Genesys accelerates cloud strategy with new Platform On Demand offering

Aphrodite Brinsmead, Senior Analyst, Customer Experience and Interaction

Genesys is making bold moves to strengthen its position in the cloud customer service market. Following its acquisitions of Angel.com in February 2013 and, more recently, SoundBite Communications, Genesys will also offer its own suite of contact center applications in the cloud.

The new solution, Platform On-Demand, will be offered in addition to Genesys’ existing partner-led cloud solutions. It is targeted at contact centers with over 100 seats that are looking for an entire Genesys suite, as well as customers that want to add select applications in the cloud.

As the uptake of cloud contact center solutions rapidly increases, it is a logical move for Genesys to offer its own suite of contact center applications in the cloud. Although the vendor is behind its competitors in launching its own cloud offering, there is a significant opportunity in the market as customers migrate from legacy platforms.

Ovum believes it will take time for Genesys to establish itself as a cloud player, and that now it has a broader variety of offerings and deployment choices it must carefully target each customer with the most suitable product. It needs to ensure that its sales and marketing efforts are focused effectively, while retaining its reputation for providing quality contact center applications.

Genesys now offers three cloud contact center options

With the acquisitions of Angel and SoundBite, its existing partner relationships, and its new Platform On-Demand offering, Genesys now offers its customers a number of cloud options. Its offerings can be segmented into three solutions for three different customer sets:

  • Solutions On-Demand – This is the rebranded Angel platform, and offers a cloud-based contact center for small and mid-market organizations and an enterprise-grade self-service IVR with unlimited ports. Genesys has retained the Angel sales team and will be able to leverage their expertise in cloud as it continues to evolve its offerings.
  • Partner-driven solutions – Customers looking to mix and match their contact center applications while using the Genesys core platform can run their contact center in the cloud through one of Genesys’ 29 partners, which include Verizon, Echopass, Teleperformance, West, AT&T, and Telstra. Genesys currently has over 1,100 customers through these associations, including some very large contact centers, and it will continue to support its partners.
  • Platform On-Demand – The latest addition to Genesys’ cloud portfolio, announced in June 2013, consists of the Genesys 8 suite of applications (including workforce management, inbound and outbound voice, routing, and IVR), deployed either as a fully hosted solution or a hybrid of on-premise and cloud services. The solution is aimed at contact centers with over 100 seats that are looking to migrate from on-premise services to the cloud. It will initially be offered to customers in the US and the UK.

Genesys can leverage its brand reputation to replace legacy premise-based platforms

Despite being slow to launch its own cloud offering, Genesys is right to take a more definitive stance on cloud. There is a growing opportunity as contact centers look to migrate from their legacy premise-based platforms and gain more flexibility and scalability by adding multichannel capabilities or additional seats as they do so.

Genesys provides the necessary applications on top of existing PBX and network solutions, reducing the need to replace all existing hardware and smoothing the transition to cloud applications. It will be able to use its experience of delivering cloud-based contact centers through its partners, and it can also draw on the expertise of the Angel team in order to market these products successfully.

Genesys has been notable for its agility and innovation since its privatization from Alcatel-Lucent early in 2012, and its customers will now be able to gain access to its mobile, speech analytics, social, and web customer service products in any deployment model. Platform On-Demand will also benefit customers that prefer to keep their on-premise solutions but want to add modular capabilities for workforce optimization, analytics, or multichannel routing in the cloud.

Establishing its presence as a cloud player will take time

Despite Genesys’ heavy investments in cloud, and its experience of offering products through its partners, it will need to establish itself as a reliable player in the market. The fact that it now has a much broader set of solutions and deployment options means that it must develop clear marketing, targeting customers accurately in order to prevent confusion. To become a successful cloud player, Genesys will need to:

  • utilize the knowledge of the Angel sales team to train its own sales staff and consultants
  • reorganize its sales team and bring in new staff to focus on cloud services
  • pinpoint potential customers for which cloud solutions make most sense, then tailor its marketing strategy
  • clarify the differences between its different cloud and premise offerings; now that it offers many more deployment models and platforms it needs to define which product or deployment model fits each type of contact center
  • retain focus on quality and delivering innovative features across both on-premise and cloud solutions
  • compromise some features of Platform On-Demand to ensure that cloud customers get faster deployment
  • continue to support partners, but pinpoint when and why each offering makes most sense
  • provide a clear roadmap for customers looking to migrate from on-premise to cloud solutions, particularly those that wish to trial individual features before going fully over to cloud.

Although Genesys must overcome challenges around managing new products and defining its marketing strategy for cloud, it has a strong position in the contact center market. Its ability to innovate rapidly will enable it to gain market share and grow at a pertinent time for cloud contact center applications.

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