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 company, its products and its customers. During a recent briefing SVP of product management Larry Skowronek discussed these issues. Nexidia now trades as “a NICE analytics company,” which is unusual because previous NICE acquisitions have been absorbed into the overall company and the brand effectively lost. This arrangement, Skowronek said, gives the company the benefit of retaining the Nexidia brand while taking advantage of the scale, financial strength and market presence of NICE. Several of Nexidia’s longstanding customers have remained customers and are benefiting from new developments and access to the wider NICE portfolio. The company also has a series of new wins, both as a result of direct efforts by its own staff and joint actions with NICE.
The key for me is the Nexidia product. Early on its focus was speech analytics. I wrote about its capabilities in natural-language processing, data discovery categorizing of calls, all built on an architecture that allows it to scale up to process very large volumes of calls. Over time Nexidia extended the capabilities to processing text-based data. The latest release of Nexidia Interaction Analytics, version 12, brings the underlying platform and the capabilities together to support the same processing for various forms of interaction – calls, chat, email, surveys and others. For example, it can produce a word cloud - a visual representation of text data that highlights words by size and color - of the most common words or phrases used in all interactions, and users can search for the same words or phrases in any form of interaction. A powerful query builder enables users to quickly build queries and apply them across all forms of interactions, so they can see what is being “said” in all of a customer’s interactions and can drill down into any interaction for more detail. To support this, Nexidia has rearchitected its underlying technology platform to handle all forms on data, which is largely hidden from business users to make the whole process seamless and easy to use. It also includes artificial intelligence capabilities through which the software learns from tasks (for example, queries) it carries out to make future ones more accurate. The overall impact is to put advanced interaction analytics in the hands of business users and allow them to discover what customers are saying regardless of the channel.
Alongside these developments, the two companies have been working on integration between their two product portfolios. For example, greater integration with the NICE quality management capabilities enables analysis of interactions by individual agents and uses the outputs to identify interactions that need review, automatically score agent performance and identify targeted coaching needs. These integrations help NICE advance toward a fully integrated customer experience platform.
Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement finds that analytics is one of the foremost technologies that organizations expect to improve engagement. The biggest issues in the past have been processing unstructured data (voice and text) and bringing all customer data together to create a single view of the customer that can be used for multiple purposes. The latest release from Nexidia goes a long way toward overcoming both of these issues so I recommend organizations assess how it can improve their customer experience management initiatives.
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