inContact and the “Post-Cloud World”
At its industry analyst event, held in conjunction with its customer summit in Salt Lake City last week, inContact provided insights into its strategy, direction, new contact center platform, and more. With the tagline “Legendary Journeys Ahead,” the execs from inContact laid out their vision for cloud-based customer care and workforce optimization to a small group of analysts. The company’s plan going forward is to focus on its technology, people, and partners to help its customers achieve their business outcomes. This focus on its people includes inContact’s Expert Service Model, which leverages its business partner service team as well as cloud and contact center experts to provide specialized expertise and deliver knowledge, processes and best practices to customers.
At the event, inContact introduced its new Cloud Customer Interaction Platform (CCIP), which offers omnichannel queuing, analytics, and workforce optimization (WFO).
CCIP includes five components that are unified in an all-in-one cloud system:
- Global Cloud Infrastructure – The new platform is an extensible, open platform with over 210 APIs and a developer portal that makes it easy to customize and integrate with solutions from innovation and ecosystem partners. As a logically multitenant platform (as opposed to physically multitenant), it is easier to dynamically provision customers. By working with platform providers such as AWS, Rackspace, Azure, Google, etc., inContact no longer has to spend its own R&D on the core infrastructure, and instead can leverage companies that focus on the infrastructure and can provide on-demand capacity. CCIP is “cloud provider agnostic” and includes the option for customers to bring their own carrier and connectivity.
- Omnichannel Interactions – Multimedia routing for all customer interactions, including inbound / outbound voice, voicemail, email, chat, work items, IVR, voice portal and self-service, as well as Social Media and SMS.
- inContact Voice as a Service – Voice quality is an important part of this announcement, and inContact introduced Voice as a Service (VaaS) for a carrier-grade core voice environment. VaaS is tailored to the contact center market and provides customers with an end-to-end solution including voice for their contact center, as well as offering active monitoring and reporting to better understand voice quality. inContact extended the monitoring of voice quality based on factors such as jitter, packet loss, and latency and is working with Empirix, a third-party voice quality specialist, to measure and publish internal MOS health for customers. The company will publish its MOS scores on a trust site and will give customers a personalized dashboard for their organization that includes the customer’s MOS score. inContact claims that it is the first company to provide this type of insight into voice quality.
- Workforce Optimization – This includes the inView Performance Dashboard for agent performance, as well as a new rules engine for the ACD that works with both Uptivity and Verint, and takes feeds from both WFO solutions to create actions in the ACD, such as changing agent skills based on elearning. inContact views having its WFO solution tightly tied to its platform as a key area for helping customers meet their goals.
- Analytics – inContact re-wrote its analytics layer, ensuring that all analytics are standard. Analytics tools include prebuilt reports, custom reports, direct data access, and intraday reporting. All reporting is based on the consolidated inContact data analytics cloud.
The company also introduced a new agent interface called My Agent eXperience, or MAX. MAX is a complete rebuild, offering a thin client with no plug-ins. Like many other companies in this space, inContact worked with design company Frog for the new interface. MAX provides agents with a channel-agnostic interface with full visibility into the customer journey, including customer data. The user interface is streamlined so that it provides the agents with only the functionality and information they need, when they need it.
One of the key messages of the conference was that we’re in a “post-cloud world” and no longer have to focus on why the cloud makes sense for businesses. Businesses today understand the value and benefits of the cloud and don’t have to be sold on cloud versus premises. Instead, the new focus is on which is the right cloud-based platform and solution for an organization. I had the chance to speak with Paul Jarman, inContact’s CEO, about some of the key messages from the conference and what the company means when talking about a post-cloud world.