This week, software development firm Clarity announced the release of Clarity Connect version 4.0, the newest rollout of its contact center platform.
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The Journey to the Genesys Cloud
Genesys recently held its annual analyst conference in California, providing attendees with a glimpse into its financial performance, market focus, and planned initiatives. While some of what was discussed is NDA, several key themes were present across sessions:
Cloud Harmonization:: Genesys has largely bought its way into the cloud contact center market in the last few years, acquiring Echopass, Soundbite, and Angel. Genesys executives made it clear that their focus was in integrating each of these acquisitions into a seamless set of Genesys-branded services, available either on-premises or in the cloud, with common user interfaces, sold through new or traditional channels, and customized into three tiers of service offering for different market sizes
Omni-Channel: The hot buzzword in the contact center space over the last few years centering on the integration of all customer engagement channels into a single platform. Genesys aims to differentiate itself from competitors Aspect, Avaya, Cisco, and Interactive Intelligence by integrating real-time workforce optimization across channels, based on data analytics, to enable customers to optimize inbound and outbound call routing as conditions warrant.
It all begins with a Journey: I'll resist the urge to slip in a "don't stop believing" reference. "Journey" is replacing "Omni-channel" as the next big thing in the contact center (See Lisa Durant's "Contact Centers of the Future" report for more details). A customer journey, as defined by Genesys and competitors like Altocloud refer to the ability for a contact center to track a customer as they move through various channels (e.g. social, text chat, voice) and even social media. The idea is that companies can create persistent sessions with customers, no matter the method of engagement rather than having each channel go its separate ways.
Simplification: The complexity of omni-channel is of concern to customer engagement mangers, Genesys is delivering new configuration tools that aim to simply deployment of IVR, WFO, and ACD across all channels. Furthermore Genesys is investing in expanding partner capabilities to support its Journey/Omni-channel vision.
The key challenge for Genesys (and its competitors) is educating customers on the value of omni-channel/journey based engagement. Our 2013-14 Enterprise Technology Benchmark found low adoption of channels like social media engagement, video, and mobile app integration in the contact center. Voice and text chat remain the preeminent engagement channels. Quantifying the benefits of unifying channels, adding new channels, and enabling engagement persistence will require continued customer education, business cases, and the use of analytics that map omni-channel investments to improvements in KPIs including Net Promoter Score, customer churn, and post-call customer satisfaction surveys.