I am happy to share some insights gleaned from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. Drawing on our benchmark research, we utilize a structured research methodology with evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to vendors in contact centers in the cloud. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). This research-based index is the first such industry undertaking to assess the full business value of software designed for enabling a contact center in the cloud. You can learn more about our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool at https://www.ventanaresearch.com/value-indexes/inclusion.
Our Value Index research evaluated the following vendors that offer products that address key elements of the Contact Center in the Cloud: 8x8, Inc., Altitude Software, Aspect Software, AWS, BroadSoft, Content Guru, Five9, Inc., Genesys, IFS-mplsystems, NewVoiceMedia, NICE, RingCentral and Serenova.
For inclusion in this Value Index evaluation, we required that vendors offer products that can operate contact centers in the cloud across multiple countries and continents. The vendors were required to operate a telephony channel directly as part of their offering to the market, a requirement that excluded the following vendors: Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Salesforce and Verint. We invited all vendors with relevant contact center in the cloud offerings to participate actively in the evaluation process, at no cost to them, by providing information about their products and references to customers using them; three of the vendors included in this Value Index (8x8, AWS and Serenova) did not actively participate in the process. We did not include a number of other vendors in this Value Index evaluation because they did not satisfy the inclusion criteria that our methodology for this research requires.
To arrive at the overall Contact Center in the Cloud Value Index for a given vendor, we weighted each category as I noted above to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.
The performance analysis we did for the Value Index for the Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 finds NICE topping the list with Aspect Software second and BroadSoft third. Companies that score in the top three in any category earn the designation Value Index Leader; NICE has done so in six of the seven categories, Aspect Software and Genesys in four categories, BroadSoft, NewVoiceMedia and Serenova in two of the categories and RingCentral in one category. To learn more about each of the seven categories of evaluation and the weighting and leaders for each, please read the report available on our site.
As noted above, this Ventana Research Value Index evaluates the software in seven key categories. The adjacent chart places the product-related and customer assurance scores on the X and Y axes respectively to provide a visual representation of our Value Index scores. Vendors whose products scored higher in aggregate in the five product categories place farther to the right; the combination of scores for the two customer assurance categories determines their placement on the vertical access. In short, vendors that place closer to the upper-right on this chart scored higher than those closer to the lower-left.
We warn that close vendor scores should not be taken to imply that the packages evaluated are functionally identical or equally well suited for use by every organization or for a specific process. Although there is a high degree of commonality in how organizations handle contact centers in the cloud, there are many idiosyncrasies and differences in how they do these functions that can make one vendor’s offering a better fit than another’s with a particular organization’s needs. After more than a decade of technology advances, all the products we evaluated are feature-rich, but not all the capabilities they offer are equally valuable to users. Moreover, the existence of too many capabilities may be a negative factor for an organization if it introduces unnecessary complexity.
Our firm has made every effort to encompass in this Value Index the functional requirements and capabilities of our Contact Center in the Cloud blueprint, which we believe reflects what a well-crafted RFP should contain. Even so, there may be additional areas that affect which vendor and products best fit your particular requirements. Therefore, while this research is complete as it stands, utilizing it in your own organizational context is critical to ensure that products deliver the highest level of support for your projects in this area. More details on our site with the report and how to use the Value Index.
CEO & Chief Research Officer