Although the bulk of contact center seats are still served by on-premises equipment, there appears to be a consensus that the cloud is better suited to delivering a successful, omnichannel customer experience, and that most new contact center deployments will be run on cloud-computing platforms.
The trend toward cloud-based contact center infrastructure (CCaaS) has opened a space in the market for non-traditional vendors that may not be burdened by legacy architectures and platforms. Nimble, new vendors have an advantage in being able to focus more on extended parts of the customer life cycle rather than just handling the interaction. Some vendors are seeing an opportunity among organizations keen to expand software stacks to include cross-departmental applications, analytics, and most important, customer data tools. One of these vendors, Ujet, is trying to differentiate itself in this newly crowded market by emphasizing its ability to connect to a wide variety of CRM systems and establish a true, up-to-date system of record for customer data.
Founded in 2015, Ujet is a supplier of CCaaS software that focuses on small and medium-sized organizations and appeals to the need for ease of use and operational simplicity. Hearkening back to the early days of the cloud, Ujet is also attempting to differentiate by offering advanced options at a relatively low price. That strategy appears to be working in the short term, but is also likely to backfire down the road as it reduces contact center technology to the level of a cheap commodity.
Ujet’s executive team has extensive experience in the contact center and unified communications fields. Some of the leaders were formerly at Cisco. The company’s customer list includes Instacart, Cleanly and Swedish fintech firm iZettle. Among the vertical industries Ujet targets are retail, travel and hospitality and BPO segments, along with a focus on SMB organizations.
Ujet’s capabilities include routing of omnichannel digital and voice interactions, reporting and analytics, some advanced agent management features for virtual agents and real-time agent guidance.
Early in 2022, Ujet announced a multi-cloud option called CX Intercloud, that allows clients to pre-deploy across either Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services as protection against the downtime risk of dependency on a single cloud provider.
More recently, Google expanded the relationship to incorporate the Ujet toolset into Google’s Contact Center AI offering. This elevates CCAI from a platform service for injecting artificial intelligence into contact center software to a complete, CCaaS system useful for entry-level buyers. Ventana Research predicts that by 2024, one-half of organizations will still have data silos in their contact centers that prevent from achieving a complete view of the customer.
This is a significant partnership for Ujet. The CCaaS market has opened up to vendors with more diverse features and skill sets. Much of the advanced and innovative technology has been moving down the stack, with AI and workflow automation becoming elements of underlying platforms that go beyond the contact center to combine front- and back-office applications. Ujet gains a great deal of exposure and mindshare as a result of the Google connection and becomes a shortlist contender for any SMB looking to build out a quick but powerful AI-infused contact center operation.
But it also suggests that the industry is changing rapidly in a way that will reduce buyer dependence on individual CCaaS providers. When Google or Amazon become the branded platforms for handling omnichannel interactions at extremely low cost, then vendors at the middle and upper part of the market have to work harder to differentiate and to articulate the value for more tools that are more complex to develop, deploy and manage.
For those buyers in the SMB space, Ujet’s feature set can be appealing. It leans strongly into digital engagement options via mobile devices and in-app experiences. For example, Ujet can enable secure payments via mobile, or use the capabilities of a mobile device to authenticate users or share relevant multimedia with agents. These features are becoming standard components of the contact center toolkit. By embedding them into the Google platform, Ujet is signaling a potential feature war along with price pressure at the low end of the market.