Back in August of 2016, Genesys announced its intent to acquire competitor Interactive Intelligence, combining two market leaders in contact center and customer experience solutions. The Interactive Intelligence portfolio brings along products and services in the mid-market business segment (250-750 users), including telephony and unified communications functionality, and adds to the Genesys contact center offerings geared toward larger enterprises (above 750 users).
The transaction closed in December 2016. Genesys reports good progress since then in terms of defining a going-forward portfolio of solutions that now spans all market segments, small to large, simple to sophisticated, delivered in the cloud or on-premises. Genesys has been refreshingly open about its strategy and roadmap, continuing to hold briefings and Q&A sessions on a quarterly basis. And while, no financials from the combined company are public as yet, Genesys reports the company is “at plan” or “ahead of plan.”
With the merger complete, the company has 5,000 employees, 1,000 partners and 10,000 customers.
Covering All Market Segments
Moving quickly, with a goal toward having “no artifacts” of the merger left by 2018, Genesys has already aligned the two company’s portfolios into three main offers using the Interactive Intelligence “Pure” branding. Genesys further defines each of the three offers in terms of business size (number of user seats), but stresses that the “buyer persona” is more important than seat size in determining which solution actually fits best.
- PureCloud by Genesys (20-250 seats): In 2015, Interactive Intelligence introduced the PureCloud multi-tenant suite of contact center and unified communications applications running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The newly rebranded PureCloud by Genesys is now streamlined into two offers: (1) “PureCloud Communicate” that blends team collaboration functionality (formerly PureCloud Collaborate) with enterprise telephony, speech-enabled auto attendant, audio conferencing, call recording, unified messaging and screen pops, and (2) “PureCloud” (formerly known as PureCloud Engage), an all-in-one cloud contact center and unified communications service that delivers both omnichannel routing (voice, chat, email and video) and PureCloud Communicate (available in three pricing tiers).
- PureConnect (250-750 seats): The PureConnect solution encompasses Interactive Intelligence’s all-in-one software suite, Customer Interaction Center (CIC), that offers both contact center and enterprise IP telephony functionality, deployed on-premises or as a single-tenant cloud service (CaaS) with a month-to-month or annual subscription. CIC and CaaS share the same code-base, and though there may be a few small differences due to deployment and delivery, the aim is to have the same features with enhancements released at the same time, according to the company.
- PureEngage (750+ seats): The newly-branded PureEngage category encompasses the Genesys Enterprise Edition offerings, including both cloud- and premises-based solutions for customer engagement (digital, inbound, self-service and outbound), employee engagement (workforce optimization, omnichannel desktop and collaboration) and business optimization (workload management, analytics, platform and integration). Genesys recently acquired OEM partner Silver Lining Solutions based in the UK, expanding the company’s portfolio with employee engagement and performance software. Genesys has been offering the Silver Lining Performance DNA portfolio through Genesys Skills Management.
Over the past year, Interactive Intelligence has announced the integration and availability of some PureCloud services for its customers with on-site CIC telephony deployments, including access to the cloud-based PureCloud team collaboration tool (formerly called PureCloud Collaborate). Genesys will be developing more of these hybrid cloud-premises solutions which protect a customer’s existing on-site investments, while allowing them to take advantage of new cloud-based services for advanced applications. Hybrid deployments are a growing preference according to recent surveys, so vendors like Genesys-Interactive Intelligence that can offer both cloud and premises-based solutions are in a good position.
Genesys will be investing $200 million in R&D across all three main offers – PureCloud, PureConnect and PureEngage. The plan is to “rapidly build out” the capabilities of the PureCloud multi-tenant offering, but also invest in the single-tenant PureConnect offering for businesses looking for more isolation and customization. We can also expect some additional integration among the three product lines as noted above (e.g. PureCloud services for CIC), as well as making some of the Genesys contact center functionality available to CIC customers.
For the PureEngage line, Genesys will focus broadly on digital trends, messaging applications, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (for Customer Engagement); the omnichannel desktop, Workforce Optimization (WFO) and next-generation forecasting and planning (for Employee Engagement); and predictive algorithms for routing and analysis, machine learning, APIs and pre-built applications (for Business Optimization). Stay tuned.