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NICE inContact Takes a New Path with CXOne, Their First Jointly Promoted Pure Cloud Platform

NICE inContact

Presented By: NICE inContact



 

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When a customer engagement product is launched under the banner of ‘meeting the evolving expectations of customers for seamless omnichannel experience’ and ’enabling businesses to act smarter and respond faster,’ it’s not always earth-shattering news. But when the solution is the first publicized joint offering from two major companies in the contact center who joined forces last year, and when the new platform is designed to help organizations finally find a clear, simple migration path from legacy on-premise and hosted solutions to a full cloud native environment – the solution can be a potential difference-maker in the market.

NICE inContact CXOne offers extensive functionality to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes by combining advanced Omnichannel Routing, Workforce Optimization, Analytics, Automation and Artificial Intelligence. One of the key selling points of the new solution is that it will enable companies to focus their energy on CX innovation as opposed to infrastructure innovations. It allows users to connect customer journeys in a highly personalized fashion across all channels, leverage advanced analytics insight in real time and offers the strong WFO capabilities that NICE is known for bringing to the table. Machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotic automation make it easier to streamline processes and improve the quality of interaction. All of that is well, Nice, but it’s the inContact emphasis on enterprise-grade cloud native applications that truly sets it apart.

Since NICE acquired inContact in 2016,  the two companies have acknowledged the relationship, but have kept their respective product lines separate.  “We had originally planned on not releasing a product together until sometime in 2018, but the changing market dynamics caused us to move forward ahead of schedule,” said Aviad Abiri, VP of Portfolio Sales Enablement for NICE. “With consolidations in the industry and the growing customer doubt that legacy players might not be able to deliver on their vision of updating their solutions to the cloud, we chose to step up sooner than we anticipated. Most of the products being put out are what we see as simply hosted versions of on-premise solutions and businesses are going need more than that.”

According to Abiri, “Companies in the Fortune 500 are talking cloud more seriously than ever before. They’re not only thinking about taking their operations to it 2 to 3 years down the road, they’re looking at what the end state might be 5 to 7 years from now. They want to know how they can accomplish the transition from their existing on-premise or hosted solution to a full cloud natural environment, which is something we are prepared to help them do.”

Abiri believes that customers are getting more savvy about the cloud, with many having used CRM applications such as Salesforce and others. He considers the long-time privacy and security concerns to be “a battle won.” Even the largest organizations now accept the fact that in many ways, cloud solutions are as secure …if not more so… than on-premise. So why haven’t more companies made the move to pure cloud at this point? “It’s not a trivial matter for them to change their existing routing, IVR and WFO functionality,” he said. It also involves telephony issues and the need for carrier grade connectivity. Another issue he touched on was what he called “political.”  He believes that in some cases when companies want to adapt a pure cloud solution that some IT departments might  feel threatened even though taking such a step will allow them to move on to less mundane tasks and not take jobs away. This can be analogized to the perhaps more rational fear of contact center personnel that automation will eliminate their jobs. “Most companies and their IT groups find it to be a breath of fresh air to move to the cloud. For example, if a company might need to change their IVR rules when an emergency comes up, instead of the days or even weeks it might take to rewrite them, the change can easily be made by non-technical people using drag-and-drop applications. With just a little training, business users can make changes without any need for coding. “

Many companies have taken what Abiri calls “the interim step” of transitioning to hosted solutions. While more agile than on-premise, companies still have to make upgrades system by system which he says can take months if not years on other solutions.  With a pure cloud solution like CXOne, businesses can take advantage of automatic upgrades and always be sure to be on the "latest and greatest" release with no additional effort required on their part. In addition, it’s open and extensible with over 250 APIs and 65 development partners.

He understands the need of many businesses to protect their current investment which CXOne allows by combining on-premise and cloud native solutions in one platform. NICE inContact advocates what they call a “maturity model,” a 3-step process which starts with moving omnichannel to the cloud while leaving such functions as WFO, QM, recording and training where they are, perhaps moving one small line of business entirely. The company can then add analytics from the cloud and finally migrate their WFO. They call this “Ignition, Transition Addition”

With CXOne, companies will have the scalability and flexibility to expand or contract their operations as needed, paying as they go based on what they use. Implementation will be rapid, with an average of 60 days to be up and running. NICE currently supports more than 200,000 agents in the cloud, delivering 6 billion interactions annually. The company offers ​​extensive professional services expertise and experience migrating customers to its cloud native customer experience platform, including specialized enterprise services.

Abiri points out that while the acquisition of inContact accelerated the timetable, NICE had already developed pure cloud solutions before the two companies came together. “We were looking for the right partner,” he said. “We could have tried to align with a legacy ACD provider, but chose inContact because we felt it had the right DNA as a cloud native solution specialist.”