of cash, so potential competitors and acquisition targets should beware; this is where the surprise mentioned in my title comes in.

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