Keith Dawson's Analyst Perspectives

The Value Index for Contact Center in the Cloud: Classification and Rating of 14 Vendors

Posted by Keith Dawson on Jun 10, 2021 3:00:00 AM

I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Value Index research, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud 2021 is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. Drawing on our Benchmark Research, we apply a structured methodology built on evaluation categories that reflect the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to cloud contact center vendors. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories: five relevant to the product experience ﹘ adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability ﹘ and two related to the customer experience ﹘ TCO/ROI and vendor validation. I encourage you to learn more about our Value Index and its effectiveness as a vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool.

VR_VI_Contact_Center_in_the_Cloud_Logo (1) (1) (2)This Value Index research evaluates the following vendors that offer products for CCaaS platforms as we define it: 8x8, Altitude Software, Aspect, Avaya, AWS, Cisco, Five9, Content Guru, Genesys, NICE, RingCentral, Talkdesk, Twilio and Vonage. Unlike many IT analyst firms that rank vendors from an IT-only perspective or focus on a specific type of CCaaS, Ventana Research has designed the Value Index to provide a balanced perspective, rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business.

Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize your contact center operations. We urge organizations to do a thorough job of evaluating Contact Center in the Cloud software offerings in this Value Index as both the results of our in-depth analysis of these vendors and as an evaluation methodology. The Value Index can be used to evaluate existing suppliers, plus provides evaluation criteria for new projects. Using it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP.

The Value Index for Contact Center in the Cloud in 2021 finds NICE first on the list, followed by Talkdesk and Genesys. Companies that rated in the top three of any category ﹘ including the product and customer experience dimensions ﹘ earn the designation Value Index Leader. The Value Index leaders in Product Experience are: NICE, Talkdesk, Genesys and in Customer Experience are: NICE, Talkdesk and Content Guru. The Value Index Leaders in other across any of the seven categories and in number of categories ranked are: NICE, Talkdesk, Genesys, Cisco, Content Guru and Avaya.

The overall performance chart provides a visual representation of how vendors rate across product and customer experience. Vendors with products scoring higher in a weighted rating of the five product experience categories place farther to the right. The combination of ratings for the two customer experience categories determines their placement on the vertical axis. As a result, vendors that place closer to the upper-right are “exemplary” and rated higher than those closer to the lower-left and identified as vendors of “merit.” Vendors that excelled at customer experience over product experience have an “assurance” rating, and those excelling instead in product experience have an “innovative” rating.

Ventana_Research_Value_Index_Contact_Center_in_the_Cloud_2021_Scatter (1)

Note that close vendor scores should not be taken to imply that the packages evaluated are functionally identical or equally well-suited for use by every organization or process. Although there is a high degree of commonality in how organizations handle contact center software, there are many idiosyncrasies and differences that can make one vendor’s offering a better fit than another, including vertical market expertise, partnership networks, and the specific software components available.

After more than a decade of technological advances, all the products we evaluated are feature-rich, but not all the capabilities they offer are equally valuable to users. Moreover, the existence of too many capabilities may be a negative factor for an organization if it introduces unnecessary complexity. Nonetheless, an organization may decide that a larger number of options is a plus, especially if some of them match its established practices or better support a new initiative that is driving the purchase of new software. The Value Index methodology and appropriate weighting can be applied to determine the best fit of vendors and products to an organization’s specific needs.

Our firm has made every effort to encompass in this Value Index the overall product and customer experience from our Contact Center blueprint, which we believe reflects what a well-crafted RFP should contain. Even so, there may be additional areas that affect which vendor and products best fit an organization’s particular requirements. Therefore, while this research is complete as it stands, utilizing it in your own organizational context is critical to ensure that products deliver the highest level of support for your projects.

You can find more details on our site as well as in the Value Index Market Report.

Regards,

Keith Dawson

Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, Product Information Management, Digital Commerce, subscription management, agent management

Keith Dawson

Written by Keith Dawson

Keith leads the expertise in Customer Experience (CX), covering applications and technology that facilitate engagement to optimize customer-facing processes. His focus areas include: agent management, contact center and voice of the customer and technology in marketing, sales, field service and applications such as digital commerce and subscription management. Keith’s specialization is in natural language and speech tools with intelligent virtual assistants, multichannel routing and journey management, and the wide array of customer analytics. He is focused on how businesses can break down technology and operational silos to provide more efficient processes for two-way engagement with customers. Keith has been an industry analyst for more than a decade and prior was the editorial director of Call Center Magazine. There he pioneered coverage of cloud-based contact centers, speech recognition and processing, and the shift from voice to multichannel communications. He is a graduate of Amherst College.