Recently NewVoiceMedia announced that it has raised $50 million to fund its growth. The company was founded in 2000 in the U.K., initially offering call management and routing as cloud-based systems. Until then, most companies built their contact centers using on-premises private branch exchange (PBX) or automated call distributor (ACD) call management systems, with on-premises call routing and business applications such as customer relationship management (CRM). Some companies offered off-premises business application services, and salesforce.com had just begun to push its CRM in the cloud offering.
My first direct contact with NewVoiceMedia was at the London Call Center Expo in 2011. There, to my astonishment, five minutes after stepping into its booth, I had been set up as an agent on its contact center in the cloud and was receiving support calls on my mobile phone. This was something that had taken days, if not weeks, on centers I had helped to build. Earlier this year, it went one step further, and using the latest versions of its products, it now can create a complete multichannel contact center in a matter of hours.
This new funding allows it to accelerate the company’s international expansion, develop its portfolio of true cloud solutions and strengthen its infrastructure, sales, marketing and professional services capability in North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA. All of these are important for the company to continue its financial success and compete in what is now a highly competitive market. At this year’s Contact Center Expo in San Diego, there were 16 vendors demonstrating contact center in the cloud services, and several more were not at the show. Not all of them offer the same services, but all position themselves as offering contact centers in the cloud.
NewVoiceMedia now offers two products, ContactWorld for Sales and Marketing and ContactWorld for Service. These support similar capabilities that have been extended from the original call management and routing to include call recording, click-to-dial, pop-up screens, outbound caller identification, dynamic routing based on caller ID or CRM data, ContactWorld Connect and reporting. ContactWorld for Service also includes post-call customer surveys and has been expanded to handle multiple channels of communication. From day one, NewVoiceMedia has had a close relationship with salesforce.com so it not surprising to see that some of the latest funding came from salesforce.com. The two companies continue to work closely together to provide tight integration between the two products, including Salesforce1 mobile integration, and joint sales efforts, which going forward are likely to help it win more sales.
Our benchmark research on next-generation customer engagement shows that two of the biggest problems companies face in providing consistent multichannel customer engagement are that communication channels are managed separately (by 47% of companies) and there is little coordination between business units (in 33%).Our research on the contact center in the cloud also shows that a large percentage of companies plan to address these issues by adopting applications in the cloud (63%) and communications technology in the cloud (44%). There is no doubt in my mind that consumers will keep changing their communication habits, so more companies will need to ensure they provide superior multichannel customer engagement. This will expand across the enterprise, and more business units will need integrated management of multiple types of interaction. This demand is beyond the capability of on-premises centers and bodes well for companies that offer cloud-based services. The latest round of funding should help NewVoiceMedia invest in new product capabilities that meet market expectations and expand its global presence. If you want to examine contact center in the cloud applications, take a look at NewVoiceMedia.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director