August 29, 2018
Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, Apple, customer engagement, Amazon, Oracle, Digital Customer Experience, DCX, Top providers, Google, Salesforce.com, Facebook, SAP, HP, Singtel
Developing a solid Digital Customer Experience (DCX) strategy is a large, complex task—not only because of the number of technologies involved, but because of the even larger number of providers.
In our 2018-19 Digital Customer Experience research study, we asked 697 global IT and business leaders an open-ended question to gauge which technology providers are most vital to their success.
There was no drop-down list to influence their provider selections. We simply wanted their top two, top-of-mind providers vital to success. The answers reflect their ability to succeed with both internal (employees, contractors) and external (buyers of products/services) customers. Figure 1 shows the results.
Large, multi-faceted technology providers, such as IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, show clear top-of-mind value to IT and business leaders when it comes to customer success. In fact, IBM, by far, garnered the highest number of votes, across all sizes of companies. Its Customer Experience Suite, along with analytics leveraging Watson AI, are winning praise from IT and business leaders.
Several providers showed up across all sizes, but at different ranks. These include Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Salesforce.com, Amazon, SAP, and Apple.
CRM vendors are the most crucial, given that Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAP, all received many votes (NetSuite and Sage also showed up, but with only a few votes). Of course, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP provide significantly more than CRM. For example, Oracle’s Customer Experience Cloud (as well as it’s slick app, Live Experience), is clearly a focal point for those wanting to improve DCX.
Consumer-oriented providers, such as Apple and Facebook, also showed up on the list (WhatsApp also received some votes across all sizes, but not enough for the Top 10). Organizations use Facebook to connect to their customers as a social media channel but also for SMS via Facebook Messenger. Similarly, Apple Business Chat is a growing app companies are relying upon to connect with their customers via SMS. Additionally, Apple’s mobile app store provide another way for companies to stay engaged with customers.
Contact Center Secondary?
Interestingly—and definitely of concern—few of the traditional contact center providers (i.e., Aspect, Avaya, Genesys, etc.) or emerging providers (i.e., Five9, Nice inContact, Serenova, Sharpen, etc.) made the Top 10 list. Cisco and Amazon were the only contact center providers cited. Amazon, which began offering contact center services last year, provides much more than contact center services; some even specifically called out AWS. And Cisco provides significantly more than contact center. Some rely on Cisco’s collaboration capabilities and it’s network infrastructure to support customer engagement. Google recently entered the contact center space with an artificial intelligence engine, but that would not be reflected in this study.
Those selecting Google are using the provider for a multitude of functions, including collaboration, mobile apps, search engine optimization, document creation and storage, email/calendar, and advertisements to promote the business.
Though these providers rank at the top of the “vital providers” list, many smaller companies are worth consideration as you develop and refine your DCX strategy. The larger providers have market share, which makes them more likely to earn the top-of-mind, most vital provider status.
As you’re developing that strategy, it also would be wise to evaluate our provider ratings. We regularly ask IT and business leaders to rate their providers on several different categories. This provides another dimension as you’re evaluating providers. You can assess top-of-mind providers, and also how well any provider in use at an organization performs.
As always, Nemertes can help with these evaluations with research-backed data and advice. To review an overview of our DCX Technology Framework and to get access to our DCX research webinar series, click here. https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/16085/324507