CFOtech India - Technology news for CFOs & financial decision-makers
Story image
Three reasons contact centres are embracing Open CcaaS
Thu, 21st Mar 2024

In 2024, the delivery of exceptional customer experience will become less of a key differentiator for businesses. Instead, it's becoming table stakes with significant financial and reputational jeopardy for those who fail to meet their customer's expectations. According to a 2023 State of Digital CX Report, 69% of customers reported they would stop doing business with a company after a bad customer experience. 

However, the reality for many businesses is that whilst customer expectations have risen, the resources and budgets available to service customers have not. This means businesses must find a way to do more with less – which effectively means leveraging automation and emerging technology to work alongside humans across every engagement channel. 

This can be easier said than done if a business's contact centre is underpinned by an inflexible, closed platform – and explains why we're seeing a sharp rise in the adoption of Open Contact Centres as a Service (CCaaS). 

The three key reasons driving its adoption are: 

It's not just about voice (anymore) 

Before the internet, smartphones and social media, customer experience (CX) was predominantly managed by call centres. When a customer has a query or problem, the quickest and easiest way to get in touch with a company is through a phone call. Consequently, it made sense to start with the telephony. Do I choose this telephony provider, or is it how call centre infrastructure decisions were made?  

However, with the introduction of the Internet and the explosion of communications channels, many businesses have continued to use a telephony-first approach. Broadly speaking, they migrated to the cloud and then developed and integrated applications to support newer communications in addition to their telephony-first approach. 

This first-generation closed CCaaS systems makes less sense in today's digital-first world. Firstly, there's now a myriad of platforms that can deliver calls to an agent phone or cell phone. Telephony is essentially commoditised and far from the primary value driver it used to be. According to a new Verint study, The Open CCaaS Advantage, only 1 in 10 CX leaders believe telephony will have a meaningful impact on CX automation over the next 12 months. Consequently, there's little sense in making investment business decisions based on the telephony itself. Instead, you need to be able to either BYOT (bring your own telephony) or KYOT (keep your old telephony) and focus on what matters to customers. 
Secondly, it means businesses are limited by the type of applications they can integrate. Instead of being able to select best of breed, they're limited to good enough. Further, data is often siloed and not easily integrated with other systems. 

This problem is obviated by Open CCaaS platforms. This, and the clue is in the name, is an open customer experience platform that allows businesses to continuously implement solutions at their own pace with the freedom to find best-of-breed applications to fit their needs. As Open CCaaS systems are not telephony-first, there is equal emphasis on digital channels as well which allows business to rapidly respond to future changes in consumer behaviour.

The pace of AI innovation 
One of the most important drivers of Open CCaaS is its ability to support CX automation and AI innovation. Today, brands employ 50 million CX employees globally at an annual cost of US$2 trillion—in contrast with $65 billion spent on technology. That's just three percent of budget. It also tells us that brands cannot hire their way to better CX; looking at the 97% of budget to increase is challenging! This means harnessing AI and automation is critical for most businesses as they find new ways to seamlessly stitch data together in order to not only meet but also anticipate customer needs, regardless of what channel they use to contact a business. Here, Open CCaaS systems come into their own as they have typically been architected with data and AI at the core, and not as an add on. 

Why is this important? Taking Verint's Open CCaaS platform as an example, with Verint Da Vinci AI  at the core, we can infuse every application on the platform with AI trained on real engagement data coming from our Open Data Hub. We are also open to blending commercial AI models or in-house models with our own.

With closed platforms, AI is typically not at the platform core. Instead, it's scattered across the different applications and can be much harder (if not impossible) to integrate. This means it's tricky to stay current given the pace of change and evolution of AI that we are currently seeing.  

Opt for best in breed (and not good enough)
Whilst most tech vendors like to believe they are best of breed in all solutions, the reality is typically more nuanced. Sometimes, a solution just isn't right for a business at a particular moment in time, which is why we encourage customers to select the application that will create the most value for them. With Open CCaaS, a business can bring its own telephony, own CRM, and deploy the business applications that best suit; in their own time and on their own schedule. 

In closed CCaaS systems, customers only have the choice of what's in the stack and hope that its good enough. This is reflected in the fact that closed CCaaS platforms tend to charge for integrations, data access and data usage and there's limited numbers of APIs. Conversely, an open ecosystem will have hundreds and hundreds of APIs and adapters freely available for seamless including telephony, CRM and other data assets. 

With exceptional customer experience now table stakes, businesses must find a way to maximise CX automation; return on investment; innovation and evolution whilst minimising restricted and siloed thinking around communications channels. 
It's time to open your mind to Open CCaaS.