Keith Dawson's Analyst Perspectives

The New Verint: Experiences and Engagement with Customers

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 12, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Verint has recently separated into two companies, one of which is a dedicated provider of software focused on customer engagement and will keep the Verint name. (The other is called Cognyte and focused on security analytics.)

There are many reasons for the split but key among them is a long-term change in how organizations procure software designed to engage customers and handle interactions across channels and departments. Buyers are gravitating toward vendors and products that include a breadth of functionality in what is often called a suite, instead of just a point solution. Increasingly, customer service and even contact-center professionals and their supporting IT counterparts are looking for a streamlined approach that comes from fewer vendors.

VR_2021_Agent_Management_Assertion_5_SquareVerint has consolidated much of its product portfolio into one such suite: Verint Customer Engagement Platform. The company has done a good job encouraging its customers to perform more sophisticated analysis on different types of contact center data, notably interaction data and voice of the customer (VOC) feedback. Ventana Research asserts that through 2024, three in five organizations will have turned to real-time analytics to provide guidance to contact center agents during customer interactions, resulting in better CSAT measures.

Engagement data captures everything an organization knows about the customer – and the contextual environment around the customer – and synthesizes it through automated workflows to make it relevant to everyone in the customer-experience loop. Many still think of this as an aspirational goal, but modern use of APIs for ingestion and export to and from many applications have made it a reality. It is risky not to build a modern data structure to cope with the growing volume, diversity and complexity of the data.

Verint is known for its work in the agent-management space, providing core tools for workforce forecasts and scheduling, call recording, quality monitoring and performance management. Its portfolio has expanded well beyond these to encompass the need for data management across the customer journey, as well as integration to back-office platforms and processes, along with a focus on VOC and associated analytics.

In October 2020, the company debuted Engagement Data Management (EDM), a solution designed to organize all the interaction data from multiple sources across all channels of customer interaction. Their goal is to simplify how organizations use that data for analysis. The EDM focus is gives support and impetus to Verint’s VOC offering, which should provide it a significant differentiation in the CX space.

The company’s split will not dramatically affect existing customers except insofar as it allows Verint to concentrate its available resources directly in the CX space instead of dividing its attention between security and customer engagement. Buyers will likely see the outcome of this from Verint in the form of more innovation.

The company is also likely to find new buyers for its offering. Verint has already developed significant capability to help contact centers map and optimize their customer journeys. This, in concert with the attention to engagement data and VOC, puts a great deal of useful contact-center data into the hands of alternative CX professionals, especially marketers. They will be able use it for product development or to better understand customer behavior and sentiment.

However, customer service and contact centers are not where strategic decisions about customer value are made. Gaining cross-channel and customer journey visibility for Chief Customer Officers and their teams is essential for growth. Getting interaction data to marketers allows them to make better decisions about customer segmentation and value, for example, and this in turn leads to better decisions about how to orchestrate customer experiences. It fosters a broader view of CX and helps develop broader and more varied-use cases for contact-center information. Verint’s recent moves come at a time when its original tools for agent management have matured and become somewhat commoditized. It is expanding its scope at the same time it is making deals with interaction routing specialists (such as 8x8) to wrap their agent tools into white-labeled Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) offerings.

Potential buyers should consider Verint’s platform for their contact center and customer-engagement needs. It is a dynamic company of long standing with a great deal of nuanced expertise and a record of continuous innovation. Existing customers should examine the breadth of the portfolio and apply it to their customer engagement and experience efforts. Without being flashy, Verint has consistently moved its section of the industry toward a data-centric view of the customer experience. And, by being agnostic about who routes the interactions, Verint is able to reap the benefits of both the CCaaS revolution and the existing legacy premise customer base. Given its data-centricity, Verint should consider whether there is a role for it in the customer data platform (CDP) space as well. This could be a natural extension of its recent push to encourage clients to integrate and make use of more varieties of contact-center data.

For further reading, see Ventana Research’s Analyst Perspective The Opportunity for CX is Beyond Your Contact Center. 

Regards,

Keith Dawson

Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Contact Center, 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.