Genesys & Interactive Intelligence Acquisition Is Complete

Genesys has completed the acquisition of Interactive Intelligence. Why acquire Interactive Intelligence? The idea is that the addition of Interactive Intelligence will enable Genesys to accelerate its mission of powering the best customer experiences in more industries and more countries – over any channel in the cloud and on premises. The acquisition also means that Genesys now has over 10,000 customers in more than 100 countries supporting over 25 billion customer interactions per year. Genesys will continue to offer support and invest in best-in-class solutions, including PureCloud®, Communications as a Service℠ (CaaS) and Customer Interaction Center™ (CIC), in addition to our core Genesys products.

In terms of how the company is run, Paul Segre will continue to serve as CEO, providing leadership that best supports the needs of customers, partners and employees. Genesys will maintain its headquarters in Daly City, as well as key offices in Indianapolis, Indiana and Durham, North Carolina.

This acquisition is one of many that are being seen in the customer service and customer experience world. It gives Genesys a larger customer base and integrates many of the features and functions Interactive Intelligence brought to the table. As customer experience becomes one of the most important differentiators in a brand’s overall experience, choosing the right vendor to deliver on complex customer service and customer experience interactions will be key. While there are vendors that are part of a larger marketing, sales and service suite, there are other vendors who remain focused on the customer service marketplace. Time will tell how organizations see the need to go with solutions that service part of an organization vs having the capability to connect to the back office as well as other lines of business.

Below is a snapshot of Genesys’s capabilities:

Overview of Genesys

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

www.constellationr.com

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Constellation ShortList™ Customer Service and Contact Center Software

Constellation Research is launching a new program, and I’m happy to share that the vendors that have been listed on the Constellation ShortList™ for Customer Service and Contact Center Software. The program offers buyers of technology a list of offerings to consider in their pursuit of digital transformation to provide the best capabilities to drive leading customer service.

The Constellation ShortList presents vendors in different categories of the market relevant to early adopters. In addition, products included in this document meet the threshold criteria for this category as determined by Constellation Research. This Constellation ShortList of vendors for a market category is compiled through conversations with early adopter clients, independent analysis, and briefings with vendors and partners.

Customer service and contact center software helps solve customer challenges faster by offering the right tools and support, regardless of channel or device (e.g., phone, tablet, email, chat, text, website, Facebook, other social networks). These offerings can effectively manage inbound communication for increased first-contact resolution, in addition to providing co-browse capabilities to allow visual communication for quicker query resolution. Additionally, they can support the reduction of cart abandonment and increase customer satisfaction with in-cart assistance. This type of software provides personalized care through the use of analytics, offering insight into customers’ behaviors for relevant, contextualized service that can predict future needs. Companies can identify new opportunities by integrating these customer insights into their companies’ innovation processes.

The software also creates seamless, online experiences with a knowledge base that learns from every interaction, enabling them to match content to consumer intent, which results in higher conversion rates. The top solutions also provide smart customer self-service, allowing customers to help themselves by fostering peer-to-peer support communities and eliminating the need to reach out to the contact center.

Constellation considers the following key criteria for these solutions: Self-service capabilities, case management, natural language processing for knowledge management and search, omni-channel and device customer journeys, mobile customer service and self service, queuing and routing, workforce optimization, predictive and prescriptive rules and advice, next-best action, natural scripting, customer feedback collection capabilities, IVR, visual IVR, inventory optimization, mobile enablement, social and digital engagement simplified user design (UX/UI), reporting and customer analytics, integration to IoT (Internet of Things) platforms and devices, data dashboard and data visualization.

Each Constellation ShortList evaluation will be updated every 90 days as needed. Constellation clients may work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion of this ShortList. Constellation can also provide guidance in vendor selection and contract negotiation.

The ShortList is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share and internal research. The Shortlist includes:

  • Aspect
  • Avaya
  • Cisco
  • Genesys
  • inContact
  • Interactive Intelligence
  • Oracle
  • Salesforce
  • Verint.

For more information about the ShortList, please visit the Constellation Research site.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Customer Facing Applications.

