Verint is one of the major players in the contact center market, with two suites of products that support contact centers and voice of the customer analysis. The company’s website shows that these suites have been put together from a combination of in-house developments and acquisitions (Blue Pumpkin, Witness Systems, Mercom, Iontas, GMT and Vovici are among them). Although this strategy has allowed Verint to create comprehensive suites of products in both areas, it also created issues with integration of the products and a lack of commonality in the user interface. These concerns were the main factors that kept Verint from being ranked as highly as it might have been in our last Value Index for Agent Performance Management (APM).
I was therefore intrigued when the general manager of Verint Systems recently assured me that these issues have gone away and the latest release is both fully integrated and has a new, unified user interface. A demonstration of the new release showed these claims to be true for those parts of the system I was able to see.
The new user interface turns accessing the systems upside down. It is not uncommon in newer systems for users to start with a dashboard and then navigate to screens that allow them to see the details behind the information, or to update the systems with new information. The latest version of the Verint systems starts this way; users see a dashboard of information that relates to their particular needs, including key performance metrics that are derived from multiple applications. Users can then click on a metric and drill down to the base data the metric was derived from, regardless of which application the source data resides in. To me this demonstrates a high degree of application integration. The approach is information-driven; that is, you start with the information you need for your role and then access the data through this one-click approach. The screens also have tabs so users can, if they want, go straight to the applications.
When Ventana Research produces a Value Index for a category of applications we take into account not just product capabilities but also ease of use, scalability and performance. Our previous APM Value Index showed that ease of use is a high priority for companies, so this new approach is likely to go down well with users and could lead to more adoption. It puts into action an information-driven approach, which many pundits proclaim to be the way to ensure ongoing business success.
I also see a need for what I call closed-loop processes for handling interactions. My research into customer relationship maturity shows companies need to handle interactions through multiple communication channels and business units. Companies therefore need to have processes that cross these boundaries and are all connected to give the customer a consistent experience. Such closed processes need well-integrated systems, and from what I saw, the latest release from Verint supports this need.
How is your company supporting the diverse requirements needed to handle customer interactions? Please tell us more, and collaborate with me on agent performance management and Verint in its new offerings and my research agenda.
Richard Snow – VP & Research Director