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Genesys: Try This App for Free
The common process of software procurement followed a tedious path of making sales calls, asking for quotes, discussing pros and cons, and then finally deciding on a system - a resource and time-intensive approach. Now, new models of software acquisition - like Genesys' self-service, free trial model - are allowing enterprises to find, evaluate, and procure software more effectively.
What’s in the Box?
Many professionals today don’t realize that software was commonly packaged in what can be described as a cereal box. There just weren't that many options before the pervasivness of the Internet. However, the difference between good and great software isn’t features, it’s the user interface and experience, and these differences are hard to evaluate from the side of a box.
Consumer software made the transition first. Today, most consumer desktop and mobile apps are available with a try-before-you-buy offer. Sometimes it’s a limited-time trial, or the software has restricted features. Regardless, consumers generally have a pretty good idea of what they’re buying before the purchase.
This approach has expanded into the enterprise. Two noteworthy examples are Slack and Zoom, both companies went public this year, and both use freemium models. The customers of these companies typically engage directly with the product/service before engaging with traditional sales channels. When a prospect becomes a customer, they’re already familiar with the software or services’ operational benefits.
This approach works well for mass-market software, but contact center solutions are heavily customized. Even pre-packaged contact center solutions need heavy customization. Significant progress in streamlining implementations has reduced what used to take months into weeks, but it’s still inherently a manual process to procure and implement a proof of concept.
A big improvement in finding software solutions have been in the form of platform-specific app stores. These “stores” typically provide a directory of integrated solutions that can be easily filtered with descriptions in a standardized format but fall short on actual procurement and implementation. The app stores have addressed the front end, but implementation is more like traditional software research and evaluation — phone calls, quotes, and project plans.
Genesys' Single-Click Trials
During Genesys' G Summit event in Amsterdam today, the company announced single-click trial capabilities for premium applications in its Genesys AppFoundry. Once a customer selects an application, it takes about a minute for the application to be installed and provisioned on their PureCloud implementation. The free trial apps are set up for a 30-day trial, after which the customer can subscribe or deprovision.
In the AppFoundry, these new ready-to-install applications are limited to Premium Client Applications. This is an AppFoundry designation introduced last year that allows Genesys or its resellers to invoice as a part of a customer’s monthly PureCloud subscription fee. This makes sense as simplified billing is part of the benefit. Genesys supports two invoicing models for Premium Applications: a fixed monthly fee and user license model. These applications are also single sign-on integrated with PureCloud.
The free trial program launches with 11 AppFoundry partners including Avtex, CustomerView, nGuvu, PureInsights, Softphone, Survey Dynamix, CoBrowse, SmartVideo, and Outleads.
PureInsights, for example, gives PureCloud administrators significantly enhanced reporting. It’s a common PureCloud addition, and any customer that’s been curious to discover what their data reveals can now complete a 30-day evaluation in 30 days. CustomerView lets PureCloud customers experiment with emerging conversational behavioral analytics. Customers that are cautiously curious about gamification can now initiate a pilot with nGuvu faster than reading a brochure.
Genesys isn’t the first to evolve its AppStore to include trials and procurement. Talkdesk also offers search, one-click trials, and easy subscription additions with its AppConnect service. Both represent the model going forward and a huge benefit to customers.
The key here is reduced friction, or what Genesys describes as a shorter “time-to-value.” Software acquisition today is all about the experience, and vendors are caught between the heavy lifting of trials and customer resistance to resistance to scheduling sales presentations. The vendors that make it easier for prospects to complete self-navigated research have an advantage.
However, don’t expect all of PureCloud’s partners to embrace the new program. Although it’s doubled in a year, there are only 30 Premium Applications today out of a total of 280 in the Genesys AppFoundry. Both the partner and Genesys have to agree that the back-end integration development makes sense. Though, I expect to see a rapid expansion from today’s 11 vendors.
Dave Michels is a Contributing Editor and Analyst at TalkingPointz.