G-Force 2016: A Peek at What's Next for Genesys
VR data visualization, AI, Omnichannel, and Skype for Business-UCMA integration were highlights of the event -- not to mention a new pair of underwear, compliments of Hurricane Matthew.
Earlier this month in Miami, at its annual G-Force conference for customers, partners, analysts, and consultants, Genesys provided some exciting insight into existing and future products, despite Hurricane Matthews' attempts to dampen the enthusiasm. For my fellow Hurricane Heroes, this was an opportunity to spend some additional time expanding our knowledge and professional relationships. Genesys was gracious enough to extend the festivities on Thursday evening with a party (called "The Matthew Mixer"), and provided a new pair of underwear for all of those who were stranded.
As you might suspect, there was little or no information about the Interactive Intelligence acquisition (see "Q&A: Genesys CEO Dishes on Interactive Intelligence Buy"). But based on highly generalized statements and my deep understanding of solutions from both companies, I would venture a guess that the existing products from both companies will stay intact, continuing to serve the markets that they currently do.Analytics & AI
Regarding the forward-leaning applications I mentioned, I found the VR-assisted data analytics on display at G-Force fascinating. Three-dimensional visualization will provide the opportunity to change the way that executives and planners engage with performance reporting. There are few, if any, visualization tools that can provide the insight that these tools seem to provide. While this tool has not yet been given a name, it provides the ability to view very large amounts of data simultaneously. In some cases I believe that this will compress the amount of time needed to identify anomalies in large data sets. I look forward to working with my customers with this solution when it becomes commercially available.
The artificial intelligence solutions that were demonstrated at the event seemed more along the lines of big data with heuristics to me. Though IBM's Watson is behind this offer and it is very compelling, I still do not think that this implementation rises to the level of semantic cognitive intelligence or conversational problem solving. Operatively, Genesys is applying the real-time processing power of Watson to the customer journey, resulting in a solution I see as a competitive offer to Altocloud's solutions. The ability to understand the customer's interactions related to orders, cancelations, emails, Web visits, and previous contact center engagements provides a great opportunity to reduce agent and customer effort and increase customer loyalty. For organizations that suffer from high customer churn rates, this will be a solution that will identify defects in products and services and could radically improve customer loyalty.Omnichannel
Genesys Omnichannel and Skype for Business integration were key elements of the conference for me. As many of you know I have been working with Salesforce's solutions in this area (see "Communications-as-a-Feature: How Salesforce Will Replace Your ACD" -- part two of my publication on this subject will be coming soon). In summary, Genesys' Omnichannel solution is very robust. Text-chat, screen sharing, email, fax, image, audio, video, and social are all supported. If you have a need within your contact center to automate the processing of emails, faxes or images and produce more precise performance reports, then you need to take a close look at this solution. Further, if you have a large back-office operation supporting your contact center, then you really need to look at this solution.Skype for Business-UCMA Integration
If you are interested in exploring the elimination of your legacy enterprise PBX in your contact center and you have Skype for Business deployed, then you now have an additional option. Genesys notably has achieved Microsoft certification for its UCMA integration. This includes the integration of Microsoft IM and presence within the Omnichannel solutions. Anyone can write to Microsoft's UCWA interface, but only a select few are supported and certified on UCMA. Premises deployments will be the first to be supported, with Office 365 customer support coming later. At this point the solution is certified for up to 1,000 concurrent sessions, but Genesys plans to achieve certification for up to 10,000 concurrent sessions by the end of this year. Security
There have been some issues with Skype for Business in regards to encryption. While Microsoft is working on this, AudioCodes has built TLS encryption into its SBCs to support transparent delivery of secure communications. If that is not enough for your organization, then I recommend you look at the guys that invented the three-factor authentication for the nuclear football, Secure Exchange Solutions (just recently out of stealth mode). They have the ability to support systematic virus scanning, three-factor authentication (including biometrics), and managed application and network access with a firmware-based JVM running on a USB or SD chip. For work-at-home agents in the financial, government, and healthcare businesses, this is a quantum leap in secure access and it can be achieved from a home computer.
At G-Force, Genesys CEO Paul Segre said that the company's target budget for R&D next year is $200 million. Further, when the Interactive Intelligence acquisition is complete, it will have revenues of approximately $1.4 billion. This will rank Genesys among the 10 largest privately held software companies in the world -- all good news for Genesys' customers.