Sheila McGee-Smith
Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the...
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Sheila McGee-Smith | April 18, 2016 |


Verizon, eLoyalty & Cisco Deliver Cloud Contact Center

Verizon, eLoyalty & Cisco Deliver Cloud Contact Center Hosted contact center solution from vendor trio targets Fortune 100 and more.

Hosted contact center solution from vendor trio targets Fortune 100 and more.

At Enterprise Connect 2016, Verizon announced its Unified Customer Experience solution, described as allowing businesses "to connect seamlessly with their customers through Web chat, social media, email, or mobile." It's been over five years since I wrote about Verizon contact center offers on No Jitter. Back then, it was to discuss the decision to resell the inContact cloud contact center offer as Virtual Contact Center. Given the current climate, it is no surprise that Verizon's Unified CX (a catchy, unused moniker) is also a cloud-based service.


Referencing the above graphic, Alla Reznik, director of Customer Contact Solutions at Verizon, described Unified CX as delivering the power of three strong contact center brands. eLoyalty was one of the first Cisco partners to create a solution around Hosted Collaboration Service for Contact Center (HCS-CC) in 2012. Verizon is white-labeling the eLoyalty offer to create its Unified CX service. Already well-familiar with the Cisco customer care portfolio, additionally, I spoke to Steve Pollema, senior vice president, TeleTech Technology (which owns eLoyalty), to understand what each company brings to the table in this unique offering.

Verizon: Global Solutions Provider

The first question that came to mind was why Verizon didn't choose to build Cisco Hosted Collaboration Service for Contact Center (HCS-CC) in Verizon data centers, instead of working through an eLoyalty white label. Verizon offers UCCaaS based on Cisco Hosted Collaboration Service directly. (See related post, "Verizon Strengthens Ties as Cisco Hosting Partner.")

Reznik was quick to say that Verizon certainly could have chosen to set up HCS-CC and run it. She then went on to applaud the work that eLoyalty has done over the past three-plus years to create a solution around the hosted single-tenant HCS-CC solution, "that is as close to cloud as it will ever get."

Unified CX incorporates not just the Cisco components, but elements from other Cisco technology partners (e.g., Calabrio for quality monitoring, workforce management, and analytics; Upstream Works for the multichannel desktop; CafeX for mobile engagement solutions) to create a complete cloud contact center portfolio. Verizon gains an important time-to-market advantage by working with eLoyalty instead of building out cloud-based delivery all of these elements themselves.

eLoyalty: Contact Center Systems Integration Expertise

eLoyalty is not only one of the first HCS-CC partners; it was recognized by Cisco in November 2015 as cloud contact center partner for the Americas of the year for the second consecutive year. I asked Pollema what benefits the relationship with Verizon brings to eLoyalty. While Pollema discussed several, the key benefit seems to be on the sales side of the equation.

Verizon has established relationships with many of the Fortune 100 companies, who have contact centers with tens of thousands of seats. Pollema said that Verizon, "gets us into accounts that might have been challenging for us." He went on to say, "no names, but we are working with a variety of huge logos."

What does the possibility of a multi-tenant cloud contact center solution from Cisco, possibly based on the Spark platform, mean to the Verizon/eLoyalty partnership? Pollema believes that in the short-to-medium term, there is likely no impact. Large enterprises that are the target market for Unified CX would not, for the most part, consider moving from their very customized, premises-based solutions to a cloud solution where they fear loss of control.

But as has been discussed here on No Jitter in several posts, enterprises are increasingly interested in understanding what hybrid capabilities are available. eLoyalty says its product team works closely with Cisco's customer care organization to understand its direction with hybrid contact center capabilities, e.g., Context Services, so they can leverage them for customers (and partners like Verizon) where it makes sense.

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