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.
Auckland Airport is hosting a week of workshops for airport staff to learn more about offering customer service to Chinese visitors.
The workshops are designed to help staff at Auckland Airport deliver better airport experiences for Chinese tourists - currently the fastest growing tourism market for New Zealand. Auckland Airport's Glenn Wedlock said the workshops are another initiative from the airport to foster and build enduring relationships with China.
"China is one of the world's leading economies and a huge growth opportunity for New Zealand. We have experienced impressive growth in Chinese arrivals during the Chinese New Year period with 30% year on year growth in the combined two month January and February period," said Wedlock. "These workshops will provide staff across the board at Auckland Airport with increased knowledge of how best to interact with our Chinese visitors, ensuring that we in turn provide the best possible travelling experience for them."
The regional Philippine city of Bacolod in Negros Occidental province has been formally identified as one of the country's newest BPO hubs.
The Philippine Department of Science and Technology formally identified Bacolod as a Center of Excellence for IT and BPO during a ceremony this week. Other Centers of Excellence in the Philippines include Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Clark. As a Center of Excellence, Bacolod was elevated from the ranks of the "Top 10 Next Wave Cities in the Philippines."
Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for information and Communications Technology founding president and executive director and councilor-elect Jocelle Sigue dedicated the distinction to "every call centre agent, technical support representative, global services worker, business process manager, IT-BPO professional" and to Bacolod and Negros residents "working to prove that Bacolod, Negros Occidental is truly a Center of Excellence in the Philippine IT-BPM industry today."
Leaders in Customer Experience Strategy consulting and the largest provider of Customer Experience Research and Analyst studies in Australia, Fifth Quadrant, this week announced the launch of its Co-creation and Customer Experience Design Practice.
Co-creation is a form of open innovation where ideas are shared. Customer Co-creation is the process of organisations creating products, services and experiences in collaboration with consumers, tapping into their intellectual capital and in exchange giving them a direct say in what actually gets produced, manufactured, developed or designed.
Co-creation is a key part of Fifth Quadrant's Customer Experience Design method and has been used across multiple industry sectors.
Research by Fifth Quadrant shows that despite 62% of organisations across Australia and New Zealand citing Customer Experience as one of their top strategies for 2013, very few involve customers or employees in the Customer Experience Design process. In many cases, it appears that organisations will invest significant time and resources in a customer experience design that doesn't create any significant benefit for the customer or the business.
In order to design differentiated experiences that actually meet customer needs, organisations may utilise Co-creation as a primary method of Customer Experience Design. "It is not possible for organisations to unlock personalised value for customers without having customers involved in the unlocking of that value" said Dr Catriona Wallace, CEO, Fifth Quadrant.
For more information on Fifth Quadrant's Co-creation methodology please contact Claire Chow on +61 2 9927 3399 and please see attachment.
Melbourne, Australia (3 May, 2013): Aegis Australia, one of the country's largest outsourcing and contact centre companies, has appointed a new CEO with 20-year customer contact executive Andrew Hume taking over the reins.
Aegis Australia turns over nearly $200 million annually and is a leading provider of a wide range of customer contact solutions. It has more than 2,500 contact centre seats in three locations in Australia providing the customer facing solutions for many major ASX listed companies. Aegis also has successful field marketing and registered training businesses which Hume wants to grow.
Hume, who spent more than 12 years at Aegis competitor Salmat as CEO of Customer Contact Solutions, has a clear vision where he sees the company heading. “I’m determined that Aegis will be a breath of fresh air in the Australian marketplace,” says Hume. “We’re in this for the long-haul and we’re committed to being an innovative partner to the many clients who trust us to deal with and manage their customers. Increasingly, businesses are looking for the benefits of shifting some service delivery to lower cost environments - and that's a solution that Aegis is uniquely qualified to provide."
Hume, one of the architects of the culture that won a contact centre Australia’s Best Employer Award three consecutive years, said one of his first tasks was to bolster his management team.
"I am focused on building an engaged and motivated team of highly talented, energised and creative people to fuel our next growth phase.
"Our team thrives on the challenge of working with clients and partners to craft intelligent solutions that make the complex simple."
Aegis Australia is part of the global Aegis group which boasts more than 55,000 employees in 56 locations across 13 countries with more than 300 clients.