Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Despite Recession, Acquisitions Continue in Contact Center Market

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

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

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), [Vendor references]

Transera Delivers Contact Center Interactions in the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on Oct 31, 2011 11:22:18 AM

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 interactions for customer service agents. It has four main groups of products: operations management, agent management, media and call management, and routing and queuing. 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, 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, Transera

Interactive Intelligence Offers Trial Access to Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on Oct 25, 2011 11:08:04 AM

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 management to the cloud, along with some of the core applications required to operate a contact center such as call recording, workforce management and analytics. Interactive Intelligence is one of the front runners in this market with its Customer Interaction Center. To approach potential customers that aren’t convinced of the virtues of cloud-based systems, Interactive Intelligence recently launched a new service, Quick Spin, a trial version of the its suite.

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

Moments of Truth in the Customer Experience

Posted by Richard Snow on Oct 21, 2011 12:08:52 PM

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 companies improve their interactions with customers. The seminar included talks from speakers I don’t normally associate with CEM, and they opened up a new perspective that revolves around a concept I first explored while working at Price Waterhouse Consulting: Moments of Truth.

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

New Customer and Contact Center Technology at Call Centre Expo

Posted by Richard Snow on Oct 15, 2011 3:33:16 AM

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 down, some exhibitors told me there were more high-level attendees with serious intent to purchase.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, SAP, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Call Copy, Enghouse interactive, Enkata, Genesys, NewVoicemedia, Nexidia, ShoreTel, Analytics, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Cisco, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), and Verint, cTalk Ltd, Noble Systems, Digital Technology

Interactive Intelligence Advances Cloud-Based Contact Center

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 30, 2011 1:46:08 AM

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 be deployed on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment divided between them. 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, 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, Interactive Intelligence, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Verint Will Acquire GMT To Extend Workforce Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 29, 2011 1:03:41 PM

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 customer base to extend its already large share of the workforce management market. In a briefing Verint confirmed this but said there are other reasons behind its move as well.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, 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, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), 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

Salesforce.com Presents the Social Enterprise

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 23, 2011 10:08:34 AM

As he opened last week’s Cloudforce 2011 conference in London, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff declared that companies “must become social or die.” He reiterated the message in answer to a direct question I put to him during lunch with the media and analysts. I have heard several of his keynotes, and reviewed my colleague analysis from recent Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. and this one had a distinct change of emphasis. Benioff seems to feel that the cloud argument has been won, his big CRM competitors have been overcome and it is time to focus on helping companies grasp the changed business environment they now exist in. Dare I say it, there was even a hint that the answer is software – specifically, software to enable what Salesforce calls the social enterprise.

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

Merced Customers Apply Analytics and Metrics To Improve Agent Performance

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 20, 2011 11:01:55 AM

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 good business outcomes. The research also shows that only the most mature companies have put in place processes and metrics that encourage behaviors that deliver such business outcomes. Furthermore, the research shows that companies are held back from adopting more customer-related metrics because they don’t have performance management tools that can help them create such metrics; instead most rely heavily on spreadsheets. Thus I was encouraged to hear during a recent roundtable discussion sponsored by Merced Systems from two customers that have used the Merced Performance Suite to institute a more rigorous, metrics-driven approach to improving agent performance.  

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Merced 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