December 15, 2016
No one could have predicted how the internet would disrupt long-standing industries and businesses, but today, a startup can launch and completely turn an industry on its head. The contact/call center is no different. A startup offering analytics, workforce management, or other tools for the contact/call center could launch tomorrow and, with surprising speed, unseat an industry leader. In response, it seems as though the contact center technology industry is consolidating.
For example, Interactive Intelligence (ININ) has long been a major player in the contact/call center space and rivaled such giants as Avaya/Nortel and Cisco. In August, another major player in the industry, Genesys, announced that they had finalized a deal to acquire ININ and their entire product line.
The contact/call center world is both shrinking and growing at once as startups launch and established companies consolidate. NICE Systems, based out of Isreal, appears to be following a similar strategy as Genesys as they have acquired two big names in 2016: VPI and InContact.
Who Is NICE Systems?
To understand why NICE would choose to acquire with VPI and InContact, you must understand how these acquisitions expand their service offering.
While NICE Systems does not offer a complete contact/call center platform, such as ININ or Cisco, they do offer a suite of tools to enhance an existing platform. For organizations that do not have or are not happy with their call recording, quality management, workforce management, or analytics tools, NICE Systems can provide cutting-edge, user-friendly solutions.
Two Acquisitions in the Contact/ Call Center Space
VPI is an established player offering primarily workforce management and analytics tools for the contact/call center. Though their products directly overlap with NICE Systems own workforce management solution, there is one key difference: target area. VPI’s workforce management solution sells well in the mid-market, enterprise and the public safety markets. These are both two very lucrative markets and two target growth areas for NICE Systems.
Through this acquisition, NICE was able to gain access to a powerful set of tools. Combined with their global distribution infrastructure, VPI solutions will be able to reach more customers than ever before.
Much like the VPI merger, InContact is a direct competitor to NICE Systems and offers overlapping products. However, InContact has one clear distinction: the cloud. InContact was named a “Leader” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) space for two years in a row for their cloud-based contact/call center solutions. This acquisition instantly launches NICE Systems to the forefront of the cloud contact/call center market, and considering how prevalent cloud technology has become throughout the rest of the technology industry, this may prove to be a very prudent move in the years ahead.
In the press release from NICE regarding their acquisition of InContact, they frame this purchase as the beginning of a “new era of the experience center.” That sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not far off. Between NICE and Genesys consolidating the market, there are simply fewer competitors out there. Factor in the rise of CCaaS solutions, and contact/call center technology will never be the same.
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