Avaya Acquires KnoahSoft, Adds In-House WFO
Companies increasingly want workforce optimization integrated into their contact centers, as evidence in this latest industry acquisition.
In May 2014 No Jitter post, I wrote: "The holy grail of a fully-integrated cloud contact center suite continues to drive acquisition activity." At the time, inContact had just announced its intention to purchase Uptivity, a workforce optimization (WFO) company. Today the statement applies to Avaya.
This acquisition is similar to the inContact deal in some ways, but has other interesting characteristics as well. Of note:
- Increasingly, companies deciding to upgrade their contact center solutions want to include WFO components like call recording and workforce management. Competitors Aspect, Genesys, and Interactive Intelligence already include a full WFO suite in their portfolios.
- KnoahSoft has been part of the Avaya DevConnect Select program for more than two years, meaning that KnoahSoft solutions have been available through the Avaya ordering process, on "Avaya paper." As part of that process, KnoahSoft's Harmony WFO suite has been compliance-tested with Avaya Aura and IP Office. This means the Avaya sales force and partners are familiar with the solution.
- Avaya has had a tight partnership with Verint, the OEM behind Avaya Aura WFO today, for several years. However, the Verint solution is best suited to the high end of the contact center market -- meaning, for operations with at least hundreds of agents. With the SMB-targeted IP Office contact center solutions Avaya announced earlier this year, having an all-in-one solution purpose-built for smaller centers -- 50 to 100 agents -- makes sense. inContact also partners with Verint, and has continued to offer both solutions to its customers.
- In September 2014, KnoahSoft began making its Harmony solution stack, traditionally a customer premises-based solution, available via cloud subscription. One can surmise, given the recent Customer Engagement OnAvaya Powered by Google Cloud announcement, that Avaya will market both solutions together at some point in the future.
- KnoahSoft has hundreds of customers, some working on Avaya platforms but many with other contact center solutions. inContact has continued to support the sale of Uptivity on non-inContact platforms; we would expect Avaya to continue to support KnoahSoft on competing platforms as well.
Contact center infrastructure and WFO from a single suite is about more than one-stop shopping for customers. It is about single sign-on for agents into what today are often multiple systems. It is about supervisor reporting that can drill down to actual recordings for an understanding of underlying causes. Ultimately, it is about routing interactions based on real-time agent performance attributes, obviously best delivered when the WFO application and routing engine are part of a single solution.Follow Sheila McGee-Smith on Twitter and Google+!
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