Chris Botting, Senior Director Product Development, Customer Collaboration, Cisco and Ross Daniels, Director of Marketing, Customer Collaboration, Cisco.
Cisco Directors, Chris Botting and Ross Daniels, stated that Cisco is globally the number two contact centre infrastructure provider with an estimated ACD market share of 18% globally, lagging number one provider Avaya who currently own an estimated share of over 35%. However, Cisco claims to be making inroads into Avaya's dominance. In the IVR market Cisco state they are ranked number one, and research from Gartner places Cisco in the 'Leaders' category within the Contact Centre Infrastructure Magic Quadrant.
Daniels highlighted Cisco's business performance within the ACD market. "Within the ACD business our share gains over the last couple of years have been impressive. We have jumped from number three or four to number two worldwide, and in certain markets, such as the US, we have closed the gap significantly on Avaya where Cisco has a market share of 29%."
Daniels continued, "Our projections have Cisco as number one in North America in the next 1-2 years. Our objective will then to be number one globally in the next 3-4 years."
When asked about Cisco's business focus Daniels confirmed that contact centres is now a key priority for Cisco. Daniels stated, "Cisco went through its own corporate struggles in 2011. Cisco came out of that having identified there had been too many priorities and too many things distracting us. There are now five priorities for the company, and the second of those priorities is Collaboration. There are four pillars under Collaboration, one of which is contact centre-or as we call it Customer Collaboration."
But Daniels admitted that the contact centres still struggle for attention across the broader Cisco business. He added, "For twenty years Cisco have been very successful selling and marketing 'boxes', talking to technical people about hardware solutions. Contact centre is about as opposite to that as you can get. First of all you do need people who can talk technology, but it is a bit more software oriented. Then you have to able to talk the Contact Centre Manager's and the Operations Manager's lingo."
In terms of Australia, Daniels and Botting highlighted that Australia is one market that has been recognised as one with significant opportunity for Cisco. Daniels stated, "We have lots of good things in place in this (Australian) market, a good solid product, good sales teams on the ground and a good set of partners. We have a lot things working on our side from a product, marketing, channel and sales point of view. With a little bit of extra investment we feel we can accelerate growth."
Along with greater support from Cisco's executive team and greater investment in the contact centre business, Daniels and Botting highlighted the role that product innovation has played in driving the positive contact centre business performance for Cisco. Daniels added, "We had a strong focus on innovation in 2010. We launched significant new products to the portfolio in November 2010 including our social solution, SocialMiner, a new agent desktop called Finesse and a new recording infrastructure called MediaSense. These were all big projects, and all wrapped around significant innovation. We hadn't been out to the Australian market with that much concentrated innovation in a long time." Daniels continued, "It was very well received."
Daniels went on to discuss how Cisco's focus has shifted. He stated, "As we have gone through 2011 our focus and message has shifted to innovation balanced with execution. This means focusing on the core products and developing solutions that are aimed at simplification to take advantage of the more 'mass market' opportunities."
Botting added, "There is more of a focus on operational simplification." Botting added, "Cisco Unified Contact Centre Express is a good example. For companies for whom contact centre is not their primary differentiator, Contact Centre Express is a nice turn-key all in one solution."
Botting continued, "What we have found is a section of the market that wants the attributes of our more powerful Cisco Unified Contact Centre Enterprise product but with the simplicity of Contact Centre Express. To target this need we have launched Packaged Contact Centre Enterprise in the last few months."
Botting concluded, "We think we have a really good opportunity, with Packaged Contact Centre Enterprise, in the Australian marketplace and the ability to deliver an easy sales cycle. Feedback from our Partner community has been very positive. We have turned what was traditionally a 12 month sales cycle into a four month cycle."
Cisco has identified the importance of simplification as a key message and has developed products and sales process to match. The contact centre world is becoming more complicated as the plethora of channels expands and customers demand better service. Therefore anything that makes life simpler for the contact centre should be welcome news.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that the Southern Phone Company Limited (SPC) breached various obligations by inadvertently removing the silent number classification from its customer records when uploading customer data to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND).
An investigation into the conduct of SPC was commenced by the ACMA following complaints from two SPC customers alleging that their unlisted telephone numbers had been published online. The ACMA's investigation concluded that SPC had failed to protect the unlisted numbers and associated name and address details of 3,854 residential SPC customers by incorrectly classifying them as listed numbers when it submitted data uploads to the IPND manager on 18 March and 15 April 2013.
SPC's incorrect classification of customer's telephone numbers directly resulted in the personal information of those persons being published in the IPND and some regional directories. The IPND is a critical source of information for the emergency services, emergency alert system and law enforcement and national security agencies and as such the provision and maintenance of accurate IPND data is a paramount obligation of carriage service providers under the Telecommunications Act 1997.
Advanced safety technologies are playing a bigger role in the customer satisfaction scores for the auto industry following a sharp increase in vehicle recalls and growing interest in autonomous driving, according to a closely-watched survey released Wednesday.
Blind-spot detection, parking assist and lane-departure warnings are among the features that can most significantly boost the appeal of vehicles, according to J.D. Power’s annual "APEAL" survey. The study examines the way new car buyers judge automotive performance, execution and layout based on the impressions of new car owners. J.D. Power's study found, for example, that the overall score among owners of vehicles with blind-spot warning systems is 38 points higher than among vehicles that didn’t have the technology.
The auto safety issue has been clouded by recalls over the past 18 months, including General Motors Co.’s recall of cars in the U.S. due to an ignition switch issue that has now been linked to 124 deaths. Faulty air bags made by Japan’s Takata Corp. have been the subject of the biggest recall action in the U.S. auto industry’s history, affecting models made by nearly every major auto maker in the world.
NewVoiceMedia, a leading global provider of cloud technology which helps businesses sell more, serve better and grow faster, has today been shortlisted in The Inflexion International Growth Business of the Year category of the 2015 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.
Going up against other finalists, NewVoiceMedia will compete for the prestigious award, with the winner being revealed at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards gala dinner held on 10 November at Park Lane's Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
"We are honoured to have reached the final of the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, which hold a very high standing in the business community", comments Jonathan Gale, CEO of NewVoiceMedia. "We celebrated over 500 percent international growth last year and are outpacing the rapidly expanding cloud customer contact market fivefold. Our world-class technology, market position and momentum are enabling us to attract the highest calibre people around the world who are excited about our vision of using cloud solutions to dramatically enhance the customer experience and drive a more effective sales and marketing team, and we look forward to continuing our growth trajectory ahead of the market".
An all-encompassing range of industries are represented in the shortlists for this year's awards, with companies from recruitment and children's clothing, to pet food and online marketing being selected for the chance to win a coveted Lloyds Bank National Business Award. The scale of the finalists is just as varied, with companies turning over less than a million pounds to over £25 million, employing 20 people or over 70,000 people.
Tom Broughton, Programme Director of the National Business Awards said, "The quality and range of this year's entries exceed even those of last year, which is no mean feat. The draw of being involved with the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards has seen companies from all kinds of industries submit applications, which have been narrowed down using our thorough and comprehensive scoring system. We are now looking forward to the next step in the judging process and meeting some of the finalists face-to-face".
Finalists were chosen from the hundreds of businesses that entered or were nominated across 18 award categories. They will now prepare for live presentations to expert judges who will decide the overall winners that will be revealed at the awards ceremony on 10 November.