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In our benchmark research into contact centers in the cloud, nearly two-thirds (63%) of companies said that adopting applications in the cloud would enable them to improve how they handle customer interactions, and slightly fewer than half (44%) said that adoptingvr_CCC_actions_to_improve_customer_interaction_updatedcommunication systems in the cloud would deliver similar benefits. Several vendors now provide such systems.Diabolocom is the latest one to brief me on its products. Founded in 2005 and having around 30 employees, it has headquarters in France (and its website is in French), but it has a global presence, primarily for supporting French companies that have offices around the world. Its contact center  products are available only in the cloud and extend beyond basic multichannel communications to other applications connected with handling customer interactions.

Diabolocom has a business model different from that of most other vendors in this market. It is a Tier 2 telecommunications service provider, which means that it does not own any cable in the ground but provides telecommunication services by partnering with Tier 1 providers and providing its own services using their networks. It has partnerships and data centers around the world and at present supports companies in 15 countries. This number is expected to grow as the company intends to expand from mainly supporting French companies with overseas sites to supporting local companies. This arrangement is conducive to providing contact center in the cloud services, as it can manage calls from their point of origin to the agent selected to handle the interaction.

Its primary offering is Engage, a suite of products that manage voice, email, social interaction, chat and short message services. Engage Voice has capabilities to manage inbound and outbound phone calls and IVR. It supports analog and IP telephony, automatic call dialing to route calls to agents, click-to-call so agents can call a customer by clicking on its number, and Web-based call-back so that customers can visit the website and arrange to be called back. In addition, supervisors can listen to calls to monitor performance and provide assistance. The Voice system supports a full set of IVR capabilities and comes with point-and-click tools that enable business users to set up menus that suit specific requirements. These menus can be used in conjunction with similar point-and-click capabilities to set up call-routing rules based on agents’ skills, call priority, wait times and source of the call. Users can set up customized screens for agents and supervisors using widget-based techniques so that organizations can build such interfaces to meet their needs. The Diabolocom “window” can be embedded in CRM systems such as saleforce.com or run in stand-alone mode with integration to those systems. The outbound capabilities support windows that allow business users to set up complex outbound call campaigns by selecting data from drop-down boxes, which also can be integrated with CRM systems. Extensive reporting capabilities show agents, supervisors and business users how well individuals, interaction-handling processes and the system are performing.

Engage Email supports a similar set of capabilities to handle large volumes of email. Phone calls can be routed based on a comprehensive set of rules that can be overridden if volumes exceed set limits. One key feature is the ability to build libraries of canned responses that agents can select and customize to provide personalized responses. As well as voice and email there are similar ranges of tools to support interactive chat sessions and handling of SMS messages, including rules that determine which agents can handle which types of interactions. The company’s product set also includes Monitor[http://www.diabolocom.com/en/offre/monitor], which allows companies to record phone calls, analyze them and use the outputs to focus agent training and identify root causes of customer interactions or possible cases of fraud so that preventive actions can be put in place. In total, Engage provides a comprehensive set of capabilities that allow organizations to manage multichannel engagement in sophisticated ways.

By combining its telecommunication services, data centers and the use of its products, Diabolocom offers two other services. Reach allows it to run hotline services for companies based on numbers chosen by the company, and Network enables it to provide hosting services for clients’ systems and networks.

Despite its being such a young company, I am impressed by the scope of its products and services. All its products have been developed in-house, the capabilities are tightly integrated, and the user interface has a modern look and is and easy to use. Business users can take control of the systems with only basic support from IT, and carry out tasks in hours that used to take days. A potential issue is that the native language for the system is French, but the company offers an option in English. System setup and operation is also fast and easy, requiring few in-house resources; Diabolocom claims to be able to set up a company in a matter of hours. As I already remarked, the company plans to expand beyond serving French companies, so companies looking to adopt contact center in the cloud services should assess how it can help those efforts.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

Over the last few years, through a combination of acquisitions and internal development, Enghouse Interactive has developed a portfolio of contact center products and services. Recently it announced its product portfolio for 2016. This consists of three core products: CCE, CCSP and EICC. These are updated and rebranded versions of the products I recently wrote about, and each is designed to help different types of organizations maximize the value of every interaction with customers.

