Verizon picks inContact to offer ‘Virtual Contact Center’ services


Yesterday Verizon and inContact announced a deal for Verizon to offer “Virtual Contact Center” services based on inContact’s cloud platform. To me it’s an interesting partnership for the following reasons:

  • inContact has not shown up much on industry analysts’ radars. It gets mentioned in many analyst research reports, but primary because it has partnerships with other leaders and offer their products or integration via the cloud (e.g. Verint’s WFM, RightNow CRM).
  • inContact continues to lose money — its recent 3Q2011 results show net loss nearly tripled compared to 3Q2010. Revenues remain stagnant while gross margin has suffered. As of 3Q2011 it has $18 million of cash on hand.
  • About five months ago Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEN) and inContact announced a major partnership for SEN to resell inContact products, and for inContact to build a cloud for SEN in Europe. The deal also injects $15 million into inContact over a two year period.
It’s great that inContact continues to score big partnerships worldwide, a testament to the ongoing momentum seen in cloud services.

Press release:

NEW YORK – To help multinational businesses and government agencies communicate more effectively with their customers and provide better service, Verizon has teamed with inContact, the leading provider of cloud contact center solutions, to offer an advanced suite of cloud-based Virtual Contact Center services.

The innovative offering, available in January 2012, will enable customers of businesses and government agencies to choose how they want to contact and interact with the organization. For example, a customer reaching a company by phone would have the option of speaking with a live agent or requesting a call back if one is not immediately available. Customers could also use the Web for an online chat or to get answers to frequently asked questions. Other features include:

  • Special software that can recognize incoming callers and refer specific customers to agents with the appropriate level of expertise. This “first-call resolution” eliminates the need to transfer a customer from one agent to another, an often lengthy process that frustrates customers.
  • Comprehensive agent desktop tools to help educate and prepare agents to field customer inquiries and resolve them quickly.

Mike Palmer, vice president of enterprise strategy and marketing for Verizon, said, “Nine of the 10 largest banks in the U.S. and many other world-class businesses rely on Verizon’s Contact Center solutions to strengthen their customer relationships. We’ve joined forces with inContact, after an extensive review of the players in the market, to build on our successful track record of developing and delivering innovative customer care solutions. This strategic agreement and latest offering are advancing Verizon’s strategy to deliver enterprise cloud solutions for multinational and government customers worldwide.”

Since Virtual Contact Center solutions are cloud-based, there is no large upfront capital investment, and they can be employed to augment and adjust existing customer service operations to more flexibly address changing business requirements.

In her “Mid-Year 2011 Contact Center Trends Watch List,” Elizabeth Herrell, vice president and principal analyst for Constellation Research, said: “There is a big opportunity for companies who need to support departmental customer initiatives but lack budgets for acquiring the technology infrastructure. Alternatives include evaluating outsourcers or considering cloud-based services. Cloud services can inexpensively offer bundled solutions to quickly launch customer-support operations.”

Paul Jarman, inContact CEO, said: “Bringing inContact’s award-winning cloud platform and deep experience with highly satisfied customers to Verizon’s world-class suite of Contact Center solutions will help to accelerate cloud-based customer contact solution adoption. Together with Verizon’s global reach and world-class sales and service teams, we will be able to shape and meet the growing demand for these compelling and cost-effective customer-facing capabilities.”

Verizon Business delivers integrated IT and communications solutions via its high-IQ global IP and mobility networks to enable businesses to securely access information, share content and communicate. Verizon is rapidly transforming to a cloud-based “everything-as-a-service” delivery model that will put the power of enterprise-class solutions within the reach of every business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.

About inContact

inContact (NASDAQ: SAAS) helps contact centers around the globe create profitable customer experiences through its powerful portfolio of cloud-based contact center software solutions. The company’s services and solutions enable contact centers to operate more efficiently, optimize the cost and quality of every customer interaction, create new pathways to profit and ensure ongoing customer-centric business improvement and growth. To learn more, visit www.inContact.com.

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 107 million total connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $106.6 billion in 2010 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 195,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

####VERIZON’S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, high-quality video and images, and other information are available at Verizon’s News Center on the World Wide Web at www.verizon.com/news. To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.

Media Contacts:
Debbie Lewis
+1 610-257-7974
debbie.lewis@verizon.com
Heather Hurst
inContact
801-320-3591
heather.hurst@inContact.com
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