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Genesys Engage Multicloud Architecture Through Eyes of NTT Exec
Genesys today announced what it describes as the first native, true, multicloud architecture for contact center, following the introduction of the Genesys Multicloud Solutions concept to No Jitter readers in an April post. Today’s announcement, as well as a blog published in conjunction with the press release, provides more technical details of the solution and the market requirements that led to the new multicloud architecture.
In the blog post, Tod Famous, head of product management for the Engage customer experience platform, explains that the vast majority of first-generation contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) platforms don’t fully satisfy enterprise customers’ requirements for flexibility and choice. After deploying, or considering, these CCaaS solutions, enterprises either had to accept cloud infrastructure lock-in and limited support for the adjacent application integrations that are so commonly found in complex contact center environments or stay with their premises deployments. This served the interest of the CCaaS vendors that wanted to compel customers to use all the components of their suites, but has delayed cloud migration for many enterprise contact centers.
The work to refactor Engage software into a microservices container architecture began several years ago. Now, Genesys produces the software as Docker containers and uses Kubernetes to orchestrate the container deployments for the Engage cloud offer, which Genesys operates. With this effort, Genesys has also consolidated the entire Engage customer base on one pipeline and one version of the Engage software.
Customers and partners can run Engage containers in any public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, or in their own on-premises data centers. Like other CCaaS providers, Genesys is leveraging a continuous development model with a build cycle and automation that has reduced the time from code complete to consumption from years to days.
To understand the implications of the multicloud announcement for the large contact centers that are its primary target, I had the opportunity to interview Rob Allman, the top customer experience executive at a key Genesys global partner, NTT. Allman reports that NTT has worked with Genesys to deliver solutions to almost 200 companies, including several with tens of thousands of agents. Below I’ve summarized portions of our discussion.
The Meaning of Multicloud
The term multicloud can have different meanings. It can refer to a solution that a vendor makes available in multiple cloud architectures. It can also refer to an enterprise that distributes workloads across different public/private clouds to avoid over-reliance on a single public cloud provider. I asked Allman which of these he thinks applies to the Engage announcement.
“With their different multicloud pieces (defined in today’s announcement), you have a correlation of those two definitions of multicloud. In addition, you have hybrid cloud as well,” Allman replied.
One multicloud need that Allman clearly delineated as important is that not all companies, particularly the very largest global businesses, are going to implement an AWS-only solution. Some companies, certainly those that consider Amazon to be a current or potential competitor in their markets, see that as too risky. So that addresses the first definition of multicloud above, making the solution available in various cloud architectures.
How Engage multicloud will work with third-party solutions somewhat maps to the second definition of multicloud, offering the ability to distribute workloads across different public/private clouds. In the contact center case, according to Allman, it allows customers to continue to use premises or cloud solutions that are not part of Engage but need to be able to interoperate with it.
As Allman explained, major companies have made massive investments in various customer care applications. For these customers, vendors and systems integrators must create a journey to cloud enablement that includes all of those applications. All-in-one solutions don’t work for these companies; they don’t want to throw away, for example, their workforce optimization investment in Verint, or their LivePerson chat deployment.
Protect the Base or Win New Logos?
I asked Allman what impact he thought Engage multicloud options would have on his existing Genesys customers’ decisions to stay with Genesys as they migrate to the cloud. I also asked if he thought the new architecture would make Genesys more attractive to companies currently using other solutions. I went on to posit that competitors, such as Amazon with Connect or Twilio with Flex, see existing Genesys premises customers as potential new customers for them. How does today’s announcement address that potential competition?
Allman addressed such potential competition by saying, “I see both of them as CPaaS [communications platform as a service] providers and I see Genesys as customer experience as a service.” Very quickly, companies looking at these so-called CPaaS solutions realize that they either have to amass a vast internal capability to build a solution or, as is the case with a very large, global company, outsource the work to a partner, he went on to say.
“This is why Genesys still has massive value,” said Allman, who then proceeded to tell the story of a client that wanted to reduce its data center costs by moving more workloads, including contact center, to the cloud. The company saw contact center as just another workload — that the sophisticated features delivered by Genesys could either be duplicated or would not be missed. They expected to finish the project in three or four months. Almost two years later, the client renewed its contract with NTT for Genesys. Meanwhile, it has spent millions — perhaps tens of millions of dollars —on internal development of the still-not-delivered cloud solution.
For Allman, the Genesys difference comes in the maturity of the Engage solution.
He said he believes multicloud solutions help Genesys meet the desire of clients to move to the cloud while continuing to use the sophisticated software on which they have come to depend. They get to move their existing solution to the cloud without disturbing important business processes, such as compliance. They are also able to maintain part of the often huge investments they have made in Genesys technology.