Top CCaaS Providers 2019
Assessing the CCaaS options for contact centres moving to the cloud
As cloud adoption reaches an all-time high, more and more business functions are demanding functionality from the technology stacks. Whether you are a call centre, full blown contact centre or business unit that requires inbound or multichannel functionality, the Contact Centre as-a-Service (CCaaS) market is where you need to be looking.
The market is built up of inbound specialists, voice-first companies and software houses that each offer something different. It can be a minefield when breaking down who to even approach. And that needs to happen a long time before you start seeing demos and producing requirements.
This guide highlights the leaders in the CCaaS industry and should be used to help narrow your search in finding the perfect match for your contact centre needs.
Enghouse Interactive provides an omni-channel contact centre solution providing voice, email, webchat and social media channels all into a single pane of glass.
With Enghouse Interactive, we also see the addition of chatbots into the contact centre. As businesses compete to provide standout customer experience at all hours of the day, the focus on getting your chatbot right first time is crucial. Enghouse Interactive has a refreshing view that your chatbot needs to be treated like a human. It may not need a lunch break, but it does need dependable data to draw from and updating when changes are made to systems, products and processes.
Enghouse Interactive is a certified partner of Cisco, NEC and Avaya. You should expect integration between phone system and contact centre to be top rate when combining with one of these partners.
Enghouse Interactive’s most interesting partner is Microsoft Skype for Business. As businesses rely on Skype for Business, and soon to be superseded by Microsoft Teams, the need to integrate your Microsoft phone system into your contact centre becomes crucial. When buying a contact centre for Skype for Business, consider Enghouse Interactive as a native partner.
Five9 has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contact Centre-as-a-Service 4 years in a row now. They also appear in the latest Forrester Wave Cloud Contact Centre report so you instantly know they have a solution worth reviewing.
Like Enghouse Interactive, Five9 provides an omni-channel solution delivered to a single agent experience. In addition, Five9 includes a Workforce Optimisation suite and predictive dialler as part of their all-in-one contact centre solution.
Five9 has recently seen an influx of former Cisco C-level hirings. These make complete sense as Five9 looks to dominate the artificial intelligence part of the contact centre market. Five9 CEO, Rowan Trollope, recently announced the partnership with Google Cloud Contact Center AI. He said:
“Imagine a customer engaging with an intelligent virtual agent, that talks to them in a natural and human way, finding them what they need and connecting them to a human agent. The human agent will then be guided by artificial intelligence to ensure they get to the best possible answer as quickly as possible. The result? A radical customer experience every time”.
As with Enghouse Interactive and Five9, 8×8 provides an omni-channel contact centre experience, bringing in channels like voice, email and web chat into a single pane of glass. Unlike Enghouse Interactive and Five9, however, 8×8 also provides their UCaaS offering via the same platform.
This makes the 8×8 X Series contact centre platform incredibly attractive to highly collaborative contact centre users that require constant communication with other teams that don’t use the contact centre platform. Enabling both contact centre and non-contact centre users to channel their comms through the same medium is a real win for user experience. If your teams feel comfortable and can be more productive in the tools they use, the correlating customer experience will only prosper.
This also ties in the important aspect of cost. Typically, a contact centre platform is deployed in conjunction with a separate phone system. This incurs calls between platforms – for example, 8×8 contact centre to Avaya phone system. With everything operating under one platform, the cost benefits associated with deploying 8×8 as a contact centre must be heavily considered if looking for a new phone system at the same time.
VoIP Studio provides a call centre product specifically designed for small businesses looking to enhance their CRM applications and get intelligent inbound functionality without the expenditure of a full blown omni-channel solution.
Suited more to businesses handling high volumes of calls, rather than high volumes of tweets, VoIP Studio enables the following features from just £3.99 per month:
- Reception console for simple management of call flows, users and administration
- Unlimited call recording for compliance, regulation and training
- ACD Queues, ring groups, IVR and time-based routing all provided
- Wallboard and CRM integration backed by 24/7 technical support
They even tie in a free non-geographical number, free number porting and free inbound calls. If your business is looking for inbound contact centre functionality, at a fraction of the cost, VoIP Studio must be considered. For those really just dipping their toe in the contact centre market, you can even get a free 30 day trial to test whether it’s call centre functionality you need or a bells and whistles omni-channel solution.
Tollring is probably best known for providing wallboard and customer analytics on cloud phone system platforms. Commonly coupled with BroadSoft phone systems (and a good number of other leading UCaaS platforms), Tollring made its name providing deep insights into inbound voice transactions. Aside from business analytics into VoIP and UC platforms, Tollring also provides their informal contact centre product, iCall Suite.
iCall Suite can be deployed via cloud, hybrid and on-premises mediums and is broken down into the following feature sets:
- iCS Insight: provides an at-a-glance dashboard of inbound activity
- iCS Report: provides historical enhanced level reporting, breaking down each call, trends and patterns during the working day
- iCS Report Premier: provides enhanced level reporting in real-time
- iCS Record: compliant call recording and quality management
- iCS Protect: fraud and credit management and prevention
Tollring also provides telecoms expense management and billing solutions.
West UC’s portfolio is based off the back of two major acquisitions. Their acquisition of InterCall boosted their UCaaS platform and their acquisition of contact centre provider, Magnetic North, forms the basis of their CCaaS offering.
