Coveo Customer Information Access: Search is Just The Tip of The Iceberg

I admit to being pretty jaded about “new” technology. In the 9 years I’ve been an analyst, I estimate I’ve had over 2,000 vendor briefings, and unfortunately the majority of claims about unique technology turn out to be the same or similar as other products. So when I say I was blown away by something new and innovative, it means I’ve been introduced to something pretty special.

This week I had the opportunity to spend some time in Quebec with Coveo, an emerging “customer information access” vendor, whom I will never again refer to as a “search vendor.” Oh, Coveo does search. They do it extremely well. But that is just the tip of the iceberg for this company.

But let’s start with search, as that’s what brought me to Coveo. I am finalizing the evaluation criteria for my upcoming market overview of search, showing how the worlds of enterprise search, customer support search and social search are merging. Coveo is on the list of vendor partners included in the study, and I wanted to learn more about what they were doing. The product had shown up on last year’s TSIA member survey for intelligent search with high satisfaction marks, but Coveo wasn’t coming at customer service search the same way as the multi-channel vendors. Turns out Coveo has over 700 customer installations, across several verticals, including the customer service market. Tied to no single knowledge base or content management tool, Coveo’s platform does very creative indexing of all enterprise and customer support content (biggest library of packaged connectors I’ve seen) and enables additional attribution or meta data to be associated to the content–sort of sophisticated tagging.

When searching, the tool retrieves all matches along with where the data comes from (federated search results), as well as dynamically building a set of “facets,” which the user can select and expand to filter results.  For example, if an account name is searched, the results may contain leads or opportunities from the CRM system, along with facets to let you filter by deal size or close date–something you normally would have to login to the CRM system to do.  The same results list could contain their support incidents, which you could filter by status or open/close date.

Essentially, you could manipulate the search results using application functionality, and you can leverage the platform to create business logic that can display a complex analytic view across multiple systems and data repositories. At this point my head was spinning a bit as I was thinking of all the ways companies could use this, but Coveo still had more to show.  With the slickest mashup capabilities I’ve seen–including real time data pulls–they have created dashboards, pulling in and analyzing data from any number of content sources, and showing the results.

This was when I had my “ah-ha” moment, and the term “customer information access” made sense.  I was expected a search engine, but what I found was a very sexy platform that offered infinite possibilities to retrieve, manipulate and display data.  It is much more than a search engine, or a dashboarding tool, or a reporting platform, though it can do all of these things well. Additionally, by enriching existing content with additional meta data, Coveo can help companies leverage old legacy systems that still serve their purpose but don’t allow much in the way of integration or reporting.  You want to keep that 12 year old version of Clarify, Vantive, Scopus or Remedy a few more years?  Here’s how you can keep your legacy tools but still do complex analytics with the data.

I know it is late notice, but I hope you will take the opportunity to join our Webcast tomorrow, “Converging Knowledge Base Access with Intelligent and Social Search: Increase Customer Self-service and Agent Effectiveness—without Moving Data,” and see a live demo of Coveo in action.  This is really exciting technology, and I’m happy to say, innovative and new. Thanks for reading!

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6 Comments on “Coveo Customer Information Access: Search is Just The Tip of The Iceberg”

  1. Allan Grohe Says:

    Sounds pretty interesting, John: I’ll have to check out the webcast replay. Thanks for the pointers!


  2. JD Lloyds Says:

    I will definitely have a look as well.

  3. John Says:

    Seems like open source is a pretty compelling alternative, esp. WRT to price/performance. How does this compare: ?

    • jragsdale Says:

      I have not done an evaluation of the open source options. Based on member experiences with open source CRM, I’d be very wary for large enterprises. Too many gotchas.

  4. Krassi Genov Says:

    very interested in checking out the webcast John. Are Coveo pure SaaS?

  5. fernsehen Says:

    thak you for submitting your post , this is very interesting post, and i will definitely take a lokk around your site.

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