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.
Queensland contact centre agents who thought they were representing a reputable investment company have discovered they were actually a front for a bikie-run scam.
Police last week arrested 33-year-old man they allege is a member of the Black Ulhans bikie gang, over a fake investment scheme. They say the contact centre agents inadvertently helped steal $1.4 million from small investors.
The two men allegedly helped clone the website of a real WA investment company and operate an outbound contact centre that encouraged people to invest their superannuation savings in their fake company. "The template for these things is that the people involved in the telemarketing or the cold call centres don't have an idea of the ultimate gain," Detective Inspector Phillip Stevens said.
German BPO specialist arvato has expanded its operations in the Philippines with the opening of a new contact center in Metro Clarke north of Manila.
The new site is part of arvato's strategy growth plans which aim to double its workforce in the region over the next three years. "This expansion will provide more capacity to service our existing client base and a strong platform for growth as the Philippines continues to emerge as a major outsourcing destination," the company said.
The Clark operation will initially provide multi-channel English-speaking customer service support for the North American region. It forms part of arvato's global CRM delivery network of nearly 100 sites across 21 countries.
London; United Kingdom, February 27th, 2014 – Altitude Software, a leader in unified customer interaction solutions, today announced that We Fight Any Claim has registered more business flexibility and significant productivity increases using Altitude uCI solution.
We Fight Any Claim is a Claims Management Company based in Cwmbran, South Wales, specializing in claiming back Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) on behalf of customers all over the UK. We Fight Any Claim have reclaimed over £94 million in compensation for thousands of customers since 2010.
We Fight Any Claim's business is subject to constantly changing legislation and regulations. It needs to have the ability to adapt quickly, so that daily contact center operations involving around 300 agents can run without major disruptions. "The contact center is the absolute heartbeat of the business and its where our business thrives or dies, so it's essential that everything we use in the contact center works well, is reliable and flexible to change and adapt to our needs" states Simon Evans, Communications Manager at We Fight Any Claim.Major increase in campaign success rates in a few months
Altitude uCI solution enables the company to swiftly adapt to change, customizing the technology platform to react to market changes on a day to day basis. The team can easily develop campaigns, scripts, integrations or customizations and, by having the solution completely adapted to their business model, We Fight Any Claim has experienced a 625% increase in campaign success rates in a 9 month period. "Our contact center has given us absolute flexibility to react to changes within the industry, and because we are using this technology we are much quicker to react to changes. This helps us keep ahead of the game" claims Richard Thomas, Senior Project Manager at We Fight Any Claim.
We Fight Any Claim is an example of adaptability as it continues to respond to market demands by adapting and changing the business model as needed. As the business evolved one thing has remained the same and that is the solution used to power the contact centre. "We Fight Any Claim is the perfect example of how flexible our solution is. The endless adaptability of the tool to the many different scenarios that the company has had to deal with has been crucial to the success of the company. It's great to see the solution leveraging the potential of the business." states Adrian Wright, Sales Director, Altitude Software UK.