Top Analysts Covering Contact Center Technology

Top Analysts Covering Contact Center Technology

If you want to keep up with the contact center industry, an important resource is the analyst community. A year ago we published our list of the top analysts who cover this space. Time for an update!

We have added 4 new people to the list: Dave Michels, Blair Pleasant, Tim Smith and Paul Stockford.

We have removed two people, not because we don’t like them (quite the opposite!), but because they have left the analyst game. Ian Jacobs is now at Genesys and Daniel Hong is now at 24/7.

Here is the updated list, in alphabetical order.

  1. Jon Arnold
  2. Keith Dawson
  3. Nancy Jamison
  4. Drew Kraus
  5. Irwin Lazar
  6. Kate Leggett
  7. Michael Maoz
  8. Sheila McGee-Smith
  9. Dave Michels
  10. Dan Miller
  11. Blair Pleasant
  12. Art Schoeller
  13. Tim Smith
  14. Paul Stockford

Keep reading to see a short profile of each analyst. If you think we’ve forgotten anyone, please let us know in the comments.


Jon ArnoldJon Arnold

Independent Industry Analyst

Focus: UC, Call Center, SIP, and VoIP

Web: JonArnold-analyst.blogspot.ca

Twitter: @arnoldjon

What customers really want is to communicate on their terms and come away feeling that the agent is on the same page. When agents have a full complement of UC tools to work with, they can put customers at ease right away, regardless of how they are getting in touch.

Recommended Reading:

Disclaimer: Jon is on Fonolo’s advisory board.

Keith DawsonKeith Dawson

Principal Analyst, Customer Interaction, Ovum

Focus: Contact Center Technologies, and Customer Experience

Web: Ovum.com

Twitter: @keithdawson

Cisco asserts that it is making progress in its drive to overtake Avaya as the leading call routing vendor… shipping  more than 600 Contact Center Express deployments in the second quarter of FY2012–13…

Recommended Reading:


Nancy JamisonNancy Jamison

Principal Analyst, Frost and Sullivan

Focus: Contact Center, Speech Tech, and 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

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

Irwin Lazar

VP and Service Director, Nemertes Research

Focus: Unified Communications, Collaboration, Social Business, Contact Center, and Customer Engagement

Web: www.nemertes.com/analysts/irwin-lazar

Twitter: @imlazar

Today we communicate with our merchants via a variety of means – Facebook, Twitter, chat, maybe even video, in addition to voice… Harmonization between these isolated customer engagement … as new platforms continue to emerge ….including Moxie, Oracle’s Right Now, and Salesforce.com’s Service Cloud compet[ing] with the more traditional CRM vendors including Aspect, Avaya, Cisco, and Genesys.

Recommended Reading:


Kate LeggettKate Leggett

Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

Focus: Customer Service – Market Trends, Research, Opinions, Best Practices, and Technologies

Web: forrester.com/kate_leggett

Twitter: @kateleggett

Good customer service is the result of the right attention to strategy, business processes, technology, and people management… The contact center technology ecosystem for customer service is a nightmare of complexity.

Recommended Reading:


Michael MaozMichael Maoz

VP Research, Gartner

Focus: CRM, Multichannel Contact Center Applications, and Social CRM/Communities

Web: blogs.gartner.com/michael_maoz/

Twitter: @Gartner_inc

Call Centers ruled the ’70s through 1990s, and Contact Centers have ruled ever since. Dinosaurs too ruled for a long time, and in the same way, Contact Centers are having their own asteroid collision theory now.

Recommended Reading:

BONUS: Not related to contact center, but a great read:
The year after the CIO’s honeymoon with Big Data, regret.


Sheila McGee-SmithSheila McGee-Smith

President and Principal Analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics

Focus: Contact Center and Enterprise Communications Markets

Web: www.mcgeesmith.com

Twitter: @mcgeesmith

While Avaya telephony, unified communications and contact center applications all use Avaya Aura as a core platform, it has not always been easy to for either Avaya or third parties to build applications that cut across the silos of individual solutions. Avaya Collaboration Environment… promises to do just that.

Recommended Reading:


 Dave MichelsDave Michels

President, Verge1 Consulting

Focus:  Cloud Services, SMB Voice, Channel Development, Unified Communications, and Social Media

Web: http://www.talkingpointz.com/pindropsoup

Twitter: @davemichels

Terms such as unified communications, PBX, HD, channel, are frequently used, yet there’s little agreement on exact meaning. Of course, that doesn’t make the terms any less popular – slight literary confusion and disorientation are the marks of a telecom professional.

Recommended Reading:


Dan MillerDan Miller

Senior Analyst & Founder, Opus Research

Focus: Mobile Customer Care, Conversational Commerce, and 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:


Blair PleasantBlair Pleasant

Principal Analyst, Commfusion

Focus: Unified Communications, Collaboration, Social Software, Unified Messaging, Contact Centers, CTI, IP Telephony, and Voice/Data

Web: http://www.commfusion.com

Twitter: @blairplez

 Genesys is in a period of transition, with new acquisitions and new service offerings. It has a lot of work to do to make everything come together and work seamlessly…. Fortunately it can gain momentum based on the Angel and Soundbite customer base and the expertise it acquired. The game is afoot.

Recommended Reading:


Art SchoellerArt 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:


Tim SmithTim Smith

Senior Research Analyst

Focus: Unified Communications, Contact Center, and Social Business

Web: https://www.nemertes.com/analysts/tim-smith

 

Another useful tool in contact management is the idea of the call-back. Rather than putting people on hold, let them schedule a call back at a pre-determined time. Good for the caller, good for the management of the contact center. A company called Fonolo offers a SaaS/cloud approach to call backs along with limited cross-channel capabilities.

Recommended Reading:


Paul StockfordPaul Stockford

Owner, Saddletree Research

Focus: Contact center, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Social Media

Web: http://www.saddletreeresearch.com/

Twitter: @paulstockford

The next generation of contact center industry leaders is ready to move up…  Cisco is ready to come out of the data closet.  Verint is finding its way into the enterprise at large through …acquisitions and innovations.  Aspect is firmly anchored in its rediscovered identity as a contact center solution provider.  And let’s not overlook a growing group of cloud providers …  Avaya isn’t out of the game yet, but it is going to have to undergo some significant changes if it is to remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry.

Recommended Reading:


 

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