As the centrality of contact centers to enhancing the customer experience continues to grow, if you are a solutions provider it is becoming increasingly apparent that having the right partners to fill out the toolkit needed to capture customer attention is critical.
One reason is the obvious one that customers are shortening vendor lists to reduce the complexities of multi-vendor management including their desire to have fewer “throats to choke.” Another is because of the push by management of companies large and small to have the right people, have the right tools, at the right time, with the best training, a premium has been placed on developing a robust ecosystem of partners with unique capabilities to enable those short lists to be filled with a comprehensive offering.
When it comes to contact center solutions, this increasingly means not just having the ability to give choices to customers regarding on-premises, cloud and hybrid solutions and the ability to have a non-disruptive migration path based on customer requirements. It also means being omni-channel when it comes to customer interaction touchpoints, and increasingly involves the integration of existing functionality with next generation capabilities, and the need for good analytics to help drive both internal operational excellence as well as be more responsive to end customer demands.
The reason for the lengthy introduction is that one trend is becoming prevalent in the contact center solutions industry is the increased activity regarding partnering to enable a more holistic strategic and tactical discussion with contact center supervisors and their LOB internal partners. An example is the announcement this week of the strategic partnership by Microsoft (News - Alert) Gold Certified UC Partner, Via Group with Coordinated Systems, Inc. (CSI).
Via Group brings to the partnership its Microsoft Lync expertise and history of designing, deploying and supporting IT and voice environments, while CSI’s (News - Alert) expertise is represented by its flagship Virtual Observer (VO) call recording offer and its and its workforce optimization solution for contact centers. As the two companies point out, the combination will enable them to deliver a more complete and robust overall Lync contact center solution to both existing and new customers.
For several years, the installed base of Lync licenses has been seen as either a competitive threat or an opportunity to leverage by those in the business communications business, and in the last few years in particular as UC has started to take off and omni-channel begins to take hold, a prime place to leverage Lync is in the contact center. This is true not just for customer facing interactions, but also as noted above for compelling internal workflow and business process optimization reasons.
Driven by the twin, and closely related needs for operational excellence and improved customer experiences, proactive as well as reactive, this is why the flow of partnering agreements in the contact center solutions industry is picking up steam. That is good news for the partners seeking to add value and even better news for customers seeking to optimize their contact center solutions technology investments.