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Genesys Acquires Interactive Intelligence- Good Move for Both Companies

Genesys (www.genesys.com), a customer experience, omnichannel and contact center solution and Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. (www.inin.com), a customer engagement and global leader of cloud and on-premise solutions for  communications and collaboration, are entering into a definitive agreement. In this agreement  Genesys will acquire Interactive Intelligence in a transaction valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

How Will This Affect You and Your Customers?

The transaction will accelerate Genesys’ mission of powering customer experiences at scale, anytime, anywhere – over any channel and device, in the cloud and on-premise. Both Genesys and Interactive Intelligence have developed best-in-class capabilities with highly complementary product portfolios that serve adjacent market segments. So together, the combined company will provide a broad customer experience solutions globally for organizations of all sizes across a range of industries.

If you are wondering about their commitment to accelerate innovation and R&D,  Genesys has explained they are committed to accelerate innovation in the customer experience market, with more than $1.3 billion in revenue and annual R&D spend approaching $200 million.
Notes From The Executives

Paul Segre, Chief Executive Officer, Genesys offered, “This is a milestone transaction that combines industry-leading expertise and capabilities to enable lasting customer relationships, accelerate innovation and drive growth. Our combined product portfolio will provide the broadest set of transformative customer experience solutions optimized for customers of all sizes and sophistication levels, available both in the cloud and on-premise. We will significantly invest across the entire Interactive Intelligence product portfolio to support the continued momentum of PureCloud®, Cloud Communications-as-a-Service℠ (CaaS) and Customer Interaction Center™ (CIC), in addition to the rich portfolio of products offered by Genesys today. We are excited to work with the Interactive Intelligence team to deliver even greater innovation and value to our global customers and partners.
Dr. Don Brown, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Interactive Intelligence explained their position by saying, “We have been working for the past 22 years to build an outstanding company with innovative, disruptive technology solutions that transform businesses. I am confident that our agreement with Genesys, which follows a careful evaluation of strategic alternatives, provides Interactive Intelligence shareholders with immediate and significant value, and will deliver meaningful benefits to our customers, partners and employees. The combination of Genesys and Interactive Intelligence provides a complete portfolio to address all market segments by combining Interactive Intelligence’s PureCloud, Cloud Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS), and Customer Interaction Center (CIC) with Genesys’ offerings. I am excited for the combined company to continue to grow and meet the needs of organizations around the world.

What Does This Mean to You

Customer experience here to stay. It is the one competitive differentiator that a brand can’t ignore. Customers either have a great experience, over many touch points over the time they spend with a brand or they don’t. If they don’t, often don’t return. The question is what solution(s) will your brand use to affect their experience of doing business with your brand? Many choices for sure.

@drnatalie petouhoff,
VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Experience

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Enterprise Connect 2016: Genesys Showcases Next Generation Omnichannel Customer Experience at Enterprise Connect

Enterprise Connect 2016 is a  leading conference and exhibition for enterprise communications and collaboration in North America. It is being held March 7-9th, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Genesys, a market leader in omni-channel customer experience (CX) and contact center solutions, will be particpating in the event.
Genesys and Microsoft Working Together:  The event will feature Genesys leaders in key industry discussions on topics that include contact center technology trends and managing customer journeys, as well as how Genesys and Microsoft are working together to enable collaboration between contact center agents and employees across the enterprise. Attendees can visit booth #609 to learn more about omnichannel customer engagement, take the Omnichannel Challenge and tour the possibilities of the Genesys Omnichannel Engagement Center solution with live product demonstrations.

A Note from the Executives: 
Scott Kolman, Vice President of Portfolio Marketing at Genesys said, “As the digital transformation revolution continues, many companies are searching for how to best modernize and enhance their contact center and customer experience. At Enterprise Connect, Genesys will show why omnichannel will be the standard in customer experience excellence and how companies can move toward an Omnichannel Engagement Center solution.”

If You Want to Hear from Them, Here’s the Schedule:
Genesys CX experts will share insights. Genesys leaders will participate in the following Enterprise Connect panel sessions and a joint presentation at the Microsoft booth to share insights and best practices on managing omnichannel customer journeys, cloud contact centers and market updates for the enterprise.

