Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

NICE to Acquire Merced Systems for Excellence in Customer Service and Sales

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 6, 2011 11:45:54 PM

NICE Systems last week announced an agreement to acquire Merced Systems, a provider of business applications for customer service and sales organizations. This acquisition slipped by with little fanfare, but it marks a significant milestone for NICE, a major provider of applications and technology for call centers and a player in their evolution into multichannel contact centers. Building on a good 2010, as my colleague Richard Snow noted, NICE expects to reach almost $800 million of revenue in 2011, which would make it one of the largest companies in its segment. NICE has made multiple acquisitions to build its software portfolio, including purchases of Actimize, CyberTech, eGlue and others mentioned below. It recently won our 2011 Ventana Research Leadership Award in the contact center category with its customer deployment at Alliance Data. NICE Systems plans to have Merced Systems as a foundation of its enterprise systems and a complement to its contact center workforce optimization offering. This purchase builds on its other acquisitions, including FizzBack recently and IEX and Performix in 2006, which helped NICE establish its customer service and back office agent performance management software. That area has not grown as quickly as NICE would like, mostly due to marketing that was not aggressive enough in attracting customers. NICE recently rebranded its NICE SmartCenter for helping agents, as Richard noted, and is leveraging its assets into the back office, which he also assessed. Our benchmark research on contact center technology found that companies’ priorities for future investments match up well with NICE Systems’ focuses on expanding customer service agent applications and analytics applications.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales, Sales Performance, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Marketing, Merced Systems, NICE, Revenue Performance, sales analytics, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, CFO, CMO, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Sales Performance Management, SFA, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Merced Customers Apply Analytics and Metrics To Improve Agent Performance

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 20, 2011 10:59:12 AM

Ventana Research’s benchmark research into agent performance management shows that most companies recognize the vital role contact center agents play in creating good customer experiences and thus good business outcomes. The research also shows that only the most mature companies have put in place processes and metrics that encourage behaviors that deliver such business outcomes. Furthermore, the research shows that companies are held back from adopting more customer-related metrics because they don’t have performance management tools that can help them create such metrics; instead most rely heavily on spreadsheets. Thus I was encouraged to hear during a recent roundtable discussion sponsored by Merced Systems from two customers that have used the Merced Performance Suite to institute a more rigorous, metrics-driven approach to improving agent performance.  

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Merced Systems, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Get the Most from Dreamforce for Your Sales Force

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 30, 2011 12:27:29 PM

Salesforce.com’s 2011 Dreamforce conference is under way. If you’re in sales and you use the company’s application, here’s how to gain the most value from your time at the conference. 

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Marketing, Marketo, Merced Systems, Qvidian, Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Sales Operations, Zilliant, Zyme Solutions, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, Callidus Software, Camelon Software, CFO, ChannelInsight, Cloud9, CMO, CRM, Sales Performance Management, SFA, Varicent, Vendavo, Xactly

Gaining Sales Traction with Merced Systems

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 30, 2011 9:15:59 AM

Looking to make your sales force more effective by automating its operations? Merced Systems can provide the traction your sales team needs. The company has been providing applications for more than a decade to customer service and more recently sales organizations, helping both measure and manage performance. Several years ago Merced Systems made a substantial investment to expand to the sales organization with new applications and now offers analytics and reporting, compensation and incentives, and coaching and talent development.  

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Social Media, Marketing, Merced Systems, Revenue Performance, sales analytics, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, CFO, CMO, CRM, Sales Performance Management, SFA

Merced Systems’ European Event Showcases Best Practices and Customer Insights

Posted by Richard Snow on Nov 28, 2010 11:51:05 AM

Merced Systems provides software to support performance management in both sales and service. Its products extract data from various systems to produce business-related reports, dashboards, scorecards and analysis that help companies improve performance in these two key functions. To further its efforts, Merced recently invited around 100 partners, customers and prospects to its 360 Degree Performance Management Forum in London. As well as the usual presentations and demonstrations to convey its messages, successes and strategy, the customer presentations provided practical insights into how companies use these products to gain real business benefits. Since my colleague covered Merced’s U.S. event in depth on applications and technology, I will assess one of the customer presentations in more depth.

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Topics: Customer Experience Management, Merced Systems, Operational Performance, Agent Performance Management