Is Cisco's Packaged Contact Center Enterprise Just Right?
At the 2013 analyst meeting last week in Boston, Cisco offered tangible proof that PCCE has been a game-changing addition to the portfolio.
After the 2012 Cisco Customer Collaboration analyst meeting, I wrote a piece here, "Cisco Contact Center and the Story of the Three Bears." It was about a new contact center offering scheduled to be available soon that was positioned between Cisco's long-standing Enterprise and Express offerings, Packaged Contact Center Enterprise (PCCE). At the 2013 analyst meeting last week in Boston, Cisco offered tangible proof that PCCE has been a game-changing addition to the portfolio.
First, how many have been sold? PCCE began shipping in July 2012. Cisco reported to analysts that 47 PCCEs have been sold. In a mid-March 2013 presentation to partners, the number was 37. And contact center sales specialists at the meeting seemed to think the 2 systems that closed last week may not have been included. Cisco also reported that the sales cycle for PCCE is 2-3 months (arguably less than half of the usual full Enterprise solution cycle). Conclusion: after accounting for a couple of months of sales and partner training, PCCE is responsible for about 10 sales a month.
Next, who is buying PCCE? Cisco has told partners that simple inbound contact centers--e.g., hospitals, universities, and insurance companies--have been buying PCCE. They told analysts that PCCE, "replaced Avaya/Nortel in the majority of deals."
Who is selling PCCE? As tweeted by my colleague and fellow No Jitter blogger Blair Pleasant from this week's meeting, Cisco's message to its partners is, "For Enterprise Deals, Think Packaged First." Presidio, a major North American partner for Cisco contact center, spoke at the meeting and has clearly taken that message to heart. Kevin Parrett, Presidio's VP Contact Center, was quick to claim that Presidio had landed 5 of the sales so far, 10% of all the deals. "This is the right model," he went on to say. "The limitations are minor and the price point is right on." He reported that one-third of his BOMs (Bill of Materials, included in sales quotes) are going out using PCCE.
I began this post by quoting a fairy tale. I'll end with a quote from a Cisco contact center sales specialist. Talking to analysts, he said that in deals for over 300 agent seats, "it's a knife fight with Interactive Intelligence. With PCCE, I can kick their ___." Whether true or not, it is the attitude any company wants their sales people to have in today's competitive deals.