Gartner recently published the 2020 Critical Capabilities for Contact Centers as a Service research report and NICE received among the four highest scores in all use cases. We see this as a very useful resource and a real-world perspective on how NICE CXone performs in key use cases for today’s contact centers including Customer Engagement Center and Agile Contact Center. We believe that both use cases have even more relevance today and practical applications in 2020 and 2021.
What are the Critical Capabilities for Contact Centers as a Service?
This year’s report evaluates product and services by looking at 11 critical capabilities across 13 vendors and 5 use cases. For contact centers to be successful, these key requirements or critical capabilities vary in terms of importance across different use cases. Furthermore, this report evaluates product and services with vendor ratings for each capability and vendor scores for each use cases. Here’s the list of the 4 use cases that NICE CXone receives among the highest 2 scores:
- Customer Engagement Center (3.66/5)
- Agile Contact Center (3.64/5)
- North America (3.64/5)
- Western Europe (3.61/5)
Importance of a Customer Engagement Center
According to Gartner, the use case for Customer Engagement Center (CEC), “addresses the need for deeper integration with business application software platforms and support for digital channels to provide a stronger customer experience.” Other aspects include support for engaging proactively and reactively as well as strong focus on multichannel contact management, application marketplace and workforce engagement management.
As shown in the above chart, NICE receives the highest score. The Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) Critical Capability is part of this and is defined by Gartner as “the ability to offer comprehensive WEM capabilities as part of the CCaaS suite, including workforce planning, compliance recording and performance monitoring.”
We believe, CXone Workforce Engagement is unsurpassed with patented technology that powers the industry’s most intelligent forecasting, fosters employee ownership and accountability, and gives agents one experience across a cloud platform. As a natively developed suite, CXone WEM unifies workforce management, quality management, performance management and recording to deliver a better experience for agents, supervisors, and customers. The Fall 2020 Release of CXone introduced enhancements for remote workforce agility and agent engagement, further enabling contact centers to avoid disruptions and continuously manage productivity and agent performance in any location.
Importance of an Agile Contact Center
Let’s look at the details for Agile Contact Center—one that seems even more important in 2020 and planning for 2021 given current challenges (and opportunities). Gartner explains Agile Contact Center this way:
“This use case focuses on the need for customer service managers to rapidly change the setup of the customer service environment in line with operational and budgetary needs.”
“Agile contact centers tend to be deployed for more-specific customer service requirements — such as introducing new communications channels, or to set up a support function for a new product or service. In most cases, organizations will already have other contact center technologies deployed. However, the agile suite offers greater flexibility in terms of speed of deployment, scalability and service elasticity. For this use case there is a stronger focus on customer portals and contract elasticity.”
We learned a lot in 2020 about “rapid change” and “operational needs” for both business continuity and the rapid switch to work from home during the global pandemic. Gartner stated: “2020 has been a catalytic year for cloud services, with the COVID-19 pandemic triggering
organizations to rethink their customer service strategies — initially to incorporate remote working, and subsequently digital agility and cost optimization initiatives.” NICE research confirmed that companies are accelerating their move to the cloud as a result of the pandemic, and in fact, many are planning to continue having work-at-home agents after the pandemic. In 2021, contact centers are better prepared and are more focused on planning for unforeseen new situations. Many are also looking at improving self-service and more rapidly adopting digital channels.
We believe, CXone has many benefits for business continuity as well as for innovation and digital channels. Built on an Open Cloud Foundation, CXone deploys quickly with unparalleled security and reliability. Our cloud contact center platform gives you the flexibility to quickly and dynamically change the physical location of your contact center or contact center agents. This may involve rerouting customer inquiries to different sites or distributing contact across multiple active sites to better handle larger volumes. Because NICE supports contact center operations and work-from-home agents in over 100 countries, you can be successful when change happens.
“Introducing new communications channels” is another aspect of this use case. CXone delivers by supporting more digital channels (30+ options to connect with customers)—more than any other contact center vendor. As part of the Agile Contact Center use case, Gartner looks at vendor capability for Application Marketplace Integration: “The application marketplace approach is designed to provide fast and easy integration to customer service applications, supporting the speed and agility of a system of differentiation.”
We believe NICE meets that need with CXexchange marketplace that features pre-integrated applications and services from over 100 trusted technology partners. You’ll find digital channel applications for web, mobile apps (30+) as well as AI and automation apps including chatbots (15+).
How Can Gartner Critical Capabilities Work for You?
This is an invaluable reference and a very similar to the process that you would likely take when building your own contact center use cases, planning for technology upgrades, and evaluating different offers. Your company may be currently operating in North America but looking to expand into Western Europe (or vice versa). There’s a use case for each of those regions. You may be looking to move to the cloud in order to gain more flexibility and agility—key to innovation and business continuity. There’s a use case for that, too—Agile Contact Center.
Out of 13 vendors evaluated, NICE receives among the highest two scores in 4 out of 5 use cases. We believe this not only because of NICE’s overall expertise and Leader position in the Magic Quadrant, but also points to the versatility of CXone as a native-built, fully multitenant cloud customer experience platform with advanced capabilities across a unified suite of applications and a global infrastructure with proven high reliability and scalability for regional and multi-national customers. To read all about the methodology, download the report here.
Companion Report to Gartner Magic Quadrant
Every year, Gartner publishes both the Magic Quadrant for CCaaS and the Critical Capabilities for CCaaS. They work together in giving a complete picture of many of the providers in the industry—and what to expect when selecting one over another. NICE achieved the highest overall position for its ability to execute in the just released Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). According to Gartner, the two reports together offer powerful insights: “Magic Quadrants position vendors in a market, while Critical Capabilities provides a deeper dive into the providers’ product and service offerings. Magic Quadrants contain a broader analysis of the vendors in a market, while the companion Critical Capabilities directly focuses on the product/service offering.”
Read about NICE in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service report
Read about NICE in the 2020 Critical Capabilities for Contact Centers as a Service research report
We understand that making technology decisions isn’t ever easy, so expert assessment from industry analysts can be very useful in your evaluation process. These independent evaluations can be especially useful for building a business case and addressing the needs across all stakeholders in the decision-making process.
At NICE, we offer an important combination to ensure your success. It’s more than just the technology. We combine our innovative cloud platform, CXone, with our expert services, and extensive partnerships. We see that as a win-win combination to help you transform every experience and customer relationship for lasting results.
Required Report Attributions and Disclaimer(s):
- Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service, Steve Blood, Drew Kraus, Pri Rathnayake, 9 November 2020
- Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Contact Center as a Service, Drew Kraus, Steve Blood, Pri Rathnayake, 10 November 2020
- Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
- These graphics were published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from NICE
- GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
 Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Contact Center as a Service, Drew Kraus, Steve Blood, Pri Rathnayake, 10 November 2020
 Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service, Steve Blood, Drew Kraus, Pri Rathnayake, 9 November 2020