Vocalcom is one of the up-and-coming names in the contact center market. Founded in 1995, it is headquartered in France but has a worldwide presence, with 4,500 customers and more than half a million users of its services. It may not be as well-known as other companies in the same space because many of the customers are in southern Europe, and a high percentage are outsourcers who use its services to provide contact center services based on its platform. It offers what I call multichannel contact center interaction management in the cloud – what some term “communications in the cloud.” A full contact center consists of the systems to manage multiple communication channels, systems to manage agent performance, business application such as CRM, and analytics. Vocalcom’s strength is in the former, along with integration tools that support interfaces with business applications and analytics that focus on interaction performance.
The platform supports multiple channels of interaction, including voice, email, SMS, web chat and social media. It supports traditional and voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones, fixed and mobile, and home and office phones working off of a PBX. It includes what many call single-queue routing, where all interactions are routed to agents based on a single set of rules. Interaction recording lets all interactions be stored and analyzed. Agent monitoring allows organizations to see how agents handle different forms of interactions. The platform can manage outbound interactions that include automated outbound dialing, intelligent scripting to aid agents receiving and making calls, and an application to manage outbound marketing campaigns.
In a similar way to other communication management products, the platform is closely tied with Salesforce.com Service Cloud, which provides an agent desktop that ties all the capabilities together, making it simpler for agents to carry out their tasks. Ventana Research benchmark research into the agent desktop shows that an integrated desktop is a vital tool, because in many cases agents have to deal with multiple systems. This slows down interaction handling, introduces the opportunity for data entry errors and leads to frustrated and unhappy agents. The research shows that the level of agent unhappiness has a direct impact on an agent’s performance and thus the agent’s ability to meet key performance targets.
The Vocalcom platform is available in the cloud and is accessed through a web browser. This removes location as an issue and permits companies to distribute interaction handling, enabling companies to support distributed centers and home-based and mobile agents. For companies wanting to support highly distributed interaction handling, Vocalcom works with cloud-based network services providers such as Ciptex; together they have supported several companies in their efforts to optimize interaction handling on a global basis.
The majority of Ventana Research benchmark reports show that usability is often the most critical issue for companies adopting software. The Vocalcom platform has centralized administration, making it easy to set up and operate. As I learned from the demonstration and a user I spoke with, the user interface is also intuitive. For Salesforce.com users, the interface can be integrated into the standard agent desktop.
Ventana Research benchmark research into the contact center in the cloud shows that the contact center environment has become ever more complex, with organizations needing to support multiple channels of communication and interactions by more and more lines of business spread over multiple locations. The research shows that to meet these demands, more companies are looking to adopt a contact center in the cloud. Ventana Research recommends companies consider Vocalcom as one of these options.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director