The Forrester Wave for CCaaS 2023: Top Takeaways

NICE, AWS, and Genesys are the CCaaS market leaders, according to Forrester

The 2023 Forrester Wave for CCaaS
Contact CentreInsights

Published: March 28, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

CCaaS platforms are gaining momentum for many significant reasons.

They make AI innovation more accessible, expand the scope for integrations, and increase scalability for better demand management.

Meanwhile, legacy contact center providers are becoming more explicit in their aim to move customers to the cloud.

With all these factors coming together, more businesses are likely assessing their CCaaS options alongside each vendor’s specific strengths and cautions.

The Forrester Wave is one report that aims to support service leaders in this endeavor, evaluating the “11 providers that matter most.”

In doing so, the analyst used a set of 34 criteria to group each vendor into three categories: leaders, strong performers, and contenders.

Here is how they performed, alongside some of the top takeaways from Forrester’s report.

NICE (Leader)

NICE leads the industry with its “superior vision,” according to Forrester. With this vision, it aims to play a role in the “entire CX journey,” leveraging AI and accelerating its digital focus.

So far, this objective hasn’t hindered the vendor’s ability to focus on its core contact center customers. Indeed, the analyst notes that NICE’s comprehensive solution provides capabilities that deliver on “whatever a contact center leader may need.”

AWS (Leader)

Forrester notes that AWS “smothers the market in many ways” before highlighting its impressive speed of innovation, contact center expertise, and global partnerships.

Meanwhile, the vendor fixates on innovating around four product areas: omnichannel, analytics, agent productivity, and self-service configuration.

Across each, it wields AI capabilities that its customers “laud” – as per Forrester. The analyst concluded that contact centers willing to invest in development resources will “get good results.”

Genesys (Leader)

Genesys receives acclaim from Forrester for being one of the few legacy contact center vendors to successfully navigate the transition from on-premise to the cloud.

Yet, according to the analyst, the vendor did drop its hybrid CCaaS solution in 2022, which “diminishes its differentiation” at the highest end of the market.

Despite this, Genesys retains its “leader” status with its broad set of capabilities, customer journey analytics, and WFO tooling.

As such, Forrester notes that Genesys still makes for a “great fit” for brands that require expansive contact center capabilities at scale.

Talkdesk (Strong Performer)

Talkdesk harnesses a multiservice core, which allows it to innovate quickly. It has taken this approach to its sector-specific CCaaS platforms, with which it has enjoyed “early success,” according to Forrester.

Meanwhile, the analyst praised its AI solutions, agent desktop, and “downright elegant” configuration tool for CRM integrations.

Nevertheless, it noted how customers reported challenges using some of its recently released capabilities, including its ticket-handling solution.

Five9 (Strong Performer)

Since the breakdown of its failed takeover by Zoom, Five9 has harnessed widespread publicity and increased its CCaaS market presence.

Its flexible approach to building AI models, ease of deployment, and the quality of its support team are also likely contributors to its growth. Indeed, Forrester summarizes that it is a “mature and reliable” platform.

Although, it did suggest that Five9 should expand its vision further beyond the confines of the contact center and further develop its native WFM tooling for larger enterprises.

Content Guru (Strong Performer)

Content Guru is often implemented in highly complex environments, working with organizations from the NHS to the US government.

For this reason, Forrester indicates that the vendor is a good option for medium-to-large enterprises and multinational corporations.

These businesses are likely to place the most value on high availability, scalability, and support for complex functional requirements. This is where Content Guru excels.

Yet, it has been slower than its competitors in embracing microservices, which may compromise its speed of innovation.

Cisco (Contender)

On the cusp of the “strong performer” wave, Cisco has gained ground in the CCaaS space thanks to its Webex Contact Center platform.

Forrester warns that the solution is still somewhat in its infancy, and it must play catch up in its voice offering, digital development environments, and data center proliferation. Nevertheless, it offers a compelling proposition for CCaaS, UCaaS, and CPaaS convergence.

Also, the analyst tips its cap to its long-term CCaaS vision and suggests that Cisco’s broader market presence, partner ecosystem, and IT relationships will enable growth.

8×8 (Contender)

Forrester summarizes 8×8’s CCaaS strategy as “simplicity-first.” By factoring this into its innovation, the vendor has implemented an easy-to-navigate UI, enhanced its QA capabilities, and improved its reporting tools.

Meanwhile, this messaging has particularly appealed to small and mid-market businesses, alongside its XCaaS vision that combines CCaaS and UCaaS.

However, it depends on partnerships to fill gaps in its native WFO proposition, which does not currently include WFM tooling.

Vonage (Contender)

Following its 2022 acquisition by Ericsson, Vonage has opened up new routes to market and accelerated R&D spend.

Increased investment may further its development tools and NLP models, which already set Vonage apart – alongside its full communications suite of CCaaS, UCaaS, and CPaaS tools. Forrester highlights this as a differentiator alongside its agent desktop and support for remote teams.

However, the analyst warns that Vonage’s offering “fades” without a Salesforce CRM integration.

Twilio (Contender)

Flex, Twilio’s CCaaS platform, essentially offers a set of building blocks that allow businesses to create their own contact centers.

Indeed, Forrester likens the solution to a “builder’s paradise” while praising its “exciting CX vision,” which expands beyond the contact center and includes its customer data platform: Segment.

Like others, it benefits from a microservices architecture, enabling extensibility and – as its name suggests – flexibility.

Nevertheless, the out-of-the-box capabilities within Flex remain low, limiting its appeal to development-oriented contact centers.

LiveVox (Contender)

While LiveVox is perhaps the least recognizable name included within the Forrester Wave – especially to readers outside of the U.S. – it is starting to increase its presence within North America.

Forrester notes its impressive speed-to-deployment, reporting, and analytics as possible contributing factors as LiveVox strives to deliver quick time to value for its customers.

Nonetheless, the vendor is dependent on partners for WFO, lacks scalability, and Forrester suggests that some customers have raised concerns about the lack of visibility into customer journeys.

What Should Buyers Look for in a CCaaS Vendor?

“CCaaS is no longer just a better way to do what we have always done,” states Forrester. Instead, it has “morphed into its own beast.”

The market analyst indicates AI is pushing this trend forward, embedding itself into every element of CCaaS and transforming its value proposition.

As such, it is perhaps unsurprising that Forrester encourages end-users to work with vendors that “have a comprehensive approach to integrating AI.”

It also pinpoints conversational AI and analytics as increasingly critical AI-fuelled capabilities – with the latter helping to improve customer experiences beyond service touchpoints.

Another consideration is to choose a provider with a broad, tightly integrated CCaaS suite, with close integrations to specialist WFO, analytics, and digital experience solutions.

Finally, Forrester recommends working with a vendor that can support them in capturing customer information and using it to better personalize the service experience.

Yet, while these are the three primary considerations Forrester suggests that brands make, there are many more.

For instance, deployment models, channel offerings, and scalability are additional arenas to delve deeper into.

To uncover more, read our article: Who Leads the CCaaS Space? ISG Reveals Its Findings



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