Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

About the Analyst

Ventana Research

Ventana Research is the most authoritative and respected market research and advisory services firm focused on both business and technology. Since our beginning, our goal has been to provide insight and expert guidance on mainstream and disruptive technologies. In short, we want to help you become smarter and find the most relevant technology for your organization.


Recent Posts

ResponseTek Makes Customer Experience Management Simple and Sophisticated

Posted by Ventana Research on Oct 8, 2015 11:46:04 PM

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 it, provides customizable reports and analysis dependent on the user, and most importantly enables taking action based on the information. This allows companies to understand product and service issues, customer sentiment, intentions, and likely behaviors, and where necessary ensures the most appropriate actions are taken.

Read More

Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Speech Analytics, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Text Analytics

Calabrio Supercharges Workforce Optimization with Analytics for Customer Engagement

Posted by Ventana Research on Sep 17, 2015 9:03:44 AM

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 management and analytics. The company is rated Hot in our 2015 Workforce Optimization Value Index, and its product suite is the highest rated in the Usability category. Since our assessment, each of the modules has undergone upgrades, Calabrio has introduced more cloud-based services, and its analytics has undergone extensive changes to support customer experience management. The aim of these enhancements is to provide a single view of the customer that includes customer interactions across all channels, help companies streamline processes through workflow and automation, support more users and provide more deployment options. The Calabrio ONE Cloud Edition supports the full suite in a multitenant environment and is scalable to support companies of all sizes. It also enables users to store data, such as call recordings, in cloud-based services such as Amazon Web Services. I have reviewed these enhancements and note the most significant changes.

Read More

Topics: Customer Feedback Management, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

NICE Delivers Customer Journey Maps for Customer Engagement

Posted by Ventana Research on Sep 3, 2015 8:56:38 AM

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 customer experience, notably voice of the customer (VOC), customer engagement analytics and customer journey mapping. It is also moving to cloud-based services from products installed on customers’ premises and is taking a business-solution approach (providing previously integrated and configured products that address specific business issues) rather than general-purpose products. All of these changes are evident in its latest services, which link VOC, real-time journey mapping and predictive analytics to address common customer service and engagement issues. The foundation for these packages are products I have previously covered – Fizzback for multichannel customer surveying and feedback analysis and Causata for a big data analytics platform that includes predictive analytics capabilities – along with its own customer engagement analytics platform, which can link customer data from disparate sources. The result, for example, is that journey maps can show all interactions on all channels a customer uses to try to resolve issues, including the customer sentiment at each touch point and the outcome of the journey.

Read More

Topics: Customer Feedback Management, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

Pitney Bowes Doubles Down on Customer Engagement

Posted by Ventana Research on Aug 20, 2015 7:55:48 AM

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 through internal development and acquisitions of vendors such as Portrait Software and RTC, it has added to its portfolio products that include customer information management and customer engagement.

Read More

Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

Interactive Intelligence and Omnichannel Customer Engagement

Posted by Ventana Research on Aug 14, 2015 8:33:47 AM

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 Web Services and aimed at small-to-midsize contact centers. To help companies understand the different cloud-computing models, I provided answers to Interactive Intelligence questions on the advancements of these approaches for business.

Read More

Topics: Cloud Computing, Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

Is NPS the Best Measure of Customer Experience?

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 29, 2015 8:24:16 AM

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 experience. This prompted a response from Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian, asserting that big data and NPS aren’t the only ways to measure customer experience success. The main point of Tony’s piece, as I interpret it, is that NPS is just a number, but big data analytics can reveal much more about customer behavior and intentions, and it can link these to business outcomes. On the other hand Maxie argues that whether or not companies use NPS, when it comes to measuring the customer experience, they rely too much on surveys and no one metric does the entire job. While to a large extent I agree with both arguments, from a business perspective I don’t think either addresses three very important questions. The first is what actually is the customer experience? Second, how should it be measured? And third, what is the best use of big data in relation to customer experience?

Read More

Topics: Social Media, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

Upstream Works Helps Customer Service Agents Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 16, 2015 8:20:42 AM

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 handling interactions. Our benchmark research into the agent desktop and customer service finds that one obstacle to meeting these dual objectives is that users have to access multiple systems – typically four or five – to resolve a customer interaction. The research shows that this impacts efficiency (by increasing average handling time and reducing first-contact resolution rates) and effectiveness (by degrading the customer experience, introducing data entry errors and undermining agent satisfaction). This situation is compounded as companies support more channels of communication, often making it necessary for agents to access even more systems.

Read More

Topics: Cloud Computing, Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

Companies Need Disruptive Customer Experience Technologies

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 10, 2015 5:41:32 AM

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 customer service performance (70%). To do this, the technological steps most companies expect to improve customer engagement are to deploy collaboration systems, redesign the customer portal, deploy internal mobile applications, deploy mobile customer service apps and use social media for customer service. All of these we regard as potentially innovative and required digital technologies. Deeper analysis of the results finds key primary drivers for these priorities. Employees across the organization are handling customer interactions, but customers expect consistent responses no matter who they engage with. Customers are using more electronic channels of engagement, but here, too, they expect consistent responses. People on both sides are engaging more while they are on the move, so mobile support for employees and customers has become essential. Let’s consider how each of these five technologies can help companies meet these challenges and improve customer engagement.

Read More

Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

Envision Offers Comprehensive Suite for Workforce Optimization

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 29, 2015 7:31:29 AM

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 of products, including interaction capture, quality monitoring, workforce management, coaching and training, agent compensation management and workforce analytics. In an analysis last year I wrote about how, in an effort to make workforce optimization more accessible and affordable, it created an architecture optimized to run in the cloud. During a recent update, CEO and founder Rodney Kuhn said that the company continues to focus on the cloud while adding new capabilities, especially in interaction capture, agent evaluation and coaching, and analytics.

Read More

Topics: Cloud Computing, Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

OnviSource Opens Up Workforce Optimization for Contact Center Excellence

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 19, 2015 5:47:00 AM

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, and workforce analytics. The company is rated a Hot vendor in our 2015 Workforce Optimization Value Index. It scored highly in the Manageability, Usability and Reliability categories but was held back by lack of compensation management (for which it provides input to third-party products) and some analytics capabilities. The 2015 Workforce Optimization Value Index shows how competitive the workforce optimization market is: The top seven vendors are separated by fewer than three percentage points, OnviSource ranking fourth.

Read More

Topics: Cloud Computing, Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)