Paul Stockford, Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research
3 minute read
By Paul Stockford, Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research
Posted in Customer Engagement
Verint's annual customer and partner conference, Engage, is an event I've looked forward to each year for almost as long as I can remember. The chance to interact with a wide variety of Verint customers while enjoying the ambience of the resort chosen for the event always represents a highlight of my work year.
This year, as it was in 2017, Engage was located at Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, Florida. The return engagement made it easier for me, as I'm sure it did for other returning attendees, to get oriented and navigate my way around the various areas for keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. With approximately 1,600 people from 26 countries in attendance, ease of navigation played an important role in getting the most out of the Engage experience.
If there was a consistent theme at Engage 2019, it was "Automation." The opening keynote from Verint's Elan Moriah, President, Customer Engagement Solutions, focused on the ongoing objective of elevating the customer experience while reducing costs in the enterprise and, in particular, in the contact center. While this objective may appear to be counter-intuitive at first glance, Moriah contended that the solution lies in process automation. The productivity improvements and cost reductions that are realized through automation of routine and repetitive tasks counter the need for additional customer service headcount that would otherwise be considered a necessary resource in order to elevate the customer experience.
The automation theme was carried on in Verint CEO Dan Bodner's keynote address, in which he reiterated Verint's commitment to accelerating innovation in both automation and the contact center cloud. He emphasized that improving operational efficiency is a critical objective for Verint customers and it is Verint's intent to address this objective by automating customer engagement processes across the enterprise, powered by Verint Cloud.
Bodner reiterated Verint's commitment to telephony neutrality both on-premises and in the cloud. He also reminded attendees that Verint continues to work with its customers to make the move to the cloud at the customer's own pace and offers managed services as well as Software as a Service (SaaS) in order to make the move as easy as possible.
The digital transformation of the contact center was underscored by a number of Verint customers who addressed the general audience at the keynote session. Robert Elzner from Dell Computer talked about the increase in revenue and profitability that Dell has seen as a result of their implementation of Verint-powered virtual assistants. Nataki Edwards of AARP offered her account of how AARP is using Verint solutions to move into the world of digital customer experience (CX), which she believes will be the next CX battleground.
On the new product side, Verint introduced Verint Unified VoC, an enterprise-grade, analytics-driven Voice of the Customer platform engineered to provide a comprehensive VoC view across channels, whether the data is structured or unstructured. Beyond surveys, Verint Unified VoC delivers actionable insights to CX professionals throughout the enterprise, enabling identification of CX issues and the optimization of ROI on CX initiatives.
Breakout sessions covered contact center topics of every description and were taught by a variety of Verint customers, partners, and employees. It was my pleasure to once again address conference attendees in a breakout session covering today's major industry trends and speculate on what trends we may be talking about when we meet again at this time next year. This year's topic was the impact the upcoming generations of workers and customers -- specifically, Millennials and Generation Z -- will have on contact center operations and on customer service.
I believe that the changes that will be brought about by the next generations of customers and customer service professionals will be the most disruptive force the industry has seen since the advent of the PC platform in the 1980s. The difference, though, is this time technology won't be leading the changes -- it will have to respond to the changes. I have written on this topic in guest blogs published in January and March of 2019 on the Verint Blog. Be sure to take a look if this topic is of interest to you as well.
Year after year, Verint Engage continues to impress. Between networking opportunities, innovative breakout sessions, informative keynotes and the chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones, it has become a can't-miss annual event for me and I'm sure for others. The theme of Engage 2019 was "Automation," but Verint definitely didn't automate its hospitality or customer connections at the conference. When it comes to Verint and its customers, the human touch is clearly evident!
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