SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Zeus Kerravala | March 20, 2014 |

 
   

Altocloud Personalizes Customer Service

Altocloud Personalizes Customer Service Altocloud works to raise the bar on the customer service delivered from the contact center, through the use of machine learning, contextual information and predictive analytics.

Altocloud works to raise the bar on the customer service delivered from the contact center, through the use of machine learning, contextual information and predictive analytics.

On Day 3 of Enterprise Connect, I had a chance to catch up with long time participants of the show, Barry O'Sullivan and Lawrence Byrd. Barry is most recently known from his days at Cisco and Lawrence was Mr. Everything at Avaya. Today both hang their shingle at a startup called Altocloud, where Barry serves as the company's CEO and Lawrence's title is "technology evangelist".

This industry is filled with start-ups, some good and others not so good, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I met with them, but I left the meeting impressed with the product and the opportunity ahead of them.

Altocloud is attempting to raise the bar on the customer service delivered from the contact center, through the use of machine learning, contextual information and predictive analytics. The problems in contact centers have been well documented over the years, with customers suffering through long hold times, having to re-input or repeat information multiple times, and getting an all around impersonal and frustrating experience. Despite these well known problems and the fact that the call center remains maybe the most important touch point between companies and customers, there have been only small, incremental steps in improving customer service.

I believe Altocloud's approach can redefine the way a call center operates and the way businesses interact with their customers to deliver a much more personal experience. In turn, delivering a more personalized experience can lead to faster transactions for customers, increased loyalty and a move away from the price-driven markets we have today.

Consider the travel industry. The market is filled with low cost portals that bundle airfare, hotels and car rentals together and compete on offering the lowest price. But how does it really know I'll like the hotel, the area or anything else about the vacation? The fact is that most portals don't. I could spend hours reading user reviews, looking up restaurants on Yelp and looking at activities, but that process can also be frustrating and may not give the best result.

What if there were a way to capture all of my activity, both current and historical, and then when it became obvious I wasn't finding something I like, predictively route me to an agent who could make personalized recommendations based on the information gathered? Well that's essentially what Altocloud is bringing to market.

The company has built a cloud based platform that actively monitors what customers are doing (or attempting to do) and then can proactively put a person in a queue to communicate with a live agent over audio or video and predict the best agent to communicate with. The agent has a wealth of information and the ability to share screens and continue to get contextual information during the transaction to offer a highly personalized experience.

The Altocloud platform can be deployed quickly through JavaScript libraries and mobile SDKs that don't require the same amount of communications skills that more traditional platforms do. The platform allows for voice, video and chat to be embedded in web applications and also mobile applications, which is fast becoming the key interaction point for businesses and customers, particularly with the younger generation.

The product was designed to work with a wide variety of other vendors, such as Cisco, Avaya, Marketo, Salesforce and Oracle, to avoid enterprises having to rip and replace existing infrastructure, which has the added benefit of speeding up deployment times.

While this could apply to almost any vertical, there are some obvious "low hanging" verticals for Altocloud, and those are the ones where contextual information and speed of transactions matter. Insurance, particularly on the claims side, healthcare, financial services and technical support come to mind but there's really no business that couldn't benefit by delivering a more personalized, faster experience in their call centers.

The UC and contact center industries have gone through many waves of change, and I believe contextual information can move UC from being a "nice to have" technology to a need to have, particularly with mobile interactions. When a person is sitting at a desk, searching and exchanging information isn't all that arduous a task. Is it a pain? Sure, sometimes, but we can live with it. However, when mobile, the ability to search for, capture and input information can be very frustrating, and then having to repeat this information to someone can be extremely challenging, considering that the same device you're using to talk to the person is the one that you used to look up the information.

Altocloud has the potential to significantly change the way companies interact with their customers and it was great to see this kind of innovation first here at Enterprise Connect.

Follow Zeus Kerravala on Twitter and Google+!
@zkerravala
Zeus Kerravala on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.