Genesys targets the small and mid-sized enterprise market for contact center solutions
Almost a year after private equity firm Permira (with participation from Technology Crossover Ventures) acquired Genesys, the vendor is rounding out its portfolio with two new contact center offerings geared for the small and mid-sized enterprise market. These are Genesys Connect for Service Cloud (announced in September) and Genesys One (announced earlier this month).
Genesys Connect for Service Cloud is a move by Genesys to broaden its market into a new space. It is a cloud contact center offering that focuses on selling to an installed base of Salesforce.com customers that typically have small contact center operations and require voice and multichannel services. Genesys One signifies a new commitment, a retrenchment of resources, and a new strategy for Genesys to help it target premise-based opportunities in the mid-market more effectively than it did in the past, when it was a part of Alcatel-Lucent (ALU).
This is the right move at the right time for Genesys, as it looks to accelerate growth and increase profit margins in an industry affected by downward pricing pressure and commoditization. Both of the new Genesys offerings provide a fresh approach for small and mid-sized enterprises in need of multichannel customer service capabilities delivered in the cloud or on-premise. It is important, however, that Genesys clearly communicates its long-term strategy in this market segment, which continues to evolve, to its hosting partners and customers to ensure relationships are not strained or put at risk. Genesys should also look to create deployment options for enterprise customers over the long term to ease migration.
The appeal of Genesys One is its business-centric approach
The Genesys brand resonates well among enterprises with large contact center operations that have at least 500 agent positions in a single site, but the small and mid-sized enterprise market is a different story. The vendor has found this market challenging for many years as enterprises view Genesys as a provider of solutions best suited to large, complex contact centers that require customization to fit complex customer pathways and associated workflows. What makes Genesys One different from Genesysâ€™s previous premise-based mid-market solutions is its business-centric approach, which is different from the product-centric approach used when it was a part of ALU.
Genesys was part of ALU for more than a decade, and its product roadmap had to incorporate various elements of ALUâ€™s existing PBX product lines and its â€śall in one boxâ€ť strategy for the mid-market. This made sense, as it was, after all, a part of ALU. In practice, however, the results showed that there was relatively weak uptake of the mid-market solutions that stitched together Genesys and ALU, the last version being Genesys Express. The reason for this may have been ALUâ€™s product-oriented approach, the hardware-centric â€śall in one boxâ€ť messaging, the sales and channel structure, or even a combination of all of these.
Genesys is taking a business-centric approach with Genesys One by focusing on rapid deployment time, best practices, and lower TCO. Rapid deployment time is facilitated by a Genesys partner in conjunction with the Rapid Installer application, which populates routing strategies and reporting via an application interface and pre-built templates to expedite implementation. These templates draw from best practices and have been created based on an analysis of hundreds of SIP contact center deployments, and Genesys guarantees a deployment timeframe of 30 days or less. Lower TCO comes from the fixed-price 30-day implementation and pre-built, roles-based administration that provides new levels of business user control and decreases the need for IT to change scripting.
From a technical standpoint, Genesys One supports up to 300 agent positions on a single server and can scale up on a virtualized infrastructure, whereas Genesys Express supported 150 agent positions. Genesys One is not a different solution from Genesys 8 (the vendorâ€™s large enterprise flagship platform) â€“ they are one and the same. The difference is simply in the packaging of specific software modules (those most commonly used by Genesys customers) and server configurations to accommodate added scale. However, should an enterprise want to activate additional features on Genesys One they have the option to add any additional product from the Genesys suite, including email, IVR, workforce management, analytics, or social media. This can prove valuable, as user interfaces, reporting, and administration remain consistent through product additions and the solution lifecycle.
Genesys should create a migration path for enterprises that want to transition from Genesys One to the cloud
While Genesys One and Genesys Connect for Service Cloud provide deployment flexibility for Genesys customers, the migration path between the two has not been outlined or discussed by the vendor.
The offerings are still in their early stages: Genesys One will be generally available from December 2012, while Genesys Connect for Service Cloud will arrive in January 2013. Even so, Genesys should begin outlining phases that show how enterprises can employ a hybrid environment, as well as how they can migrate from Genesys One to a cloud offering (whether that is Genesys Connect for Service Cloud or a hosting partnerâ€™s Genesys offering). Because of spikes in customer interaction associated with seasonal campaigns, natural disasters, or other events, and the need for business continuity, enterprises should have greater scalability in their contact centers. While the excess capacity may be included in the original premise-based deployment configuration, it may be more economically palatable for the enterprise to opt for a hybrid model to increase scale past 300 agent positions when needed.
Genesys should clearly communicate its long-term strategy in the small and mid-sized enterprise market with hosting and channel partners
While â€śco-opetitionâ€ť is common in the customer experience management industry, Genesys has generally avoided it, being known as very partner-friendly. The vendor must clearly communicate its long-term strategy in this market segment to its hosting partners and channels to prevent any confusion or backlash. For example, if and when Salesforce.comâ€™s Service Cloud offering penetrates the large enterprise contact center market on a wider scale, Genesys will need to define the market it sells into.
Daniel Hong, Practice Leader, Customer Experience and Interaction
2013 Trends to Watch: Customer Experience and Interaction (October 2012)
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