6 Months After Merger Closes, Verint/Witness Delivers New Converged Platform
When I launched this blog back in February, one of the first posts was about the merger of two leaders in quality monitoring, Verint and Witness Systems. Ten months later, after the initial announcement and subsequent merger close, that remains one of the most frequently read posts on my blog. So consider this an update, because clearly the SSPA community (and the support community at large) is interested in this market–technology that is so critical to improving the customer experience.
Heaven knows there have been many, many acquisitions this year, and frankly, the new combined entities are typically slow in delivering value. I’m happy to say that Verint is definitely not one of those, because this week they already launched the first new product combining the ‘best of breed’ components of Witness quality monitoring (QM) and workforce management (WFM) and Verint ULTRA analytics/business intelligence on a new platform. Having a unified suite this soon after a merger/acquisition not only shows that the transaction was well planned out as far as product roadmap, but it also proves that the work both vendors have done in previous years to move to standards-based architectures has paid off.
Keeping the CRM-friendly “Impact 360” brand, Verint is describing the new release as “the first end-to-end solution for analyzing customer service effectiveness and optimizing workforce performance” and I can’t disagree. Other QM vendors (such as Nice) are missing the WFM piece, and the telephony vendors (Genesys, Aspect) that offer both QM and WFM don’t have an analytics platform.
The other important point about this release: it is a new offering and a migration path, all in one–something else you don’t typically see until 2-3 versions in from newly merged software companies. New customers can buy and deploy the release, and legacy customers have a direct migration path as well:
- For existing Witness Systems customers: The new Impact 360 suite includes enhanced versions of all of the unified Witness call recording, quality monitoring, workforce management, eLearning, performance scorecards and customer feedback surveys previously offered, converged with integrated new speech analytics functions, as well as new back-office operations features.
- For existing Verint customers: The new Impact 360 suite includes enhanced versions of all of the integrated ULTRA enterprise quality management and analytics offerings, converged with integrated new workforce management, eLearning, performance scorecards and customer feedback survey functions.
I have done multiple webcasts recently on the importance of deriving business intelligence from customer interactions. This is not only a hot topic for companies launching “Voice of the Customer” initiatives, but also a key part of Value-Added Support is helping development, sales and marketing all be more customer focused, and business intelligence is a critical piece of that strategy.
You know I tend to focus on usability and user interface (UI) design, and I’m happy to report that the new suite also includes a new, common UI across all functionality and modules, including a dashboard style portal that supervisors will appreciate. There are new features in each module, including enhanced speech analytics to better identify trends and sentiment in captured customer conversations, the tracking of skill proficiency across the enterprise to help identify collaboration or SME resources for agents, and new automated QM scorecards with supervisor alerts.
Finally, for Witness customers concerned that Verint would change the culture of Witness people and products, do not despair: Witness’ Nancy Treaster was named Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Verint Witness Actionable Solutions division. For those of you who don’t know Nancy, she is one of the most warm, sincere and genuine executives in the support technology industry.
If you are a Witness, Blue Pumpkin or Verint customer I hope you take the opportunity to look at the new suite and consider upgrading. If you are in the market for QM or WFM software, this is one for the short list. If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line. And as always, thanks for reading!