Monday, March 7 :  9:00am – 10:45am Eastern Time  Location: Sun B —Contact Center Market Update & Executive Forum and the participants are:

  • Scott Kolman, Genesys
  • Sheila McGee-Smith, McGee-Smith Analytics
  • Paul Weber, Interactive Intelligence
  • Chris Botting, Cisco
  • Paul Jarman, inContact
  • Karen Hardy, Avaya

Tuesday, March 8 : 1:15pm ET Location: Microsoft booth #162 Genesys and MicrosoftDelivering a Best-in-Class Omnichannel Customer Experience and the speakers are:

  • James Skay, Microsoft
  • Kay Phelps, Genesys

Wednesday, March 9 : 8:00am – 8:45am ET o Location: Osceola B Managing the Customer Journey and the participants are:

  • Chris Connolly, Genesys
  • Brandon Knight, Corvisa
  • Sheila McGeeSmith, McGee-Smith Analytics
  • Laura Bassett, Avaya
  • Barry O’Sullivan, Altocloud
  • Richard Kenny, Plantronics

Is Your Company Omnichannel Ready? Omnichannel engagement center solutions allow companies to more effectively manage workloads, empower their agents, and gain valuable insights that help drive business objectives—including new customer acquisition, product sales, and customer support. For companies, this move forward will provide the immediate benefits of higher customer loyalty, increased revenue, and better business outcomes, while paving the path for continued success.

The time is now to make sure you can serve your customers. Or they will be somebody else’s customer soon enough. It’s now or never.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Customer-facing Applications That Drive Better Business Results

 

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IBM Watson and Genesys Partner to Power Smarter Customer Experiences

IBM and Genesys (www.genesys.com), a leading provider of customer experience and contact center solutions, today announced a partnership that will transform how organizations of all sizes differentiate their customer experience by tapping the power of IBM Watson to transform the way brands engage clients across customer service, marketing and sales through data-driven insights and automated actions.

 WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

The combination of the Watson Engagement Advisor with the Genesys Customer Experience Platform to is reportedly positioned to transform how organizations worldwide engage with their customers across customer experience touchpoints and channels of communication. This partnerships will allow Genesys to develop a learning system that can better serve consumers in their self-service applications and contact centers because The Watson Engagement Advisor enables natural language solution learning and adapts and understands market and organizational data quickly and easily, and gets progressively smarter with use, outcomes, and new pieces of information.

 WHAT IS A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF HOW THE WATSON ENGAGEMENT ADVISOR HELPS CUSTOMER SERVICE AGENTS?

The partnership will aid and assist a brand’s customer service agents to provide fast, data-driven answers, or simply sit directly in the hands of consumers via mobile device, chat session or online interaction. In one simple click, the solution’s “Ask Watson” feature can quickly help address customers’ questions, offer feedback to guide their purchase decisions, and troubleshoot their problems.

Because today’s consumers are a tweet, post, phone call, email or web chat away from reporting an issue or asking a question, and nearly half expect a response from businesses within a span of minutes, according to Edison Research, companies need to get a lot smarter about how they operationalize real-time customer service. Brand customer representatives who field these inquiries are often backlogged with time-consuming issues or questions that require detailed, accurate responses not often readily available to them – which can lead to an inconsistent customer experience. We’ve all been there – called a contact center and knew more about what we were asking than the company did. Perhaps this will help agents become closer to being able to provide real-time customer service.

DOES THIS MEAN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT DATABASES ARE BEING REINVENTED? 

Contact center agents can gain access to a cloud-based Watson advisor that reads and uncover insights from millions of pages of data-driven content within seconds, from product guides to call transcripts. The result: cognitive computing that will augment a contact center agent’s knowledge and shift their time from searching for answers to discovering timely insights that solve problems, facilitate new opportunities, and improve the customer experience.  

WHAT IS A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF HOW THE WATSON ENGAGEMENT ADVISOR HELPS CUSTOMERS?

