Ryan Hollenbeck and Dave Capuano Discuss the Recent Combination of Verint and Vovici

21 Aug 2011

Combined Entity Creates the Market's Most Comprehensive Voice of the Customer (VoC) Software and Services Offering

Ryan Hollenbeck, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Verint Systems, and Dave Capuano, Vice President of Marketing, Vovici, join UCStrategies' Jim Burton in this Executive Insights podcast to discuss Verint's recent acquisition of leading online survey management and enterprise feedback solutions provider Vovici. According to Hollenbeck and Capuano, the combination gives organizations worldwide access to an extended software suite that breaks new ground for companies striving to holistically capitalize on the valuable information gathered through their VoC initiatives-inside the contact center, in marketing departments, and across virtually every other area of the business. With this enhanced view of the customer experience, they are now well positioned to make timely, informed decisions that strengthen customer experiences and loyalty, and result in better, more efficient business operations.

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Jim Burton: Welcome to UCStrategies Executive Insights. This is Jim Burton and I am joined again by Ryan Hollenbeck, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Verint and joining us as well, is Dave Capuano who is the Vice President of Marketing for a recent acquisition of Verint, Vovici. Ryan, could you give us a little explanation about where this acquisition fits in to your overall analytic strategy and how you went about it?

Ryan Hollenbeck: Sure, thanks Jim. I think the combination really more than anything is a strategic move that will really help fill a void that exists in the market today by enabling customers to really extract tremendous value from what is an emerging tool set for Chief Customer Officers. Along with other people that own the customer experience within their organizations, voice of the customers executives, if you will, Jim, this tool set has not existed before. I think the acquisition will add what Vovici has today, which is a powerful and really scalable easy-to-use enterprise feedback solution to Verint's Voice of the Customer Analytic solution set. You might remember on our last call we talked a little bit about this launch that Verint had done a number of months ago to bring to market a platform for Voice of the Customer Analytics which includes tools like speech analytics and text analytics as well as customer feedback. We think this combination helps set a new industry standard for these organizations that want to develop a single solution set for voice of the customer initiatives across voice recordings, surveys, email, chat, even social media and other customer interaction points.

Jim: Great, thanks Ryan. Dave maybe you can tell me a little bit more about the company and where you see yourself fitting in to this overall organization of Verint as well as in the customers profile as well.

Dave Capuano: Sure. Vovici was the leading provider of enterprise feedback management. And basically what we provided our customer base is a way to collect information from customers around satisfaction and loyalty; measure that information, analyze and then act on it with a goal of the end company being to increase satisfaction and loyalty of their customer base. That equated to these businesses being able to retain customers, increase spend with customers, and really be in the top of mind with customers when they thought about purchasing solutions.

Jim: Thank you. Ryan, you have already had the leadership position in this space, and clearly this is an addition. So how do you see that fitting in to help extend your market leadership position?

Ryan: Well, what I think is interesting really more than anything is from a customer standpoint. I think within the WFO (workforce optimization) market there is really not any other vendor with such a broad solution set, especially around this powerful customer feedback capability together with speech and text analytics. Adding similarly there is no vendor in the EFM space where Vovici comes from that provides as comprehensive a voice of the customer offering. And most notably now together, Vovici and Verint around speech analytics together with text analytics and enterprise feedback which I think really represents one of the most significant sources of the insight that somebody in this new Chief Customer Officer role would find.

I think further market consolidation is probably likely but we believe that customers will find that we will be ahead and they will be able to find this significant solution set and I think it will create a kind of sustainable advantage for Verint and Vovici together. And I think also when customers are looking at not just the voice of the customer solution set, but I think the combination is also further strengthened by our unified work force optimization solutions which we have also talked about before, Jim, in terms of really that is a key enabler for changes. Organizations look to drive transformation based on their voice of the customer solution findings. Things like being able to map it back to their quality monitoring initiatives and what they are doing to not just survey customers, but also evaluate their agents as they are on the phone or conducting email interactions with customers and even scheduling and making sure they have the appropriate number of people at the right time to respond to customer inquiries.

Jim: Great. Well Dave, what do Vovici Solutions include and what are some of the core benefits that these users should be expecting?

Dave: We are very focused on delivering a software-to-service solution that is really focused on helping organizations generate customer insights around loyalty and satisfaction. So the solutions that includes capabilities and online survey management so being able to send our survey information and collect data; centralize that feedback; collect information through panel management around the characteristics, demographics and respondent history of those customers and then feedback analytics to analyze that information so you can then link the responses to operational actions in your business. And so the benefit to the organizations are around kind of uncovering places where they are doing a good job in facilitating the customer experience and places where they can uncover locations in the business where they can improve, the end goal of trying to drive customers to be more satisfied and more loyal to their business.

