Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

NICE to Acquire Merced Systems for Excellence in Customer Service and Sales

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 6, 2011 11:45:21 PM

NICE Systems last week announced an agreement to acquire Merced Systems, a provider of business applications for customer service and sales organizations. This acquisition slipped by with little fanfare, but it marks a significant milestone for NICE, a major provider of applications and technology for call centers and a player in their evolution into multichannel contact centers. Building on a good 2010, as my colleague Richard Snow noted, NICE expects to reach almost $800 million of revenue in 2011, which would make it one of the largest companies in its segment. NICE has made multiple acquisitions to build its software portfolio, including purchases of Actimize, CyberTech, eGlue and others mentioned below. It recently won our 2011 Ventana Research Leadership Award in the contact center category with its customer deployment at Alliance Data. NICE Systems plans to have Merced Systems as a foundation of its enterprise systems and a complement to its contact center workforce optimization offering. This purchase builds on its other acquisitions, including FizzBack recently and IEX and Performix in 2006, which helped NICE establish its customer service and back office agent performance management software. That area has not grown as quickly as NICE would like, mostly due to marketing that was not aggressive enough in attracting customers. NICE recently rebranded its NICE SmartCenter for helping agents, as Richard noted, and is leveraging its assets into the back office, which he also assessed. Our benchmark research on contact center technology found that companies’ priorities for future investments match up well with NICE Systems’ focuses on expanding customer service agent applications and analytics applications.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, CFO, Cloud Computing, CMO, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Feedback Management, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Customer Service, Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Marketing, Merced Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Predictive Analytics, Revenue Performance, Sales, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Social CRM, Social Media, Speech Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Voice of the Customer, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Customer Experience, Analytics, NICE Systems

Get the Most from Dreamforce for Your Sales Force

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 30, 2011 12:31:04 PM

Salesforce.com’s 2011 Dreamforce conference is under way. If you’re in sales and you use the company’s application, here’s how to gain the most value from your time at the conference. 

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance Management (BPM), Callidus Software, Camelon Software, CFO, ChannelInsight, Cloud Computing, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Marketing, Marketo, Merced Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Qvidian, Revenue Performance, Sales, Sales Force Automation, Sales Operations, Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Salesforce.com, SFA, Social Media, Varicent, Vendavo, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Xactly, Zilliant, Zyme Solutions, Cloud9 Analytics

Gaining Sales Traction with Merced Systems

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 30, 2011 9:23:37 AM

Looking to make your sales force more effective by automating its operations? Merced Systems can provide the traction your sales team needs. The company has been providing applications for more than a decade to customer service and more recently sales organizations, helping both measure and manage performance. Several years ago Merced Systems made a substantial investment to expand to the sales organization with new applications and now offers analytics and reporting, compensation and incentives, and coaching and talent development.  

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Cloud Computing, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Marketing, Merced Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Social Media, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Merced Systems Customer Summit Advances Sales and Customer Service Organizations

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 28, 2010 2:27:50 PM

Many organizations want to improve the performance of their sales and customer service operations but have difficulty increasing efficiency and producing better results. One barrier to improvement is sticking with the status quo of managing sales operations and performance through spreadsheets, as 47 percent of organizations still do, according to Ventana Research’s benchmark research on sales performance management. Also many organizations continue to expect good results from using sales force automation (SFA), but our research shows that 39 percent of organizations are not satisfied with these systems. We also found that the number-one driver of efforts to improve is to make sales performance strategic. In customer service, optimizing utilization of call center agents is a top requirement; another is increasing customer satisfaction, cited by 89 percent of participants in our benchmark research on agent performance management.

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Topics: Customer Performance Management (CPM), Merced Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Analytics

Merced Systems Customer Summit Advances Sales and Customer Service Organizations

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 10, 2010 8:31:10 PM

Many organizations want to improve the performance of their sales and customer service operations but have difficulty increasing efficiency and producing better results. One barrier to improvement is sticking with the status quo of managing sales operations and performance through spreadsheets, as 47 percent of organizations still do, according to Ventana Research’s benchmark research on sales performance management. Also many organizations continue to expect good results from using sales force automation (SFA), but our research shows that 39 percent of organizations are not satisfied with these systems. We also found that the number-one driver of efforts to improve is to make sales performance strategic. In customer service, optimizing utilization of call center agents is a top requirement; another is increasing customer satisfaction, cited by 89 percent of participants in our benchmark research on agent performance management.

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Topics: Customer Performance Management (CPM), Merced Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Analytics