In our benchmark research into contact centers in the cloud, nearly two-thirds (63%) of companies said that adopting applications in the cloud would enable them to improve how they handle customer interactions, and slightly fewer than half (44%) said that adopting communication systems in the cloud would deliver similar benefits. Several vendors now provide such systems. Diabolocom is the latest one to brief me on its products. Founded in 2005 and having around 30 employees, it has headquarters in France (and its website is in French), but it has a global presence, primarily for supporting French companies that have offices around the world. Its contact center products are available only in the cloud and extend beyond basic multichannel communications to other applications connected with handling customer interactions.
Diabolocom has a business model different from that of most other vendors in this market. It is a Tier 2 telecommunications service provider, which means that it does not own any cable in the ground but provides telecommunication services by partnering with Tier 1 providers and providing its own services using their networks. It has partnerships and data centers around the world and at present supports companies in 15 countries. This number is expected to grow as the company intends to expand from mainly supporting French companies with overseas sites to supporting local companies. This arrangement is conducive to providing contact center in the cloud services, as it can manage calls from their point of origin to the agent selected to handle the interaction.
Its primary offering is Engage, a suite of products that manage voice, email, social interaction, chat and short message services. Engage Voice has capabilities to manage inbound and outbound phone calls and IVR. It supports analog and IP telephony, automatic call dialing to route calls to agents, click-to-call so agents can call a customer by clicking on its number, and Web-based call-back so that customers can visit the website and arrange to be called back. In addition, supervisors can listen to calls to monitor performance and provide assistance. The Voice system supports a full set of IVR capabilities and comes with point-and-click tools that enable business users to set up menus that suit specific requirements. These menus can be used in conjunction with similar point-and-click capabilities to set up call-routing rules based on agents’ skills, call priority, wait times and source of the call. Users can set up customized screens for agents and supervisors using widget-based techniques so that organizations can build such interfaces to meet their needs. The Diabolocom “window” can be embedded in CRM systems such as saleforce.com or run in stand-alone mode with integration to those systems. The outbound capabilities support windows that allow business users to set up complex outbound call campaigns by selecting data from drop-down boxes, which also can be integrated with CRM systems. Extensive reporting capabilities show agents, supervisors and business users how well individuals, interaction-handling processes and the system are performing.
Engage Email supports a similar set of capabilities to handle large volumes of email. Phone calls can be routed based on a comprehensive set of rules that can be overridden if volumes exceed set limits. One key feature is the ability to build libraries of canned responses that agents can select and customize to provide personalized responses. As well as voice and email there are similar ranges of tools to support interactive chat sessions and handling of SMS messages, including rules that determine which agents can handle which types of interactions. The company’s product set also includes Monitor [http://www.diabolocom.com/en/offre/monitor], which allows companies to record phone calls, analyze them and use the outputs to focus agent training and identify root causes of customer interactions or possible cases of fraud so that preventive actions can be put in place. In total, Engage provides a comprehensive set of capabilities that allow organizations to manage multichannel engagement in sophisticated ways.
By combining its telecommunication services, data centers and the use of its products, Diabolocom offers two other services. Reach allows it to run hotline services for companies based on numbers chosen by the company, and Network enables it to provide hosting services for clients’ systems and networks.
Despite its being such a young company, I am impressed by the scope of its products and services. All its products have been developed in-house, the capabilities are tightly integrated, and the user interface has a modern look and is and easy to use. Business users can take control of the systems with only basic support from IT, and carry out tasks in hours that used to take days. A potential issue is that the native language for the system is French, but the company offers an option in English. System setup and operation is also fast and easy, requiring few in-house resources; Diabolocom claims to be able to set up a company in a matter of hours. As I already remarked, the company plans to expand beyond serving French companies, so companies looking to adopt contact center in the cloud services should assess how it can help those efforts.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director