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        Keith Dawson's Analyst Perspectives

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        Dialpad Stresses the Unity of UCaaS and CCaaS

        Dialpad provides contact center and business phone services, a market that is in transition due to a convergence of technologies and business conditions.

        Although Contact Center as a Service and Unified Communications as a Service are designed in a similar way, they have always served different functions and purposes and been pitched to separate buyers. While UCaaS improves and streamlines internal business communication and collaboration, CCaaS focuses on customer experience and increasing customer satisfaction.

        These once separate technologies are now melding together, brought on by the need to have traditional unified communication features in a contact center system. Vendors on both sides of the divide see the other as a way to increase market penetration and make their offerings more “sticky” to customers.

        The pandemic has largely boosted this shift as the move from the office to remote work forced firms to provide agents with better collaboration tools. The combination of these two technologies benefits the large swath of buyers in the middle of the market, especially outside of the contact center, where there’s more flexibility around the communication toolkit workers need. Inside the contact center, there’s more rigor around the operational infrastructure needed for performance tracking. Contact centers typically impose more limitations and structure around access to features.

        VR_2021_Customer_Service_and_Support_Assertion_2_Square (4) (1)Going forward, Ventana Research asserts that by 2024, 7 in 10 customer interactions will occur with a combination of automated conversational self-service and live agents, reducing costs and time, enabling agents to focus on high-value interactions.

        Organizations are aware of the imperatives to improve and update contact center processes and technologies in a way that enables agents and engagement channels to provide the best possible personalized customer experiences. Increasingly, the impetus to improve and integrate the contact center comes from outside. Many organizations are centralizing processes for customer experiences and engagement under new executives like the chief customer officer or chief experience officer. The reason for the shift is to improve accountability and quality of operations with customers across departments.

        Dialpad is a cloud communications software vendor founded in 2011 that primarily provides business phone systems along with a contact center platform. It also offers a sales-related communication tool called Dialpad Sell, which marries outbound dialing with artificial intelligence for sales coaching, real-time transcriptions, analytics and sales enablement. Dialpad also boasts an underlying platform called Voice Intelligence, which uses AI to control speech recognition, natural language processing, machine learning and real-time coaching. Dialpad supports native integration with Salesforce, Zendesk, ServiceNow, Microsoft 365, Slack and many others.

        The Dialpad offering is based on Google Cloud, and the company has executive ties to Google. The founder/CEO was previously at Grand Central, which was purchased by Google and became Google Voice. Other executives hail from Google, Five9 and TalkIQ — a natural language processing firm acquired by Dialpad in 2018.

        Dialpad’s most recent product announcement was Dialpad Channels, a messaging tool used for employee collaboration. With applications on both the UC and CC side, Channels is part of Dialpad’s recent effort to beef up support for collaboration, meetings and messaging to deal with the pandemic and compete with Zoom, Teams and other UC vendors.

        Organizations needing an upgrade to low-end or minimal contact center infrastructures with marginal setup can see Dialpad as a good entry point, especially if a UC component is also important. Dialpad has made an effort to differentiate based on using AI to augment communication processes, especially around sales and support applications. AI implementation is relatively straightforward, focused on creating beneficial processes and clear business outcomes. This approach can be very attractive to sales leaders who need non-intrusive tools to assist sellers with the kinds of tasks that eat up time — qualifications, note-keeping, auto-log calls, transcripts, and notes in the CRM system.

        Dialpad’s messaging speaks to the common processes used by workers on both sides of the UC/CC gap, without neglecting the high-grade tools needed for actual contact center operations. At the same time, both the UC and CC markets are highly competitive, with multiple vendors looking to move into new segments of the market. (An example of this is the most recent acquisition of Five9 by Zoom.) Since a large number of vendors in the space work with AWS/Amazon Connect as their underlying platform, Dialpad represents a Google-based alternative as a differentiator.

        Informal call centers taking support calls, small or midsize formal centers, and special groups like outbound-focused sales teams will find value in using Dialpad. As an entry-level combo platform, Dialpad presents a fully capable application suite that includes some extremely useful “extras” such as Sales AI, real-time transcription and an excellent user interface. Dialpad would benefit from adding more specific applications to the platform, with or without the use of AI. Examples include a case-tracking app for customer support, or perhaps a communication application focused on account-based marketing for sales or marketing teams.

        Overall, Dialpad is making smart moves in the small or midsize business UC and CC combination space, with a wide array of capabilities and a record of continuous innovation. For more about CCaaS and the CX marketplace, explore these additional Analyst Perspectives:

        Regards,

        Keith Dawson

        Authors:

        Keith Dawson
        Director of Research, Customer Experience

        Keith Dawson leads the software research and advisory in the Customer Experience (CX) expertise at Ventana Research, now part of ISG, covering applications that facilitate engagement to optimize customer-facing processes. His coverage areas include agent management, contact center, customer experience management, field service, intelligent self-service, voice of the customer and related software to support customer experiences.

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