Sheila McGee-Smith
Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the...
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Sheila McGee-Smith | June 24, 2015 |


Corvisa Execs Share Contact Center Insight

Corvisa Execs Share Contact Center Insight A look at three contact center trends and how they impact enterprise decisions

A look at three contact center trends and how they impact enterprise decisions

Cloud communications provider Corvisa last week named three "seasoned technology leaders" as SVPs for global channel sales, enterprise sales, and customer excellence. I had a chance to catch up with one of them, Jon Heaps, the new head of channel sales, along with Matt Lautz, president and CIO, for a conversation about the challenges companies face in choosing cloud-based contact center solution providers.

As we talked, the following three themes emerged.

Contact Center Is Different
As I've been following contact center marketing as an analyst for 25 years now, I'm still amazed when companies forget this point. Being successful selling contact center is different from being successful selling business communications services for several reasons. Foremost among them, the decision maker is less likely to be an IT professional. Contact center was the first and continues to be the communications application most likely to be purchased or highly influenced by business owners -- e.g., marketing or customer service professionals. That makes it more similar to selling an enterprise application, like CRM, than to selling routers and switches.

Jon Heaps, Corvisa

What this means for the enterprise decision maker: You want to find a provider that understands the very special communications needs of a contact center. Corvisa, a relative newcomer to the contact center market, is boosting its level of expertise with two of the three executives just added, as each has spent time working for cloud contact center provider inContact. Heaps, for example, spent 11 years there working in sales and supporting channel partners.

Network Connectivity Is Pivotal
Many like to compare SaaS-based communications applications to enterprise software, notably Salesforce. Everyone uses Salesforce in the cloud so why not communications? ...or so the argument goes. But as vital as CRM and sales automation data is to a business, it is not real-time communications. A couple of seconds of delay uploading your latest meeting notes to Salesforce is an annoyance, but a few seconds of dead air on a contact center call can lead to a hang up, a callback... and a disgruntled customer.

Heaps worked at Baby Bell Qwest (now part of CenturyLink) earlier in his career, and in his channel recruitment he has placed an emphasis on carrier sales channels -- e.g., communications master agency Intellisys. This kind of channel partner knows the intricacies -- and the many idiosyncrasies -- of implementing the carrier services required for cloud contact center solutions.

In our conversation, Lautz spoke to the importance of the network: "We're a telecom company selling software."

What this means for the enterprise decision maker: You should be comfortable that your solution provider and its implementation team knows the ins and outs of ordering and deploying the services needed to get a contact center in the cloud application up and running in a timely way.

One-Stop CC/UC Cloud Shopping: the Next Big Thing?
When we spoke, Heaps described a recent sales opportunity in which the customer was choosing between Corvisa and one other vendor. In the head-to-head competition, both firms had solid contact center solutions but Corivsa won the business. One reason? The company wanted to deploy communications services and contact center in the cloud, and Corvisa can offer both from a single platform.

While the past few years have seen cloud contact center being deployed at a steadily increasing rate, the next few may see the need for vendors to have a combined UC and contact center cloud offer. RingCentral's recent partnership with inContact, 8x8's investments in contact center, and Interactive Intelligence's PureCloud Communicate application are additional proof points that cloud UC and contact center are coming together.

What this means for the enterprise decision maker: As you look to choose a cloud contact center vendor, investigate the firm's offerings or partnerships for UC as well. These two application areas appear on the precipice of convergence.

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