NICE Misses Out on Becoming Gartner’s Outright CCaaS Leader

“Of the people I’ve spoken to so far, everyone agrees that NICE should be higher,” claims prominent CX analyst Dave Michels

NICE Misses Its Chance to Become Gartner's Outright CCaaS Leader
Contact CentreNews Analysis

Published: August 30, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

In the 2023 Forrester Wave for CCaaS, NICE pulled away from its fellow market leaders.

Many had expected history to repeat itself in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CCaaS 2023. Yet, it didn’t, as evident in the matrix below.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) 2023
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) 2023

By contrast, Genesys seemed to overtake the vendor, creeping closer to the top-right corner of the grid.’

Considering 2023 was the year Gartner changed its criteria to factor in workforce engagement (WEM) – an area where NICE excels – many were left scratching their heads.

Dave Michels, Lead Analyst at TalkingPointz, was one such onlooker. “Of the people I’ve spoken to so far, everyone agrees that NICE should be higher,” he said during a recent CX Today interview.

Michels maintained this view when examining Gartner’s “cautions” regarding NICE CXone. These are as follows:

Gartner cautions for NICE

Liz Miller, VP & Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, describes these as mostly “ancillary”.

“I don’t necessarily think that the NICE issue is technological or to do with implementation,” adds Miller. “It’s the operational things that tend to fall in that more negative category and contribute to why NICE isn’t higher up.”

As such, Miller believes:

There is an opportunity for NICE to look at what got them lower and recognize that those could be fairly easy fixes.

The second caution reinforces Miller’s point. Updating the training materials for CXone is much simpler than building new products or rethinking existing solutions.

Compared to the cautions for other vendors in the list, it has a relatively straightforward fix.

WEM as a Caution for NICE

The other cautions for NICE relate to its WEM suite, which will surprise many. After all, NICE was first and foremost a WEM provider in the days of buying boxed contact center platforms and plugging them in on-premise.

At that time, end-users purchased an ACD engine and then bought a separate solution for workforce engagement. WEM was an entirely separate industry.

When contact center providers moved to CCaaS models, their scope expanded, and – reflecting this transition –  2023 is the first year Gartner defines WEM as part of CCaaS. Before, it was an optional add-on.

Now, every CCaaS provider has added workforce engagement through acquisition or by building their own solutions – with AWS a recent, prominent example of the latter.

“NICE is the only vendor on the Magic Quadrant that came from the other direction,” added Michels.

They were strong in workforce optimization (WFO), then they acquired a CCaaS company. They’re the only ones that did this and came the other way. That has given them a huge benefit.

As a result, it benefits from the deepest WEM capabilities across the space, with only Genesys and Five9 able to serve up many similar capabilities. Gartner itself labels NICE WEM as “best-of-breed”.

Yet, two of the analyst’s cautions surround WEM. The first involves the need for greater integration between WEM and CCaaS capabilities. Meanwhile, the second is a head-scratcher related to its legacy WEM solution – not CXone.

With CXone, “customers generally express satisfaction,” reveals Gartner.

Responding to that, Michels stated sarcastically: “Oh, that’s a terrible caution.”

Yet, he also states that these two cautions are relative “gimmes” compared to those Gartner put forward for its CCaaS rivals.

So, should NICE feel a little aggrieved with its positioning? Perhaps. However, these cautions appear fixable, and the vendor seemingly has an opportunity to surge towards that top-right corner in 12 months.

To ensure it does so, Miller also suggests that NICE does more to amplify its differentiators in WEM and other areas – like RPA – to further stand out from the crowd.



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