The products of Enkata have generally been designed for what Ventana Research terms performance management for customer service and call centers, including applications connected to agent performance management (quality monitoring, coaching, training and related analytics) and operational performance analytics based on transactional, structured data. Recently Enkata has taken a new direction with its branding (“changing the customer experience”) and has been filling out its portfolio of products to include analytics for unstructured data, so it now includes speech (courtesy of a partnership with Callminer), desktop, cross-channel and text analytics; the last supports the analysis of customer surveys and social media posts.
With this broad range of analytics capabilities Enkata can capture data from almost any source and provide integrated analytics that draws on all of them. It has used these capabilities to widen its portfolio of prebuilt business applications, such as first-contact resolution, next-contact avoidance and contact reasoning (about why customers are calling). At the heart of many of these developments has been a partnership with Openspan, which has what I call a smart desktop product. It allows organizations to hide the complexity of their desktop systems behind a simpler user interface, extract and deliver data to applications without the user having to know the full interface, and post messages onto the desktop to aid users with the task in hand. This partnership allows Enkata to capture what users do at their desktops, analyze how they use systems, combine this information with insights derived from its other analytics applications and enable actions based on these combined insights. Those actions can include posting a message to the desktop, for example, to remind the user to ask a particular question, giving the user context-based information, such as product information to help a cross-sale or using the newly enhanced workflow engine to send a message to a third party to take action.
These types of capabilities enable the products to close the performance loop by analyzing what is happening, deciding what needs to be done and enabling the necessary actions. This is particularly true for customer experience management, where knowing what has happened is not enough; organizations need to take action so that customers finish the interactions feeling they have been treated well. This also applies to back-office functions such as claims processing, where the system can guide the user in following best practices. The software also helps with workforce optimization, because as the system analyzes how different users complete a task, it can help identify best practices, which can be enforced by changing the user interface and prompts, and by helping focus training.
In addition to developing these new capabilities and partnerships, Enkata has made two other changes that address two key areas Ventana Research has identified. Its products are available in the cloud, reflecting the increasing acceptance of this supply model. And it has moved into the big-data arena to support organizations that have growing volumes of data but still want results in seconds. Follow my colleague David Menninger if you want to learn more about this area of growing importance and check out his latest Big Data benchmark research.
Customer experience management is one of the most important issues organizations need to address to retain customers and sell them more business. My experience and research show that this is not easy, because it requires combining numerous types of analytics and the capabilities to take action, often in real time, for example during a call. The latest developments from Enkata seem to back up its claim to support the customer journey by enhancing the customer experience, so I recommend organizations see how Enkata can address this key business issue. Enkata has advanced significantly since my last analysis And worth taking a closer look.
Are you addressing the customer experience? If so, how? Please tell us your views and experience and collaborate with me.
Richard Snow – VP & Research Director