A Bit of the Irish at the Genesys Analyst Summit
It’s not often that you get to attend a conference in Ireland and stay in a castle, but analysts at the recent Genesys Analyst Summit got to experience both the wonderful hospitality of the Irish while staying at the lovely Ashford Castle near Galway. Galway was an appropriate locale, as Genesys has a major presence in the city thanks to its acquisition of Altocloud.
The Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
Genesys experienced many changes in the past year or so, with more on the way (much of which can’t be disclosed at this time). The company has a new leadership team and organization under the direction of CEO Tony Bates, with two key business units – Genesys Cloud and Genesys Core – headed by Olivier Jouve and Barry O’Sullivan, respectively. The Genesys Cloud group includes PureCloud (which has been renamed as Genesys Cloud) and workforce engagement management (WEM), while the Genesys Core group includes the PureEngage and PureConnect platforms.
While the days were packed with information, much of what was discussed at the conference was under NDA and can’t be published. One of the highlights of the event was a visit to the Genesys Galway office to get a close-up look at how Genesys is innovating and transforming.
Throughout the analyst summit, some of the key themes focused around the role of outcomes, empathy, and trust. We also heard the term “Experience as a Service” and how companies can differentiate across the full customer experience. The recently-launched Experience as a Service(SM) powered by Genesys Cloud enables organizations to achieve true personalization at scale. I expect to hear about Experience as a Service much more often in the coming months.
As expected, AI was a huge topic. I applaud Genesys’ approach to AI, which focuses on AI orchestration, as the company supports both its own AI and third-party AI capabilities. Genesys is attempting to differentiate itself by using AI for every application, while focusing on how AI can be used to produce customer outcomes.
Recapping the Event
Kicking off the event we heard CEO Tony Bates lay out his vision for the company as Genesys accelerates cloud adoption while continuing to support its large installed base. Bates has quite a resume, with years of experience in the business communications area, and brings new vision and energy to Genesys.
In this video interview, Tony provides an update of the past year and how Genesys has continued on its journey of continued growth and expansion. He discusses some of Genesys’ key activities in the past year, including innovation investments in the cloud, new tools to help customers migrate to the cloud, and delivering a true SaaS model. Tony also talks about some of the organizational changes in the past year, and what’s to come in 2020.
No Genesys analyst event would be complete without a video interview with CMO Merijn te Booij. In this video, Merijn provides an overview of the key messages of the event, including Genesys’ proven success in the cloud and its focus on outcomes. Merijn also discusses one of my favorite topics, use cases.
2019 saw the return of Barry O’Sullivan, who is now Executive Vice President and General Manager for Genesys Core. As many of you know, Barry was the CEO and Founder of Altocloud, which Genesys acquired in 2018, and he served on the Genesys board.
In this video interview, Barry discusses the two business units – Genesys Cloud (contact center as a service platform) and Genesys Core, which includes Genesys Engage (multicloud service for very large customers) and PureConnect (on premise product). Genesys continues to support on-prem and private cloud customers, and the company continues to enhance these products. As Barry notes, “It’s going to be the cloud, but the question is how do you get there.”
I also spoke with Janelle Dieken, Senior Vice President Product Marketing, who provided an update on Genesys’ products. In this video interview, Janelle discusses Genesys’ key focus areas where some of the major investments are being made, including workforce engagement management and digital channels. Janelle explains how any Genesys customer can access and leverage innovations from the cloud. She also provides an update on Genesys AI and how it orchestrates native and third-party AI applications for customer experience, customer engagement, and employee engagement.
Hearing from Customers and Partners
As always, one of the highlights of the analyst summit was hearing from customers and partners. During the customer panel, Vodafone, a leading European bank, and Lowell, a Financial Services company provided insights into their current and planned usage of Genesys solutions, and the benefits they’ve attained.
As Carl-Petter Udvang, Product Manager at Lowell Norge (Norway) noted, in 2017 the company replaced almost every platform it had in place, moved to the Genesys Cloud, and introduced AI and machine learning. Udvang told the analysts, “Genesys Cloud was the coolest gadget we could possibly acquire.” The company implemented Genesys Cloud for its 110 agents in just five weeks and achieved its business case after four months. The company reduced the number of interfaces agents had to use from 11 down to only one, enabling agents to more easily access all of the necessary customer information when they get an interaction. He noted that the user interface was intuitive enough so that agents only needed one hour of training prior to switching over to Genesys.
Vodafone Germany has been using the Genesys Engage platform for its 15,000 agents, taking advantage of multiple interaction channels, mobile applications, asynchronous messaging, and more. When describing the company’s omnichannel strategy, Joerg Knoop, Head of Technology Digital Incubator, Vodafone, explained, “There will be a big shift in how customers interact with brands in the next two years. We launched WhatsApp on LivePerson but migrated to Genesys. Now agents can see everything in one place and see the complete customer history.” He added that the company is using chatbots to solve 30% of interactions, leading to seven-digit operating expense savings. Knoop noted, “Once we’re in full run, assisted service may be 20% more efficient than voice.”
Another customer, a leading European bank, has been on a multi-year digital transformation journey for its contact center and branches. As a long-time Genesys Engage customer, the bank implemented Predictive Engagement. As a corporate spokesperson noted, the bank is investing heavily in technology and going through huge digital transformation, while trying to replicate the customer face-to-face experience in a digital way. It was interesting to hear that the bank was an Altocloud customer before becoming a Genesys customer. Altocloud (now Genesys Predictive Engagement) provided a 26% improvement in conversion rates, as the bank was able to see where customers were dropping off their journeys or struggling with filling out forms and then provide proactive assistance.
Genesys has certainly gone through major changes in the past year, but its key messages remain the same – Genesys is a leader in customer experience and is becoming a cloud company while still supporting its hosted and on-prem customers. AI will be a major area of focus as the company leverages its orchestration capabilities to support in-house and third-party AI technologies. I love the “Experience as a Service” message, as Genesys focuses on personalization, empathy, and trust to help create the experiences customers expect.
Under the leadership of Tony Bates, 2020 will be a big year for the company, but I can’t divulge any more here – you’ll have to be patient.
(And kudos to the Genesys AR team, which did a fabulous job of ensuring that the event was filled with useful information, access to the executive team, and a delightful experience in Ireland).