Wednesday, March 29, 2017

US cloud contact center market on fire

Well, was planning on writing this blog for sometime and before I published, we have a new player, Amazon connect :)

We started designing our US product 8 months back and have been tracking the market closely for the right product fit. When we started we were following some of the established cloud players like Incontact, Five9,Interactive intelligence,8x8,Genesys Cloud,Mitel,Vocalcom etc

And there were the new ones like Talkdesk

Then there were CRM vendors integrationg third party API (Twilio mostly) to offer bundled services. Some examples were Zendesk,Freshdesk,Agile etc.

While in India we cater to medium to large enterprise, offering a full features multi channel contact center. But US with existing options for SME and enterprise, we wanted to cater to specific segment that is not served by contact center provider and rather use cloud PBX like ringcentral, grasshopper for the their business needs. 
We decided to go with SMBs which are a typical 2-10 people business. Build the product with a very intuitive UI to make it very easy for anyone to setup and use. With experience we know that while most of the contact center offered same set of features, but using and configuring them was very hard for an SMB users. With contact center terminology and standard configuration UI with configuration options and various set of drop drowns make people confused. And with typical DIY there is no realtime phone/chat support, leaving users stuck to fend for themselves.

We launched last month, with unique wizard based UI for easy setup, offering all that an SMB needs bundled together (voice + chat + contact management with interaction tracking and customer journey). We came up with a new pricing model, where user pays a basic price of $49.99 (equivalent minutes included). No limit on number of agents. Customer just pays for minimum and for additional number of minutes used, certainly he can cap his max spend for peace of mind. Its like Twillio of contact center for SMB, with a twist.

Its not even a month and the there are new players in cloud communication space and some of the large ones:

Avaya Launched (API services like Twliio). Unified communication on cloud
Cisco sparks : Unified communication on cloud. Cisco already bought Tropo for communication API
Latest one is Amazon launching Amazon connect
Freshcaller a contact center offering from Freshdesk

Twillio has become real enabler for third party to offer these service, Talkdesk, and now Freshcaller all seem to be built using Twillio API each offering a niche set of features to end users.

With all the big players getting on the cloud this domain is going to get hot.