12 Analysts to Watch: Future of the Call Center and Customer Service

Customer Service | 5 minute read

Top 12 Analysts to FollowThe call center is headed for major disruption. From smartphones to social media to the cloud, there are epic forces coming together to change an industry that has been relatively stagnant for the past decade. Since the call center is at its heart, the broader field of customer service will also be drastically impacted.

If you care about this topic, we sourced the top 12 analysts you should follow (in alphabetical order):

  1. Jon Arnold
  2. Keith Dawson
  3. Daniel Hong
  4. Ian Jacobs
  5. Nancy Jamison
  6. David Kraus
  7. Irwin Lazar
  8. Kate Leggett
  9. Michael Maoz
  10. Sheila McGee-Smith
  11. Dan Miller
  12. Art Schoeller

Jon Arnold

Independent Industry Analyst

Focus: UC, call center, SIP, VoIP

Web: JonArnold-analyst.blogspot.ca

Twitter: @arnoldjon

“Network-centric beats telecom-centric in today’s contact center. [Because] it needs to be tightly integrated with the broader enterprise. Nowhere is this more evident than with social media…”

Recommended Reading:

Disclaimer: Jon is on Fonolo’s advisory board.


Keith Dawson

Principal Analyst, Customer Interaction, Ovum

Focus: contact center technologies, customer experience

Web: Ovum.com

Twitter: @keithdawson


“Millennials are just as aware as Boomers that voice calls get better service results than Facebook posts … when [they choose] how to get service, they judge based on their projection of the outcome, not on whether they are being offered channels that are ‘cool.'”

Recommended Reading:

  • Customers avoid “shiny objects” in favor of contact channels that work
  • 2012 Trends to Watch: Contact Centers (subscribers only)


Daniel Hong

Lead Analyst, Ovum Research

Focus: customer experience, mobile, speech recognition

Web: www.ovum.com

Twitter: @D_Hong


“Mobility is changing the way enterprises approach customer service. The rapid adoption of smart devices by consumers is already having an effect on the deployment of customer care technologies …”

Recommended Reading:

  • Mobile customer service requires a smart, connected interaction strategy
  • The Future of Customer Service in a Mobile World: Smart, Connected Interactions (subscribers only)



Ian Jacobs

Principal Analyst, Ovum

Focus: contact center markets and technologies

Web: Ovum.com

Twitter: @iangjacobs

“The social business revolution has provided a great jumping-off point for companies to consider how marketing, sales, and service are like an Ouroboros – the mythical serpent swallowing its own tail: a circle of experience with no end.”

Recommended Reading:

  • In customer service, the fundamental things apply
  • Hosted contact centers will fill pent-up demand for customer-service projects


Nancy Jamison

Principal Analyst, Frost and Sullivan

Focus: contact center, speech tech, social media

Web: www.frost.com

Twitter: @nancyjami


“What I consider to be “the holy grail of analytics”: end-to-end reporting from the first contact with the customer, combined with real-time analytics, back office analytics, and customer history [used] to improve the customer experience.”

Recommended Reading:


Drew Kraus

Research VP, Gartner

Focus: contact center infrastructure and cloud-based solutions

Web: www.gartner.com/AnalystBiography

“In 2010, only 5% of organizations took advantage of social/collaborative customer action to improve service processes; however, customer demand and heightened business awareness is making this a top issue …”

Recommended Reading:


Irwin Lazar

VP and Service Director, Nemertes Research

Focus: IP contact center, communications-enabled business processes, enterprise social computing platforms and strategies, SIP


Twitter:  @imlazar

“The rise of social media, instant messaging, SMS, and “apps” has changed the way companies communicate with their customers. But amid these new channels, many organizations are struggling to create a consistent and coherent strategy for customer engagement.”

Recommended Reading:


Kate Leggett

Principal Analyst, Application Development & Delivery Professionals, Forrester Research

Focus:  customer service strategy, CRM, customer experience management

Web: forrester.com/kate_leggett

Twitter: @kateleggett

“Poor customer service experiences lead to increased service costs. 75% of consumers move to another channel when online customer service fails, and Forrester estimates that unnecessary service costs to online retailers due to channel escalation are $22 million on average.”

Recommended Reading:


Michael Maoz

VP Research, Gartner

Focus: CRM, multichannel contact center applications, social CRM/communities

Web: blogs.gartner.com/michael_maoz/

Twitter: @Gartner_inc

“There are so many challenges to the brave world of social media, and the biggest might be in not running away from the human element that, whether you call it a call center or a contact center or a customer engagement center, still requires human beings.”

Recommended Reading:


Sheila McGee-Smith

President and Principal Analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics

Focus: contact center and enterprise communications markets

Web: www.mcgeesmith.com

Twitter: @mcgeesmith

“Just as there have been a series of significant changes in Avaya corporate leadership of late, so too have there been shifts in the company’s contact center business… the [strategy] being adopted …is to build new features in modules that can be used by any of the existing solutions …”

Recommended Reading:

Dan Miller

Senior Analyst & Founder, Opus Research

Focus: mobile customer care, conversational commerce, voice biometrics

Web: OpusResearch.net

Twitter: @dnm54


“Customers equate ‘service quality’ with quick resolution of their problems by a live agent. If they are put on hold, confronted with confusing options or delivered to an individual who is not up-to-speed with their requirements, they think less of your company and its brand.”

Recommended reading:


Art Schoeller

Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

Focus: unified communications and contact center technology

Web: Forrester.com


“[UC deployments] fail because users can ignore you and you lose the benefits … You have to establish and [invest] in a change-management program.”

Recommended reading:


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