2017 has been a year of major changes in the contact center market: several significant acquisitions, vendors expanding their capabilities to support more channels of engagement, a continued trend to move products to the cloud and, as a result, more vendors expanding their global presence. One such vendor is NewVoiceMedia. When I last wrote about the company I pointed out that when it was founded in 2000 it was one of the first vendors to move telephony management to the cloud and offer contact center in the cloud services. At the time I wrote my perspective, it had just raised considerable funding to help it further develop the product and expand its presence around the globe.
During a recent briefing, I learned that those funds along with other investments have enabled the company to expand its product capabilities to support multiple engagement channels, workforce optimization and analytics. It has also continued its global expansion and now supports organizations around the world. It does this, it says, in accordance with three principles: global first, data first and experience first – an approach that seems to be working as revenues, number of seats supported, number of customers and operating margins all continue to grow at healthy rates.
Global first, the first principle, is all about telephone voice quality. As anyone who has ever called a contact center knows, if a customer can’t clearly hear or understand the agent then he or she becomes frustrated and customer satisfaction scores drop. To prevent that, NewVoiceMedia now has seven data centers spread across four continents. Each of these is connected to local telephone networks, enabling it to handle calls no matter where the calls originate or in which contact center they terminate, thereby ensuring voice quality remains high.
The latest version of its platform now supports additional communication channels, all of which are processed and routed based on a single set of rules, thus supporting omnichannel engagement rather than multiple disconnected channels. In addition, the system includes integration with Cisco and Microsoft Unified Communication products, which allows agents to collaborate with other employees to increase first-contact resolution rates and ensure consistency of responses.
The company also understands that to respond to customers, agents frequently need to access data in several systems. It has therefore built out its platform so that through an extensive range of APIs it integrates with an array of CRM, workforce optimization and BI/analytics systems. NewVoiceMedia has been well known for its close integration with Salesforce; the latest release extends that support to Zendesk and ServiceNow. It is also now working closely with Monet and Verint to provide integration with their workforce optimization systems. Even with all these new capabilities, the company remains true to its founding principles in that it is built to operate in the cloud and comes with guaranteed up-time and an intuitive user interface.
The final notable development in its summer release is a much-improved set of analytics capabilities. These include the capability to include structured data – say, from a CRM system – and unstructured data (voice, for example), visualize the outputs in different formats and input the resulting information into other systems such as routing and quality management, which helps improve both customer and employee experiences. These analytics capabilities also include the ability to visualize customer journeys so an organization can understand which are going well and which are not, as well as actions they can take to improve those journeys from both an operational perspective (making them more efficient) and customer perspective (less effort and more personalized). Add all these developments together and the company has come a long way from its origins, when it was essentially a PBX/ACD in the cloud.
Importantly, all these improvements mean the resulting platform addresses the top three issues identified in our benchmark research into next generation customer engagement: difficulty integrating systems, channels managed as silos and inconsistent responses. The extensive range of APIs allows organizations to integrate with multiple types of systems; all the supported channels are processed and routed based on the same set of rules, and a desktop system and collaboration capabilities allow employees handling interactions to use the same information to provide responses.
Our benchmark research on contact center in the cloud shows that customer experience has become the number-one way organizations expect to compete in the future. To do this they need systems that address these three key issues. For this reason, I recommend any organization undertaking the journey to improve CX assess how NewVoiceMedia can help support those efforts – but remember, technology alone is not enough. You need to address the people, process and information changes that are also required if you want to provide a true omnichannel customer experience.
VP & Research Director, Customer Engagement