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        Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

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        Verint’s AI Strategy Takes Shape

        Verint’s November analyst conference was an opportunity to flesh out the strategies unveiled earlier in the year on AI deployment and on “Open CCaaS,” a moniker describing how contact centers are provisioned going forward. The company displayed notable progress, particularly in rolling out AI bots for numerous real-world applications.  

        Open CCaaS is Verint’s way of stating to the industry that a vendor should not have to be an ACD provider to be considered as the primary vendor in a contact center technology stack. This idea runs against conventional wisdom, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Open CCaaS denotes a cloud-based platform that incorporates all the operating software needed to run a center, with or without telephony services. The company stresses openness to integration with other vendors and systems, especially when it comes to AI and to the data resources the center uses. This, Verint argues, is a necessary corrective to closed ecosystems that it says result from legacy CCaaS ACD vendors also supplying digital channel tools.  

        The idea behind Open CCaaS is logical, even if it doesn’t yet fully resonate with the tradition-minded contact center industry. The notion of ACD-centrality needs to be revisited industrywide, and the industry needs to collectively grapple with what will come after that. Openness is a goal and a positive differentiator, and Verint is well positioned in that regard and recognized as Exemplary and a Leader in the 2023 Contact Center Suites Buyers Guide.  

        The next step for Verint is to actively change the legacy mode of thinking. Over the past several years, Verint has invested a great deal in developing both a sophisticated AI portfolio and a tool for collecting and managing engagement data — the vast flow of information about interactions, customer histories and workforce performance. This Engagement Data Hub gathers information from all Verint applications in the platform, external systems and archives to provide a single source for a company to analyze and from which to optimize its customer experience strategy.   

        On the AI front, Verint described the fruits of its strategy by zeroing in on narrowly defined use cases with automated bots that are relatively easy to work with. This allows them to talk to buyers about AI in a way that directly addresses concerns about costs, capabilities and overall disruption. Verint is able to show quantifiable dollar results from using its AI bots. One example Verint used was a Voice Containment Bot, and by putting figures to the expected costs of things like labor, software and the bot itself, can show how the bot reduces overall expenses. In another example, the company showed how a center could see a 20% increase in agent capacity by using four bots in tandem for tasks like interaction wrap-up, performance coaching and containment. Scenarios will differ, but by putting hard numbers in the mix, Verint allows buyers to see places in their operations where automation can generate results. It is also transparent about what contact centers can expect to pay for the various bots. The bots will be packaged along with the Engagement Data Hub and Da Vinci AI into tiered groupings that are designed for Verint’s partner network to easily work with.  

        The industry is having a conversation with itself about the best way to implement AI tools for customer experience. Some are primarily talking about AI as a platform service that enables all sorts of smart applications, while others focus more on those applications themselves. The tension between those two points of view is artificial, as a buyer can’t really expect to have those AI applications without the platform, even if the platform is hidden from view. So, the conversation is really about how to express to buyers the realizable value of the new tools without forcing them to overhaul a large portion of their operations, which would be disruptive.  

        Verint seems to be able to have its cake while eating it too by effectively addressing both sides of that discussion. The platform is represented by both the Engagement Data Hub and the idea of Open CCaaS, which encompasses the broad suite of operational tools primarily for workforce optimization that the company is known for. The application level is represented by the array of specialized bots, with their easily understandable use cases and ROI calculations. The company estimates it will have 50 such bots on the market by the end of 2023. 

        Whether or not one agrees with the idea of tying the ACD to CCaaS, I believe Verint’s approach is more buyer-friendly than some other strategies for modernizing the contactVentana_Research_2023_Assertion_CX_Data_Mgmt_Strategies_4_S center. It can engage both IT and contact center professionals, and it speaks to both enterprise strategy and operational tactics. We expect that by 2024, one-half of organizations will see the need for a dedicated tool for integrating their siloed stores of customer data, spurring discussions between IT and CX professionals on data management strategies. 

        This is evident in the way Verint presents the EDH, starting from the premise that “openness” is about getting behavioral data out of silos and allowing any and all platform applications to make use of it, even applications from other vendors. Verint presents buyers with a variety of ways to engage with new tools: through the bot lineup, the data repository, or the knowledge management, all suggesting that "openness" means the ability of a business to adapt the next generation of advanced tools to their existing processes and ways of thinking rather than having to upend their methods to accommodate the new tech. 

        It appears that in the six months between strategy rollout and the end of the year, Verint has made concrete progress in knitting together a portfolio that puts AI at the fore but makes it digestible and its benefits understandable. It has made good on development promises in its line of bots and other enhanced tools. These advancements contributed to the success of Verint in agent management and its Exemplary rating in the 2023 Agent Management Buyers Guide.   

        Any contact center buyer looking for either an updated set of ops tools or a more extensive integrated platform for CX should examine Verint’s offering.  


        Keith Dawson


        Keith Dawson
        Director of Research, Customer Experience

        Keith Dawson leads the software research and advisory in the Customer Experience (CX) expertise at Ventana Research, now part of ISG, covering applications that facilitate engagement to optimize customer-facing processes. His coverage areas include agent management, contact center, customer experience management, field service, intelligent self-service, voice of the customer and related software to support customer experiences.


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