Article by John Greenwood
Head of Technology & Payments
Contact Centre Panel
In February and March 2022 two more of the top 5 global tech’ giants joined Amazon and Microsoft by announcing their entry into the customer management and contact centre technology space. One of those giants was Meta, the other Google.
So, with the exception of Apple who remain firmly focused on the provision of stylish and functional computing and communication hardware as well as consumer payments services, four of the Big 5 global tech’ companies are now in a position to help organisations (irrespective of purpose, size or location) to directly support their customers.
For those of us who still remember copper wires and tin boxes with flashing lights, stored in purpose-built rooms with locked doors (usually propped open to keep the places cool), this year may well be remembered as the year that heralded the beginning of ‘the big change’. The moment when the planet’s largest and most influential infrastructure, software and communication companies began the battle to manage and add value to the entire customer data journey.
Why do I think that?
Well, simply consider the global positioning of any of those big 5 tech’ giants in the customer management and contact centre space. The super mature Microsoft with its ever-evolving desktop applications, cloud infrastructure, messaging and communication platforms. Amazon providing global data services and from March 2017 has been offering its own successful CCaaS application. Then the new entrants. Google with their global cloud offering now with its own global comms and contact centre AI platform. We also have Meta, who, according to phone.com have provided the world’s top 4 downloaded apps of the last decade (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram), arguably making them the world’s largest human interaction business, finally acquiring Kustomer, the successful contact centre desktop unification application.
Behind these giants there is also activity. The continued success of Twilio as a seamless global comms platform and customer engagement application builder. As well as the ambitious Zoom, having failed to acquire global UCaaS and CCaaS provider Five9 back on October last year, they launched their own contact centre application as soon as February, with a European launch planned for some time soon.
Whilst the beginning of ‘the big change’ may be super exciting for any organisation on the planet who has customers to manage, the business environment for the old tin box manufacturers and the world’s established, historically copper based telco’s, the competitive environment looks just a little bit harder. In the context of ‘the big change’, what I read into that is innovation and change, certainly the prospect of collaboration and consolidation to deliver that. The collaboration plans of Genesys as a long-time global leader will be interesting to see play out, particularly with Zoom and Salesforce as investors in the Dec 2021 funding round.
Having lifted the bonnet of nearly 100 contact centre technology solutions and specialist applications since October 2019, when we began building the Contact Centre Panel Technology Network, we have seen some fantastic technologies and some great innovations. I am absolutely convinced we will continue to see more. We live in exciting times. Let’s see where ‘the big change’ takes us.
For the inside track on ‘the big change’ and what this means for your organisation, get in touch.