TMCnet Contact Center Solutions Week in Review
The Contact Center Solutions community is certainly alive with activity as indicated by this past week’s news. While it is unusual for this space to lead with an item about any company’s latest financial results, I thought it might be instructive to explain the piece I posted concerning the community’s host Interactive Intelligence’s 3Q earnings.
Yes, profits were down but revenue was up, the stock is at a 52 week high, and the company increased its guidance on the growth of its orders. As I noted, context is critical in looking at financial snapshots in time. What Interactive Intelligence’s (News - Alert) results show is that contact center solutions are transforming customer interactions and they highlight both the importance of the cloud going forward for customers and the importance for vendors to be riding that horse. Recognition of Interactive Intelligence being on the right path came not just from the appreciation in the stock since the announcement, but also their recognition by their winning the 2012 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Emerging Vendor of the Year Award.
Before turning to other industry news, attention should also be paid to the feature on “Gamification” of customer interactions. This is going to be a significant part of the future of contact centers. The focus of this piece was on the gamifying of sales, but the bigger opportunity likely lies in making customer interactions more user friendly, i.e., more game-like.
And, before moving on to the rest of the industry news, by all means if you missed it go and retrieve the archived webinar, Best Practices for Evaluating a New Contact Center Solution: Leading Analysts Share Their Insight and Research, which is features what truly are the industry’s top analysts.
- Amongst the typical news about deals, wins and new capabilities were a few interesting ones about obtaining increased business intelligence that deserve special notice.
- Coordinated System has developed a Virtual Observer Agent Portal. Using the portal, agents can view peer statistics, play back their own calls, respond to evaluations and create their own reporting dashboards.
- Empirix (News - Alert) unveiled an improved release of Empirix xCentrix to more easily uncover problems in mobile, fixed line and VoIP networks so critical to contact center multi-channel capabilities by providing actionable insights.
- iDashboards customers and partners can now resolve any issues using the Oskar Support Portal launched recently by the company.
- Consulting-Portal ITOptimizer enhanced and rebranded its service management solution.
- CTI Group formed a partnership with Broadsoft to launch a new hosted call center solution with advanced features like call recording and analytics, open architecture and more.
- Aspect Software's 7.5 version of its Workforce Management platform is now available with an improved and streamlined environment for contact center agents and better control for supervisors.
- Polaris Financial Technology Ltd unveiled its FATCA and Global KYC Ready Intellect (News - Alert) Customer Onboarding Hub (ICOH) solution, enabling banks to achieve cross-channel 360-degree views of customers.
Other industry news covered a very eclectic mix of activities.
- Noble Systems announced a nationally recognized medical practice group has selected its contact center solution.
- A new agent-to-consumer interaction solution from Varolii uses cloud-based predictive dialer technology to modernize customer outreach.
- Helpshift, a provider of SaaS “in-app” customer support experiences, showed off its new product and closed a seed financing round of $3.2M led by True Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.
- Jasper Design Automation, provider of verification solutions, released two new property synthesis apps.
As TMCnet Contributor Tracey Schelmetic reported that a new Frost & Sullivan study says that EMEA contact center outsourcing growth will remain slow, and it may be new business models for contact centers are to blame.
As noted above, the entire area of protecting customer information is a huge concern in general and one that operators of contact centers in particular need to be mindful of because of the amount of customer proprietary information they store and agents can access. In the U.S. regulators are cracking down on the unauthorized use of proprietary dates as exemplified by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC (News - Alert)) final settlements with two operations that were charged with illegally exposing sensitive personal information of thousands of consumers.
As always, I’d like to recommend a little weekend reading if you have the time. For example, you should enjoy the interview my colleague Rich Steeves did at the recently concluded ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2012 event with Tim Passios, director, solutions marketing on contact center solutions and the cloud. And, my article from a few weeks back, “Who Owns the Customer Experience? Hint, Customers Do,” has drawn a lot of attention if you have not read it yet. Plus, the community is filled with updated materials which include new videos, whitepapers and podcasts on a variety of subjects. In fact, as noted last week, I liked the “Ask the Experts” piece on excelling at mobile customer service is worth a read.
And, as always don’t’ forget to that more focused information is available on our affiliated channels — Accounts Receivable Management, Business Process Automation, CaaS, Cloud-based Contact Centers and Insurance Technology.