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A Closer Look at EC13 Best of Show

Each year at Enterprise Connect, a single solution gets recognized for Best of Show. This is a juried award, and this year there were over 40 qualified applicants. Prior to the conference, six finalists were announced. In the end, the judges recognized Voxeo's CXP for Best of Show, specifically its upcoming release of version 13. It is software that creates and manages multi-channel communication automation, deployable on-premises or in the cloud.

Not long ago, self-service customer care was considered thrifty; self-serv pumps versus full service gas stations. However, today's consumer increasingly prefers self-service options. The web changed user expectations, and self-service applications are increasingly seen as empowering. Many of us prefer selecting our own flights instead of using a travel agent, or performing our own stock transactions instead of using a stock broker. The interactive voice response system (IVR) pioneered modern telephone self-service, but the Internet and browser have raised the bar. CXP bridges these modalities by bringing modern self-service capabilities to both the telephone and other modern modes of communication.

The judges for Best of Show were Dave Stein (Stein Technology Group); Marty Parker (UniComm Consulting); Robin Gareiss (Nemertes Research); and Zeus Kerravala (ZK Research). They evaluated each solution in four key areas: distinguishing capabilities, industry advancement, business justification, and competitive advantage. Although individual voting decisions are confidential, Marty and Dave willingly shared some perspective. Marty commented "Voxeo CXP seems to bring some new, real, and tangible value." Dave said that "CXP is innovative and simplifies a very challenging area."

CXP is designed to enable an organization to enhance its customer interactions, and subsequently those customers' loyalty. The first trick is to provide customers with direct access to the information and services they want; the second step is to do this cost-effectively. CXP's approach is "design once, deploy anywhere." It allows an organization to create an application simultaneously for multiple channels including mobile, social, IVR, and interactive texts. It is targeted to organizations with advanced contact centers, yet it is completely independent of the real-time call processing solution that's already in use.

Voxeo offers evidence that CXP can reduce application development time by 50% and ongoing maintenance by 80%. It does so by repurposing the business logic, back-end integrations, personalization features, and metrics that enable interactions over customer-preferred channels. CXP also enables advanced feature functionality such as conversational bots, voice biometrics, and location triggers. It offers organizations a powerful way to access data troves with powerful open tools such as HTML5, jQuery Mobile, and WebRTC.

The technology is appropriate for a variety of market segments including outbound customer care; interactive voice; SMS/text notifications; and various database lookups such as account balances, locations, order status, and directions. The solution can proactively respond conversationally via social media or SMS, and can even utilize location information in forming a contextual response. For example, a customer can tweet or SMS a request for a nearby retail location, and automatically receive the address and phone number of the closest store. CXP also offers organizations detailed analytics on transactions, as well as providing cross-channel metrics that could be used to identify potential interactive process improvements.

Voxeo is headquartered in Orlando, with additional offices in Beijing, Cologne, and London. The firm was established in 1999, and claims half of the Fortune 100 as customers. CXP 13 is expected to be generally available at the end of this month.

Dave Michels is a Contributing Editor and Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz.

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