Analyst Interview Cisco


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.

More news



Big W, Woolworths and Telstra provide some of the worst customer experiences in Australia, according to a Forrester Survey. These brands were among the lowest-scoring on the Forrester CX Index which failed to find any Australian brand that provides ‘excellent' customer experience.

The Australia Customer Experience Index 2015 gives an understanding of the quality of customer experience by Australia's leading companies. Looking at 58 Australian brands over eight industries, the report finds that smaller companies are leading the pack, that technology is not necessarily the answer and that Australian brands are missing the emotional connection with consumers.

50% of brands say that improving CX is their top strategic priority with 48% saying that improving CX is not a top priority but it is on their list of strategic priorities. Although no Australian brands provide ‘excellent' customer experience, the survey also found that very few brands provide ‘very poor' experience. more

CyberSource announced a partnership with China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (China Eastern). This agreement will allow China Eastern to safely accept online payments and elevate the overall customer experience.

Through this partnership, China Eastern will have access to CyberSource's fraud management tool, as well as support and expertise from CyberSource risk analysts to customise its fraud screening operations. This will significantly enable China Eastern to control its online fraud rate with the ability to accept more genuine orders with confidence, while minimising the rejection of valid ones. In turn, this will improve the customer payment experience and strengthen customer loyalty.

China Eastern ranks among the world's top five airlines in terms of the number of passengers it carries, which totals almost 90 million annually. Its flight network currently serves more than 1,057 destinations across 179 countries. Emphasising world-class customer service, the airline is recognised as one of the top 100 brands in China. more

SYDNEY, September 15, 2015 — Veridian Solutions , an Australian business solutions provider with deep integration capabilities specialising in contact center solutions, today announced that it is offering the Verint® Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNT) suite of workforce optimisation and speech analytics solutions in the cloud for customers in Australia.

Veridian Solutions is a long-standing software development partner for Verint in Australia with a track record of successful deployments in private, public and third sector organisations. In providing further support in the cloud, the company will now host its Verint cloud solutions within Fujitsu data centers based in Sydney and Melbourne. These provide world-class facilities and offer carrier independent, high-bandwidth access within secure and resilient environments.

Veridian Solutions' workforce optimisation suite powered by Verint includes applications such as quality management and call recording, workforce management, performance management, desktop and process analytics, coaching and elearning, as well as speech analytics.

Veridian has expertise in offering in-depth cloud solutions with more than a decade of experience in providing managed services for contact centre infrastructure customers. Of particular benefit to users today is Veridian's technical experience in integrating complementary solutions with Verint and in driving operational-level business value in business process optimisation and interaction management optimisation.

"We are now able to take Verint's market-leading, tier one workforce optimisation solutions and offer integration advantages for a new market of companies that aspire to have these technologies but could not necessarily have afforded them in the past. In particular, Veridian Cloud Workforce Management powered by Verint simplifies the complex task of forecasting and scheduling, provides performance management and elearning capabilities, and eliminates the expense and administrative burden of thick-client solutions. In addition, we'll be offering speech analytics as a service, enabling organisations to seamlessly record their data and act on the findings for real-time decision making," says Jason Hewett, general manager, Veridian Solutions.

The Frost & Sullivan Australian Unified Communications (UC) Market 2014 forecasts that by 2020, revenue contribution from hosted and cloud-based solutions will be close to that of on-premise solutions. Notes Audrey William, head of research, ICT Practice, Australia & New Zealand, Frost & Sullivan, "The hosted and cloud-based models allow vendors and channel partners to address the market directly by provisioning UC solutions from their own data centres."

Adds Michael Stelzer, vice president, Australia and New Zealand for Verint Enterprise Intelligence Solutions™, "We're pleased not only to be working with Veridian's highly-skilled team but also to have the opportunity to work with an organisation with a strong DNA in the contact centre space. It has a refreshing and dynamic approach in customising solutions to meet the individual needs of clients, making it a well-suited partner to help meet customer requirements and further the availability of our cloud-based contact centre solutions in the market."

Veridian Solutions' customers that leverage Verint technology include such leading public and private sector organisations as the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, MYOB and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria. more

Dr Catriona Wallace defines Customer Experience Strategy. more


your call Social CX