With a watch on the rising contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) market—which is being spurred by enterprise efforts to supply higher customer support and expertise—Microsoft on Tuesday launched a brand new, all-in-one, cloud-based providing to tackle hyperscalers reminiscent of AWS and Google, and different rivals together with Oracle, SAP and ServiceNow.
Dubbed Digital Contact Heart, the brand new providing combines AI capabilities with present Microsoft companies and merchandise together with Dynamics 365, Groups, Energy Platform and Nuance, stated Charles Lamanna, company vice chairman of enterprise functions and low-code platform portfolio at Microsoft.
The brand new service was launched at Microsoft’s annual Encourage convention. The concept behind the brand new contact heart service is to supply omnichannel engagement, self-service, intent prediction, biometric authentication, and buyer analytics so as to enable corporations to supply customized companies that in the end can drive income development, Lamanna stated.
AI capabilities enable the service to detect the intent behind a buyer name, connecting the shopper to the agent best-suited to deal with the problem at hand. Different options, based on Lamanna, embody knowledge-article suggestions for brokers throughout a name, to assist resolve a specific concern, and clever case swarming—a characteristic that enables brokers to take a look at case historical past and assist them join with consultants if want be.
The Digital Contact Heart permits brokers to work together with clients throughout a number of channels (voice, video, chat) on the similar time and conduct biometric authentication, Microsoft stated, including that it additionally permits enterprises to design chatbots for dealing with repetitive and complicated duties.
As well as, Microsoft’s new providing features a module referred to as ContextIQ, designed to carry out sentiment evaluation and recommend next-best responses to brokers throughout a name. This functionality additionally helps create a studying loop for automated functions, reminiscent of chatbots, to change into smarter.
Microsoft has partnered with corporations together with Acenture-Avanade, Genesys, and HCL, to make the brand new providing interoperable and appropriate with different present contact heart programs, it stated. System integrators reminiscent of EY, TCS, KPMG, and PwC can even assist enterprises in integrating the brand new digital contact heart, Microsoft stated.
Microsoft is likely to be late to the CCaaS occasion however the firm is taking a step ahead by primarily folding its unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) product, Groups, into the brand new CCaaS platform, together with Dynamics Buyer 365, stated Liz Miller, principal analyst at Constellation Analysis. Dynamics Buyer 365, which can proceed to be bought, is Microsoft’s present customer support module, which resides inside the Dynamics 365 ERP suite.
“The brand new Digital Contact Heart takes the muse of the service providing in Dynamics Buyer 365 and integrates Groups, Nuance and the size and availability of cloud,” Miller stated.
The transfer to unify UCaaS and CCaaS is on development as a result of rising use of UCaaS instruments has pressured buyer help operations to change into more and more depending on cloud communications to fulfill buyer wants, Miller stated.
“The announcement comes at a time when consumers of CCaaS options are desperately wanting round for the simple button. These are consumers being tasked with turning the contact heart from an operational price heart unintentionally delivering damaging buyer experiences right into a income development alternative by means of the supply of remarkable experiences,” Miller stated.
Microsoft faces competitors in CCaaS market
Whereas the brand new CCaaS providing looks like a logical extension of Microsoft’s present product portfolio and places the corporate within the end-to-end, customer-services supplier market at a time when one-stop options are in demand, the competitors can be powerful, stated Vasupradha Srinivasan, a senior analyst at Forrester.
“The brand new product will face stiff competitors because it goes up in opposition to gamers which have years of contact heart and customer support experience,” Srinivasan stated, including that there’s an undercatered, midmarket enterprise section which will change into a strategic candy spot for the brand new product, particularly if Microsoft needs to package deal it with a Dynamics or Azure enterprise purchase.
The worldwide CCaaS market is rising, anticipated to achieve $15.07 billion in 2029, which might symbolize a compound annual development price of 17.5% from $4.87 billion in 2022, based on Fortune Enterprise Insights.
Microsoft’s rivals available in the market are usually not standing nonetheless. In June, for instance, Amazon Net Providers (AWS) added a brand new case administration characteristic, dubbed Amazon Instances, to its Amazon Join cloud-based contact heart service
In March, Google Cloud tweaked its Contact Heart AI (CCAI) service to offer it the flexibility to combine with CRM (buyer relationship administration) functions so as to present enterprises with real-time insights and information analytics.