Forrester, the leading analytics company, recently released its latest Forrester Wave report for the Contact Centre as a Service environment in 2020. The Forrester Wave is a guide for companies considering new purchases in the as-a-service marketplace.
During the 33-criteria evaluation of CCaaS providers this year, Forrester identified 10 of the most important choices and scored them according to their impact on the environment. Five9, Talkdesk, Genesys, and NICE inContact emerged as leaders. Aspect was a “strong performer,” while Vonage, Lifesize, Amazon Web Services, 8×8, and Cisco are contenders.
Here’s your guide to the CCaaS Forrester Wave 2020:
The CCaaS Leaders
Forrester highlighted a selection of leaders for the CCaaS market this year, including:
Forrester commends NCIE for its broad channel mix, unprecedented scale, and leading WFO technology. The strong vision and comprehensive NICE roadmap empower various partners in the ecosystem. NICE is guiding businesses on a journey away from a voice-centric architecture into new digital channels. NICE is also investing in RPA capabilities, deeper analytics, and AI solutions.
CXOne has sensational channel support and a robust WFO offering. Forrester recommends NICE inContact for innovative customer experiences across various channels.
Genesys is a leader in the Forrester Wave for it’s global and large-scale deployments. Genesys offers best-of-breed contact centre technology to global partners and channels, alongside an extensive portfolio of products. Though there are some gaps in the WFO functionality from Genesys, the company is investing in new opportunities, including AI.
Genesys Cloud strengths include everything from a robust orchestration layer to CRM integrations. Forrester recommends shortlisting Genesys if you need a full feature set with native CRM integrations, global reach, WFO, and an extensive partner ecosystem.
Talkdesk delivers well-rounded and newly-developed capabilities for CCaaS, powered by various rounds of investments and offshore growth. The Talkdesk vision centres on a complete selection of WFO capabilities, including agent assistance, self-service, and AI. Talkdesk CX Talent offers powerful agents for hire in the landscape. Professional services include assessment and benchmarking services too.
Talkdesk’s key strengths include a streamlined UI for all contact centre roles, proven scale based on recent wins, and the impressive addition of various functions. WFO applications are still new and require improvement. Forrester recommends Talkdesk for navigable solutions that scale and innovative support.
Five9 delivers solid growth, an innovative roadmap, and brilliant outbound capabilities. The company acquired Whendu for low-code integrations and Virtual Observer for WFO. The global coverage of Five9 lacks compared to other leaders, however.
Five9 has some of the outbound capabilities in the industry, an incredible agent desktop, out-of-the-box voicemail, voice, chat, and email support, and more. The company also supports integrations with leading CRM integrations. Five9 doesn’t have a virtual agent assistant, but it’s on the vendor’s roadmap. Forrester recommends choosing Five9 when searching for a solid contact centre offering on the path to innovation with new levels of workflow automation, AI, and native WFO integration.
Forrester’s Strong Performers: Aspect
Aspect is the only company on the Strong Performers list for Forrester this year. The company offers state-of-the-art WFO and outbound contact centre, but it lacks in app store functionality and market presence. Aspect offers excellent outbound technology, best-of-breed WFO, and a sizeable base of on-premise contact centres.
The Via CCaaS offering has a lot of potential, though uptake is a little slow. Via can run on various platform-as-a-service environments. However, the company is limited on geographic coverage and channels. Aspect plans on expanding deployments across all PaaS and adding more AI capabilities and channels. Aspect combines a strong environment for orchestration with best-of-breed tools for WFO and a slick user-interface.
Outbound dialling is still a strength for Aspect, and Forrester recommends considering this company if you’re looking for better feature utilization for all roles.
The CCaaS Contenders
Forrester’s list of CCaaS contenders contains 5 big industry names this year, including:
Cisco provides users with powerful partner support and excellent UC. Unfortunately, it’s missing channel opportunities and WFO. According to Forrester, Cisco benefits from a global partner network, powerful brand, and extensive installation base. Cisco Flex allows large on-premise installations to preserve investment for users migrating to the cloud.
Forrester also notes that Cisco relies too heavily on partners. The roadmap will include a deeper control hub integration for enhanced UC and CC management, however. Cisco is also investing in powerful analytics capabilities and experience management. The flexible solutions with multiple deployment options are a strength, and channel support is fantastic. Customers will benefit most from Cisco for small to mid-sized deployments requiring partner support.
8×8 is an innovator capable of successfully combining CC and UC over a global network. However, the company has limited scale. 8×8 is growing beyond a historic focus on combined UC and CC offerings in the SMB market. Name recognition might be an issue for 8×8 in new spaces, however.
8×8 recently acquired CPaaS provider Wavecell for APIs and SMS, enabling a fuller set of communication APIs and support for developers. The roadmap includes access to rapid virtual assistant deployment and speech/text analytics. Integrated administration portals are excellent for provisioning too. Forrester recommends 8×8 as a great fit for mid-sized companies that want to source CC and UC from a single firm.
Amazon Web Services, or AWS, offers strong scale and modularity, but demand a lot of developer/partner report. The company influences CEOs and CIOs alike. AWS marketplace is an excellent benefit, and in-house developers fill a lot of product gaps. While there are Amazon apps for analytics, AI, and reporting, however, Amazon is very reliant on partners.
AWS strengths come from rapid deployments, publicly available documentation, and scale. The Amazon Lex chatbots are easy to integrate, and customers benefit from access to SDKs and APIs. However, there’s no agent desktop available and limited CSM. Amazon is a good choice for mid to large contact centres that already have access to experienced developers.
Vonage uses CPaaS for vertical targeting but is limited to a focus on SMBs. Vonage’s transformation from a carrier to SaaS vendor comes from a number of well—managed UC, CC, and CPaaS acquisitions. The CPaaS solution develops targeted vertical service applications, custom workflows, and applications.
As a carrier, Vonage can support agents across multiple locations with ease. The channel focus, which limits it to small and mid-sized opportunities for CCaaS, is something of a weakness. The roadmap does include a deeper integration with ServiceNow and Salesforce, however. The acquisition of Over.ai to create a natural language solution is useful too. Forrester recommends Vonage for small to mid-sized contact centres looking for a simpler approach to custom apps and chatbots.
Lifesize is an appealing choice for BPOs and enterprises, but it’s missing crucial bells and whistles. The strength of Serenova/Lifesize comes from a heritage of serving Business Process Outsources, and the development of CxExchange. Lifesize wants to serve the market need of clients looking to source their CC and UC from the same provider. Ownership changes over the last decade have decelerated product momentum and impaired brand performance.
Lifesize’s will be adding video capabilities to various markets going forward, and work is in progress for WFO integrations. CXEngage also has strong capabilities for subtentant and tenant creation. Omilia is a good choice for chatbot capabilities, but its partner Inference provides all chatbot integrations. Forrester recommends Lifesize for mid to large enterprises and BPOs searching for segmentation in the individual lines of customers and businesses.
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