"Nexidia continues to be the gold standard in the industry; it's highly functional and accurate," says an analyst. "Nexidia continues to be a pioneer in analytics applications in the contact center and elsewhere in the enterprise."
Paul Stockford, chief analyst at Saddletree Research, singled out Nexidia's solutions and the company's organization in general. "I...was impressed by the results obtained by using Nexidia's dictionary-independent solution," Stockford says. "According to customers, it is highly accurate, along with being fast and efficient. It has a high degree of scalability and is very cost-effective. On top of that, Nexidia...is a well-managed company, and they have a comprehensive understanding of the industry and what is needed for an effective speech analytics solution. Analytics is all they do. When the focus is that sharp, the outcome tends to be very positive."
"Verint is the dictionary-dependent counterpart to Nexidia's solution," Stockford says. "[Its] solution is highly accurate and...extremely easy to use and administer, and the ROI has been proven and well-documented over the past several years. I speak to many end users in my work, and Verint is highly regarded in the end-user community. [Its] reputation for customer satisfaction is exemplary." -Michele Masterson
CONTACT CENTER OUTSOURCING
Amid the sluggish global economy, the contact center industry hasn't lost any of its growth momentum. Actually, a difficult economy presents an even more compelling reason for enterprises to optimize the cost of servicing customers, while also increasing their focus on improved customer experiences. This, analysts argue, can continue to pave the way for outsourcing growth.
With more than 4,000 contact center outsourcers in North America, finding one that can adequately handle a company's complete contact center needs could seem overwhelming.
Among the top challenges outsourcers continue to face are keeping up with the changing needs of today's mobile and social consumers, training call center staff to meet changing demands and technologies, and providing a solid analytics backbone to manage the large amounts of consumer data that companies now collect. Growing government and consumer pressures are also encouraging third-party contact center operators to move away from foreign call centers in places such as India and the Philippines in favor of more on-shore or near-shore locales.
But despite all the difficulties and challenges, market participants have expressed high expectations for multiyear engagements and continued growth. In fact, analyst firm Ovum set the number of outsourced workstations in 2013 at 397,000, and expects that number to reach 408,000 by 2014, 420,000 by 2015, 433,000 by 2016, and 446,000 by 2017.
Convergys, last year's vendor contender, is a well-known and long-standing global outsourcer with annual revenue of more than $2 billion. This year it finished closely behind the winner, despite leading all the vendors in the number and breadth of services offered (4.4) and ability to execute (4.6). Its one weak spot was cost, which came in at 3.5. Still, analysts were impressed with the company's overall portfolio, which features a rich set of applications that include the Customer Interaction Portal, a VoiceXML-based self-service platform; the Dynamic Decisioning Solution, which provides dynamic menus and tailored menus based on company policies and customer information; intelligent outbound notifications; voice authentication; and speech analytics. "Convergys has lots of expertise, including service contracts and maintenance renewals, and great upsell/cross-sell," says John Ragsdale, vice president of technology research at the Technology Services Industry Association. He adds that the company also has "a great internal research division focused on customer satisfaction and loyalty."