Vendors that have several similar products often go to great lengths to differentiate them and the organizations they are suited for. During my recent briefing, Scott Logan, the company’s VP of marketing for the Americas, came up with a fun way of doing this. Using cars as a metaphor, he likened EICC to a sedan, affordable for the midmarket; CCE to a luxury model, providing enterprise level service; and CCSP to a public transit bus. In more literal terms, EICC is its midmarket product for companies with 10 to 500 seats in their contact centers, CCE is for the enterprise market with 50 to more than 1000 seats, and CCSP is a multitenant cloud product typically used by telecom companies to provide contact center services to multiple clients. Each is available in multiple supply models: EICC is available on-premises or hosted in a private cloud; CCE is available on-premises, in a private cloud or in a hybrid model that combines both; and CCSP is available in public, community or private clouds.

The products have evolved from different starting points through acquisitions: EICC from Zeacom, CCE from Apropos and CCSP from Cosmocom. As a result each has slightly different capabilities, but as Enghouse develops new capabilities, where applicable, it is incorporating them in each product. Nevertheless there are some common themes and capabilities. Each supports multiple channels of engagement, interactions delivered to multiple touch points, and the full range of types of interactions (queries, complaints and others). Each also supports multiple types of users – managers, administrators, agents, enterprise users (knowledge workers) and both mobile employees and customers. Each also supports smart interaction routing, targeted information to help resolve interactions, the history and context of previous interactions, and the ability for users to collaborate to help improve first-contact resolution. The 2016 releases all include high levels of integration, greater standardization between products so developments in one are included in others, enhanced analytics, new visualizations that bring the systems more into line with what modern users expect, and continuing development in the areas of cloud computing and mobility.

In terms of functionality, there are some key differences. EICC focuses on supporting omnichannel customer experiences and includes capabilities to route instant messages and text messages and to escalate from one channel to another, It has presence capabilities, which allows users to see who is available to collaborate with. It also is integrated with Skype4Business to support video and collaboration.

CCE has been updated to improve the user experience, offering a Web-based agent user interface and new features that make it easier to use for those in the back office. New capabilities support both inbound and predictive outbound telephone calls, and outbound calls can be blended with inbound calls. As part of CCE, iVault provides users with a historical view of all of a customer’s previous interactions and a script to help agents provide superior customer experiences. A new version of CCE was developed specifically for the utilities market to help optimize performance of the control centers that many companies in gas, water, electricity and telecom use to maintain their service networks and to integrate it with customer-facing activities such as the contact center and customer service.

CCSP focuses on making it easy for clients of telecom companies to access and run contact center services using the centrally managed system. It offers easy-to-use agent and administration tools, which are made available through an HTML5 Web user interface to be available at widely distributed locations.

Enghouse also has several complementary products that work with all three of the core products: knowledge management, quality management, an auto-dialer, an operator/help-desk console and IVR. Quality management includes common capabilities such as call recording, agent quality management and workforce management. In addition it includes screen recording that captures how agents use their desktop, surveys to gain customer feedback to drive agent training and coaching, and real-time speech analytics so that companies can gain insight into customer issues and satisfaction levels as well as input into agent quality management. A vocal coaching capability includes real-time speech analytics to analyze how agents are handling calls, and it can raise prompts to advise agents on how to follow best practices. As part of IVR, Mobile IVR follows a recent trend that replaces touch-tone or voice-activated IVR with a mobile app that supports similar capabilities. The app is integrated with the core contact center systems so that if a customer switches from it to speak with an agent, the agent can see what the customer was doing and put the response into that context.

Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement vr_NGCE_16_new_technologiesshows that organizations increasingly want vendors to support key innovative technologies. More than half are looking for support of mobile technology (63%), analytics (61%), collaboration (55%) and social media (54%). Across its portfolio, Enghouse Interactive supports all of these, although I have to note that they aren’t all supported to the same level in all three products. This is perhaps not surprising as maintaining one product to keep up with changing market demands is hard enough, and doing it across three is very challenging. That said Enghouse has options available to meet different organizations’ needs, so companies wanting to upgrade or replace their contact center should determine whether its options meet those needs.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

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