Jim: Ryan, this is going to sound like an obvious question, but I think it is one that needs to be asked and that is - why are the two companies joining together and what does this mean for the combined organizations and for the market at large?

Ryan: Actually I think it is a good question, Jim. I mean, it might not be as intuitive as some people think because we have a lot of customers that come at the voice of the customer challenge from a different perspective on the Verint side. It is traditionally a customer service person that owns supporting a customer, runs the contact center, a branch banking environment or some sort of back office operations that really has a direct impact on the customer experience. And I think on the Vovici side it really tends to be somebody who really is trying to drive a voice of the customer initiative from the perspective of what is happening in the marketing organization while also mapping it to this greater customer experience initiative across the organization. I think Vovici is an innovator and a thought leader in this entire enterprise feedback management market. And they are really highly regarded by their customers, not just in terms of the type of solutions that they bring to market, but also their innovation and their employees in terms of their expertise around the voice of the customer. And I think what will be interesting about the combination together is the ability for our common customers and new customers that we bring the market together to execute across multiple channels and be able to correlate information whether it is coming from the web or it is coming from the contact center or it is coming through some mobile channel.

I think what we will find is that Vovici really has some very innovative solutions for mobile and social channels and it is really advocated by a lot of market influencers out there. We think the combination of Vovici and Verint will be viewed as a leadership move not just in voice of the customer overall, but specifically around voice of the customer analytics solutions and then also a real pillar for our strategy going in to our greater workforce optimization solution set in to the enterprise.

Jim: Well that is very interesting and it creates a challenging other question, I think, for Dave, and while you can certainly see the benefit for the existing Verint customers and potential Verint customers moving forward, how does this business combination benefit the Vovici customers?

Dave: I think Ryan did a good job touching on the concept of multi-channels. If you think about customers touching a business, there are lots of ways they can interact through the call center: through social media, answering a survey. And what businesses are looking for-especially these executives who are responsible for customer insight, the Chief Customer Officer-they are looking for a solution set to help understand the experience across those channels. Our customers are specifically tasked with those responsibilities and access to the broad portfolio that Verint brings in speech analytics, text analytics, combined with what we already do around survey management and feedback analytics is really going to provide an end to end solution set for these chief customer officers. And if you tie that to what you already do with work force optimization, it really allows for our customers to see from the time a customer touches their business all the way through resolution of improvement of that experience. It gives them a full solution set. I think that with the power of Verint being a global company is really providing us the power of their business, help drive the next generation of Chief Customers Officer technology.

Jim: One of the things that we know at UCStrategies that our readers and listeners like to know is, who are some of the other people that are using this product and this technology? They love to hear what their peers are doing out there and who those peers are that might be using this technology. It adds a little bit of validation to a reason they should be looking at it. So can you give us just a flavor of who some of your customers are?

Dave: We have a pretty broad set of customers prior to the acquisition, have over twelve hundred customers. Some of the more notables: Cisco Systems, obviously the worldwide leader in networking; Oracle; folks like Navy Federal Credit Union which happens to be a share in Verint Vovici customer; AFLAC; Sykes Enterprises which is a global leader in providing customer contact management solutions and services. Those types of organizations are really leveraging our solution set to engage both their customers, members and in lots of cases their employees to kind of measure satisfaction as well.

Jim: Well that is a very, very impressive list of customers. I mean it is not the fact that they are just big names; those are companies we all recognize as extremely well managed companies and it is clear that they must be using your technology to help them manage their company well.

One of the things that I have been talking about for the last several years is the evolution of unified communications. And it started off with unified communications for individuals which was click to communicate. And we are entering the phase right now where it is all about CEBP, how you can integrate a communications to optimize business processes. And I have been claiming that the third leg of unified communications which will evolve sometime in the future is all around analytics and metrics. And it is clear you people are already there. So you are already at that next phases of UC which I have been predicting we are at least 18 months, 24 months away. But it looks like you are already there. So I encourage those looking at this to take a look at the link we are going to provide to get you over to more information about the topics we have been talking about today.

I would like to thank you both for your time today. It has been very interesting and very exciting. We look forward to following you as you move forward and maybe publish some of your case studies that come out to let our readers understand how other people have looked at this; how it has fit in. We will also of course click in to case studies on your side as well. So again, thank you for your time today, gentlemen.

Ryan: Thank you, Jim.

Dave: Thank you, Jim.

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