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 Association of Data Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) has formed an alliance with digital strategic consultancy Zuni to create a series of courses based around digital marketing. ADMA said Australian companies are still struggling to unify their overarching business goals with their digital, CRM, metrics and content strategies in order to maximise return on investment in these areas and achieve their core objectives. It says its partnership with Zuni will help marketers and advertisers transform their businesses through a series of new courses called Strategic Development Programs, a first-of-its-kind industry initiative.
The first course up in the overall program is a bespoke Digital Strategy course which will be followed later in 2015 with tailored Content Strategy, CRM Strategy and Metrics and Measurement courses. Through a combination of classroom learning, Q&A and consulting sessions, marketers can develop individual strategies in these areas in a fast-track process, completing their strategy in just two months. "Businesses are increasingly frustrated, sensing that digital could work much harder for them.
"There is little clarity on ROI across digital channels and we see many businesses that have not fully aligned their business objectives to their digital strategy and they're missing out as a result," Zuni MD Mike Zeederberg said.
Indian logistics company Delhivery has upgraded its customer service IT with a solution from Ameyo.
Delhivery implemented inbound voice campaigns on Ameyo to address its Forward Shipment processes and ticketing management solutions to cater to customer queries and complaints. Delhivery was able to evaluate agent performance and workflows through basic reports generated by Ameyo that helped in identifying the gaps in the processes.
"Delhivery's Customer Experience Strategy is to build a world-class voice of customer program by delivering supreme customer experience through various touch points," said Delhivery's Bhavneet Kaur. "The objective is to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, thereby increasing customer lifetime value by making the most out of every customer engagement whether in person, online via email or chat or over the phone."
Brand Developers Limited (BDL), Australasia's leading direct response television company specialising in product development and multi-channel retail distribution, has chosen StayinFront, a global provider of cloud-based field force effectiveness and customer relationship management (CRM) technology, for its retail execution and monitoring system.
StayinFront TouchCG®, with guided workflows and advanced capabilities for image recognition, barcode scanning and in-store, data-driven selling, enables field teams to complete retail activities in less time, focus on priorities and goals and prompt corrective action to maximise performance.
A deep understanding of the consumer goods industry, along with the ability to globally deliver and support fully-configurable retail execution and data-driven selling tools, were critical factors BDL considered when selecting StayinFront.
"Choosing a partner with in-depth industry expertise was essential for us," said Simon Fraser, Group General Manager, Brand Developers Limited. "StayinFront TouchCG® is a robust industry solution specifically designed to manage the retail execution process and will enable us to gain key insight into our field operations so we can rapidly achieve a return on our investment."
"We're pleased to have been selected by BDL, which will leverage our tools and technology to gain a competitive advantage," said Kerrie-Anne Turner, StayinFront's APAC Vice President and Managing Director Australia. "Our proven industry-specific mobile platform and easy-to-use selling tools will give BDL's field reps all the information they need at their fingertips, helping them do more, know more and sell more."