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New research from Pelorus Associates shows vendors competing on value, to gain traction in highly concentrated $1 billion interaction recording market


Presented By: Pelorus

Pelorus Associates has tracked the WFO space for a decade now.  Our annual market research reports have shown many changes over the years but one thing that has not changed is the dominance of two or three players.  With workface management software it’s Aspect, NICE and Verint collectively controlling over 70% of global sales.  With interaction recording (which includes compliance recording, quality management, coaching, speech analytics, and voice of the customer surveys) the supply side is even more concentrated. Verint and NICE combine for 80% of the $1.05 billion market while twenty smaller vendors compete over the rest.   

One might reasonably expect that in a market like this, prices would rise and innovation would be stifled, yet just the opposite has happened. One of the many significant findings from our most recent report, 2015 World Contact Center Interaction Recording Systems Market is that vendors compete vigorously for an even a small piece of a very large pie.   Contact centers everywhere are the winners. The battleground is drawn not on price but value.  Neither NICE or Verint have elected to sit back and relax. Both continue to innovate, explore new markets, and develop integrated solutions to specific business challenges. The others differentiate in many ways, most notably with bundled solutions and design simplicity.  

Quality by the bundle

In the past, vendors would sell recording, quality management, evaluations, coaching, and post call surveys as individual components much like a Chinese menu. As contact center processes have matured managers now prefer integrated turnkey solutions.  At a minimum today's quality management solution would include 100% voice and data recording, software for selecting calls for review, evaluation forms, and a reporting package.  Some also include coaching, and learning.  VPI (formerly Voice Print International) adds value by delivering pre-built dashboards, searches, QA forms, reports, metrics, and speech analytics categories out of the box.  Selling application bundles makes the acquisition process easier for both the vendor and the customer.    

Make it simple

The term "user friendly" was first used in 1977.  This eventually evolved into what today is known as  User Experience (UX) design; a discipline that borrows from such areas as psychology, anthropology, marketing, graphic design, industrial design, programming, and computer science.   

Some of the most important qualities of user experience design are:    

  • Familiarit.  There is a reason why ketchup bottles haven't changed much in 100 years.
  • Simplicity. Operations should be intuitive.
  • Clarity. Avoid clutter.  Use colors, images, and fonts to make the screens easy to read.
  • Forgiveness. Where we would be if Microsoft had not developed the "undo" function.     

Calabrio was early to deploy Web 2.0 elements such as widgets.  ZOOM International uses mash ups to produce user customizable screens and has even done away with the traditional user manual in favor of an e-book which is updated every two weeks.  Aspect retained world famous Frog Design, Inc. to produce the stunningly attractive and inviting screens used on its version 8.0 and later WFO products.  In a dramatic blending of the visual and audio the latest Verint software graphically shows variations in customer and agent emotion and even breaks the conversation down into discrete sections based on speech analytics.  

Besides differentiating between solution bundles and user-friendly designs, vendors now offer a wide variety of acquisition choices and enhanced service offers.  In general, the two big guns of the market tend to concentrate on the largest contact centers. While that is definitely where the big budgets are, we estimate that only 12% of North America's 57,000 contact centers have more than 150 agents.  This leaves a lot of opportunity for small agile vendors, who are able to put together a product, price, and acquisition offer geared to the smaller contact center.