Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

NICE Elevates Power of Customer Experiences

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 2, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Pressures to engage consumers through every interaction and provide a delightful customer experience are influencing advancements in business and technology. Organizations are challenged to manage friction points experienced by billions of consumers amid expanding digital channels. These issues must be addressed to engage and respond to customers every second of the day.

VR_2022_Digital_Business_Assertion_5_SquareWe assert that, through 2025, one-quarter of organizations will lack effective collaboration for digital business and will reassess the communications and interactions with workforce and constituents. We also recognize the market transition to what we call customer experience management, outlined by Keith Dawson in his post on Why We Need a New Definition for CX Software Platforms. The topic is also addressed through our Value Index on CXM.

NICE is a multi-billion dollar customer experience software provider with a focus on applications that use not just transactional data but the intent of an individual, relying on artificial intelligence to guide decisions. At its 2022 analyst summit, CEO Barak Eilam described a “new era” in the business landscape. Eilam discussed factors contributing to this shift, including:

  • The economy, where a monetary restraint in a supply-chain bullwhip effect has begun to send shudders through the technology vendor market.
  • The shift to managed globalization, that includes the collapse of work lifestyle concepts into a new lifestyle ecosystem, changing the dynamics of the workforce and expectations in how we work.
  • And changes in the enterprise software market, with less low-cost capital and pressure on the workforce paradigm simultaneously linked to the digital engagement void that is so complex in organizations today.

In support of this new era, NICE is advancing its efforts into customer experience integration – a way of organizing AI and analytics into a coherent framework for processing and analyzing digital experiences. Analyst Keith Dawson assessed CXi in 2021 as positioning a new market category to advance CX efforts from contact centers and agent management to frictionless experiences for consumers anywhere along their journey to resolution.

NICE’s CXi portfolio includes intra-app workflows with digital entry points, journey orchestration, smart self-service, prepared agents that create personalized interactions and a complete performance suite of applications. NICE has committed to providing new applications every year on a fully cloud-native environment with shared services through which thousands of developers that can contribute.

NICE is also applying AI to address human limits on mastering complexity. NICE’s workforce engagement management software helps agents and supervisors with improved forecasting and automated optimization, quality support for more areas of the organization like sales, interaction analytics for better exploration and streaming intents as well as NEVA Discover for process analytics and automation. Our 2022 analysis of NICE in the agent management area of focus found it Exemplary in approach and products. NICE blends best-in-class cloud contact center applications with agent management.

NICE also demonstrates the importance of customer convenience through its comprehensive suite, with no up-front billing, predictable billing and zero-cost migrations as well as a guaranteed service-level agreement. An open architecture further enhances effectiveness with configurable applications, support for Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as well as a marketplace of application and developer partners. It has also advanced its Value Realization Services, an essential point of its overall customer experience for its technology customers. Helping buyers understand and realize value is especially important given the complexity of NICE’s platform and the variety of applications (and business processes) available.

NICE supports the fluency to meet consumer and organizational needs for frictionless, efficient and personalized interactions accomplished through compliant processes. NICE outlines its requirements for CXi and the journey’s digital entry points, journey orchestration, smart self-service, empowered agents and complete performance. According to the vendor, common challenges found in self-service are that traditional approaches are broken, with siloed experiences, a lack of technology to unify them and interact with customers and the knowledge and skills to go beyond transformational efforts to embrace digital modernization.

One of NICE’s most eye-catching and technological advancements is the acquisition of ContactEngine in July 2021. ContactEngine provides proactive, conversational AI that enables intelligent, asynchronous conversations with customers to preempt and prevent interactions before they happen. This level of proactive engagement across a digital journey becomes even more essential to accomplish in an intelligent manner depending upon specific vertical industry requirements where the context of interaction and support of an agent might be required. Now as a component of the NICE digital self-service offering for conversational AI, the application brings more intelligence into interactions and experiences to supersede a potential customer interaction to the contact center. As my colleague Keith Dawson asserts, by 2025, one-half of all customer interactions will be entirely handled by automated systems, with no human in the loop, helping minimize the cost impacts of increasing volume.

VR_2022_CX_Assertion_3_Square-1NICE's new Enlighten Journey Orchestration brings an intelligent workflow of interactions to customers and organizations. The AutoFlow technology for taking intent to interactions across channels earned the 15th annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Award in 2022. This product provides the ability to assess asynchronous and synchronous interactions to determine intent and interact more intelligently through three conceptual areas: create actionable derived data, understand needs from events and orchestrate engagement. This advancement enables NICE to reach the fullest potential value from its platform and AI investments supporting its CXi direction.

NICE is a juggernaut in the customer experience technology market and a key provider for CX, supported by its global efforts and profitable position to invest and grow its business. Its advancement in CXi is a step toward what a customer experience management platform should provide, and an essential centerpiece for managing any type of digital interaction and customer experience. Any organization looking to architect and advance CX strategy and the entirety of experiences and interactions should evaluate NICE.

Regards,

Mark Smith

Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, agent management, Digital Business

Mark Smith

Written by Mark Smith

Mark is responsible for the overall direction of Ventana Research and drives the global research agenda covering both business and technology areas. He defined the blueprint for Information Management and Performance Management as the linking together of people, processes, information and technology across organizations to drive effective results. Mark is an expert in technology for business from Performance Management, Business Intelligence, Analytics to Information Management across finance, operations and IT. Mark has held CMO, product development and research roles at companies such as SAP, META Group, Oracle and IRI Software. He has experience across major industries including banking, consumer products, food and beverage, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and retail and consumer services.