Genesys customers will gain the additional value of a Watson cloud-based advisor that thinks, learns and provides expert insights, while combing through millions of pages of data within seconds for customers and the contact center agents who serve them. As a result, Genesys customers can tap into the body of data that Watson understands and puts to work and use that knowledge to deliver more actionable and satisfying responses to customer inquiries in their self-service applications and contact centers.

HOW DOES THIS CONNECT A CUSTOMER AND A COMPANY TO PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE?

Imagine yourself as a bank customer, home from work and doing late night research on mortgage loans after your children are in bed. You may see a feature or rate that you like, but you have detailed questions that require expert advice. You can call, email or tweet the brand, but it’s after-hours. Many brands dont even pay attention to tweets much less have someone answering questions at night. Often that customer would not have access to a customer service agent until the next day.

Now envision the following experience: at any time of night, you can access a web chat advisor that has access to the bank’s data-driven content around mortgages, and through a natural language interface, understands your questions and history interacting with the bank. Not only will the application educate you on all things mortgage shopping, but it will also provide a formal offer that can be presented by a mortgage expert at a convenient time scheduled by you.

The idea is that with the Watson Ecosystem, Genesys customers will gain access to a cloud-based advisor that, within seconds, can read and uncover insights from millions of pages of data-driven content, from product guides to call transcripts to deliver exceptional customer experiences. The result: cognitive computing will augment agents’ knowledge and free their bandwidth from searching for answers, to creatively thinking of how they can further help a customer or even make a sale. This, in turn, will allow Genesys clients to deliver on their brand’s promise to the nearly 80 percent of consumers who say that the contact center is involved in defining the customer experience. SOURCE (IQPC)

 WHAT INDUSTRIES DOES THIS SOLUTION PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE FOR?

Leveraging its experience and deep domain expertise across industries including banking, insurance, and retail, Genesys will integrate access to the cloud-based Watson to its Customer Experience Platform empowering their customers with the ability to interact through a natural dialog leveraging Watson’s understanding and intelligent natural language response. Now consumers can tap into Watson to gain insight and answers faster than possible with knowledge management solutions.

HOW WILL THIS IBM AND GENESYS PARTNERSHIP AFFECT SELF-SERVICE?

The desire for self-service is there – both from the company’s point of view (reduce call volume, etc…) and customers are tired of calling into a contact center only to be disappointed. But while self-service has been a leading “idea” it rarely delivers an experience that doesn’t garner the customer to try to get help in another channel, often the phone channel. This defeats the purpose of self-service and reduces the first contact resolution — one of the most important indicators of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The IBM Watson and Genesys solution provides organizations with the ability to identify when a customer needs to speak with a customer experience representative, rather than continuing in a self-service application. For example, if a customer reaches a point in conversation during a self-service interaction that could prompt either customer churn or a timely sales opportunity, Watson’s knowledge of pre-defined business guidelines allows the solution to signal when it is time to transfer the conversation to an agent.

The customer is not arbitrarily transferred to just any agent among the potentially hundreds who work at a call center. The solution pinpoints the exact agent to handle a customer’s inquiry, based on specific factors such as an agent’s experience, channel used, training and even license to discuss or sell a given product and then transfers the customer with the accompanying detail of the self-service interaction. This could mean a shift to reducing call volume and increasing first contact resolution – if it works as indicated. Case studies will be interesting to hear how brands are actually putting it to use.

WHAT DOES THE CEO OF GENESYS THINK ABOUT THE NEW PARTNERSHIP?

Paul Segre, President and CEO, Genesys says, “This combined solution delivers sophisticated yet simple to manage knowledge capabilities to transform self-service systems and human interactions into positive brand impressions. With Watson, our new solution provides a transformational customer experience with a natural and informed transition from self service to agent assistance to yield better business outcomes.

WHAT DOES THE MIKE RHODIN, SVP OF IBM WATSON GROUP THINK ABOUT THE NEW PARTNERSHIP?

Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group says, “By tapping into IBM Watson’s cognitive intelligence, Genesys is infusing a personalized assistant into every customer interaction. Customer engagement is a natural fit for Watson, empowering brands with information driven insights. This is a key example of how a new era of cognitive computing applications will transform industries and professions and revolutionize how decisions are made.”