West UC has two core CCaaS products. The first is their Inbound Cloud Contact Centre. This comes pre-packaged with intelligent call routing, interactive voice response (IVR), call queue management, dynamic scripting and a selection of customisable reports and dashboards.
Businesses looking to go one step further can then incorporate text, emails, web chat and social media by opting for West Cloud Contact Pro. From the same agent desktop as your calls, you can identify contact requests and treat them according to media type. Automatic replies can handle inbound emails to let your customers know their request has been received and estimated queue times can be providing to customers waiting for a web chat.
Outbound facilities for telemarketing and customer success teams can be added via West Cloud Contact Centre Pro. As can features like call bending and CRM integration to boost productivity levels within your contact centre environment.
Avaya’s CCaaS product has arrived to market quickly following their legacy success in the on-premises phone system and contact centre markets. The solution now boasts omni-channel functionality, dynamic workspaces for customer interactions and machine learning to power the best possible outcomes for your customers.
At Call Centre World 2019, Patrick Watson spoke to Avaya. Gregg Widdowson, Customer Engagement Solution Sales Leader in Avaya Europe, said customers are most interested in bettering their customer experience. Ranging from small business solutions to chatbots and a blend of mixed component solutions, the end goal is providing the best customer experience.
As well as selling direct to businesses, Avaya has a strong channel community. Formation Tech, for example, are experts in using APIs to create bespoke functionality for CRMs. From click to dial, call recording to advanced reporting, Formation Tech is a Diamond Cloud Integrator partner of Avaya, which is testament to the speed and size of cloud seats Formation Tech has deployed, but also to the strength of the Avaya cloud contact centre portfolio.
Akixi provides cloud based call analytics that give businesses valuable insight into their voice transactions. With Akixi, you can benefit from over 200 historical and real-time reports, fully customisable on your own dashboard.
Often deployed as a wallboard solution and as a supervisor’s day to day management screen, Akixi comes in three product tiers:
- Akixi Lite: A basic call logging service that includes historical call reporting. Akixi Lite offers scheduled reports, cradle to grave call reporting and trend analysis by multiple intervals such as half an hour, per day, per week or per month
- Akixi 1000: A business dashboard that helps you manage your telephony resources and usage cost effectively. Akixi 1000 provides comprehensive real time call analytics which allow you to scrutinise and analyse your customers, supplier contacts and staff historically and in real time
- Akixi 2000: Delivers the complete contact centre tool allowing you to successfully manage your staff, campaigns and resources effectively. Akixi 2000 is the perfect tool to help deliver outstanding customer service
The Akixi analytics platform is also available as an app for smartphones and tablets. An ideal solution for supervisors and contact centre managers always on the go.
Following Cisco’s acquisition of BroadSoft last year, the CCaaS offering takes the shape of the Cisco Customer Journey Platform. BroadSoft’s own acquisition of Transera empowered BroadSoft with an omni-channel cloud contact centre platform to be sold into their existing customer base.
With the additional backing of Cisco, the Cisco Customer Journey Platform now includes a includes a speech-enabled IVR, ACD, WFO, outbound campaigns and voice, email and chat channels for customer interaction and engagement
With BroadSoft previously the undisputed leader in cloud phone system seats, and the power of the Cisco brand behind them, the Cisco Customer Journey Platform is one that is sure to keep developing as technology changes. And if your customers are using new communications mediums, you’ll need a partner that can keep up with innovation.
The name itself showcases Cisco and BroadSoft’s dedication to being a customer-led platform. BroadSoft states on their website that their goal is to “find relationships you never knew existed between customer interactions and agent activities in the ACD, IVR, Chat, Email, CRM, WFO and other systems”.
Twilio is a Communications Platform as-a-Service platform (CPaaS) rather than pure CCaaS. This will likely appeal to more developer focused businesses that require reactive change and ultimate flexibility.
Twilio Flex provides API like functionality across voice, SMS, video and WhatsApp. Current customers using this consumption model approach for their contact centre include Twitch, ZenDesk and Lyft – all tech savvy, innovative and forward thinking companies. Rather than relying on Twilio resource, businesses can utilise their own specialist teams to deliver the functionality they require – as they see it rather than prescribed by a vendor.
As CPaaS matures, and enterprises become reliant on this technology, stability and performance are important to lead the market. Twilio currently boasts 99.999% API success rate.
RingCentral Engage is an omni-channel contact centre solution connecting your business with customers on their channel of choice. Through RingCentral’s recent acquisition of customer engagement business, Dimelo, businesses can now truly serve their customers on their preferred medium – not just the ones available in a standard contact centre scenario.
Agents are also empowered by access to the RingCentral team messaging client. When answers to customer queries require interaction with members of staff outside the contact centre, users can search file repositories and share knowledge over persistent chat channels.
Customer issues are remedied more efficiently via the deployment of intelligent bots. These bots can monitor what is most important for your contact centre without needing an IT person to build out an integration. Alerts and notifications are provided on critical metrics so supervisors or product specialists can step in where required.
The CCaaS market is exploding and there many options available for all shapes and sizes of businesses. Before you make your decision, review the pros and cons of each vendor and match them to your requirements. If you only need voice functionality, there’s no need to go omni-channel. In the same vein, however, it’s important to serve the channels your customers are interacting in – so choose wisely!