SaaS to merge Five Customer Service Contact Center layers into One?

Gartner defines five layers of Customer Service Contact Center:

  1. CRM business applications for customer interaction
  2. Infrastructure – CTI, IVR, ACD, Chat, Instant Messaging, Alerts
  3. Workforce Optimization (Workforce Management, Call Recording, Quality Monitoring, etc.)
  4. Enterprise Feedback Management
  5. Offline and Real-time Analytical Tools

According to Gartner, Siebel, Microsoft and Salesforce.com are leaders in CRM business applications layer whereas Genesys, Cisco and Avaya are leaders in the Contact Center Infrastructure layer.

As one can only imagine, the leaders in each of these space are constantly addressing needs in adjacent markets and as a result, these layers aren’t quite as black and white as they are made out to be. For instance, Genesys offers significant offerings in all but the CRM business applications layer.

The combination of all such required capabilities required is also quite a burden on contact center operations and it was therefore but natural that there could be market potential for a service provider that can combine all these capabilities and offer them without the painful undertaking of a multi-million dollar, multi-year rollout.

New entrants such as LiveOps hope to ease this pain and enable medium-sized businesses to quickly acquire all these capabilities. Additionally, with quick and easy deployment, these service providers also can provide quick access to such capabilities to meet “peaking” demands. The LiveOps claim is “Contact Center in the Cloud.”

Michael Maoz, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, says in the CRM Customer Service Contact Centers Magic Quadrant report that as more applications are built in a cloud-based model, “by 2011, SaaS will evolve from an interesting alternative delivery model into a critical selection factor at all levels of the customer service contact center.” (Also mentioned in: Salesforcemarketing.net)

Only time will tell how successful such SaaS providers will be in merging all these complex capabilities into one, easily deployed solution. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if any of the existing leaders in the current market segments joins the new, emerging market for a complete SaaS solution. Such a move will only accelerate the market even more.

242 Comments

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