About Genesys

Genesys is the market leader in multi-channel customer experience (CX) and contact center solutions in the cloud and on-premises. We help brands of all sizes make great CX great business. The Genesys Customer Experience Platform powers optimal customer journeys consistently across all touchpoints, channels and interactions to turn customers into brand advocates. Genesys is trusted by over 4,500 customers in 80 countries to orchestrate more than 100 million digital and voice interactions each day. Visit us at www.genesys.com or call us at +1.888.436.3797.

 

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Three years after its victory on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!, IBM Watson has evolved to represent a new era of computing, where by 2017 it is predicted that 10 percent of computers will be able to learn as Watson does. Today, Watson is no longer just the world’s most famous game-playing computer. IBM has put Watson to work in various industries. In healthcare, IBM is co-developing an application with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and partnering with WellPoint, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Additionally, IBM has partnered with numerous colleges and universities across the country to teach Watson capabilities and cognitive computing technology to the next generation workforce. In 2013, IBM announced the introduction of the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, the first Watson offering designed to improve customer experience, putting the power of Watson within reach of everyone.

IBM’s mission to spark a new generation of Watson-powered apps is just the latest milestone in developing cognitive system offerings that help its clients and partners succeed.

For more information on IBM Watson, please visit www.ibmwatson.com

@DrNatalie

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 
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Genesys Makes an Acquisition For OVM Solutions

Genesys, a leading provider of customer experience and contact center solutions acquired OVM Solutions. If you are in the Customer Experience or Customer Service business what does this mean to you? The investment brings what is called proactive communications offerings. Proactive communications solutions are an effective way for companies to reach customers with more personalized interactions over voice, SMS, email and mobile devices to improve customer experience.

Why did they pick OVM Solutions? In part because they were already an existing partner of Genesys. That always makes integration and usability better. OVM Solutions also brings expertise in sales and marketing to the Genesys Proactive Customer Communications solution.

What’s Proactive Customer Communications? Companies are really being challenged to acquire, serve and retain customers in today’s competitive marketplace. But there are still a lot of companies that continue to operate customer touchpoints in silos and don’t effectively utilize technology for customer engagement.

But the customer does not separate the silos; not like the company’s do. Customer expect to talk to companies in any channel, any where. And every customer touchpoint is important. Brands should be prepared to communicate efficiently and effectively across each of them. It used to be difficult to accomplish this, but with the new technologies it is possible to deliver consistent, cross-channel experiences that engage customers and deliver high satisfaction. But it means that the company has made proactive communication a priority to proactively communicating with customers over their preferred channels to strengthen relationships, increase loyalty and reduce unnecessary inbound inquiries.

There are some companies that do get the importance of proactive customer experiences. Genesys alone delivers over two billion messages annually in 30 countries for more than 350 customer experience leaders. What’s important to Customer Experience and Customer Service Professionals is that they do consider the experience their customers have and don’t be stuck in their old ways. I was told by one customer service professional that his concerns about buying new technology was the “last guy got fired because the technology he bought didn’t work out and he was only 2 years from retirement.”  That makes it really tough on people who want to don things differently but feel their own personal life savings might be at risk.

OVM Solutions provides of on-demand, automated messaging for proactive communications. With more than a decade of expertise in designing, scripting, training and voice talent selection they are able to deliver exceptional sales and marketing campaign performance for a range of organizations and applications including financial services, non-profits, healthcare, collections, retail, utilities, events and political campaigns. It seems like its something that most contact centers need. The question is not whether customer experience and customer service need improving, its more will customer experience professionals do the hard work to transform that customer experience with the new technologies that are out there?

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff 

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Voice:  +1.310.919.8467  | Twitter: @drnatalie 
Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

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The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st

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Genesys G Force: Integrating Customer Service and Social Media

At this conference I talked about the strategy to take traditional customer service and contact center channels and integrate them with social media. This provides companies with many advantages but it also presents many, many challenges. These short clips give you some insight into what Customer Experience and Customer Service Professionals face:

History Can Give Perspective on Where Social Media and Customer Service All Started: Dell Hell

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