2023 NICE Analyst Summit

Experiencing Incan Ruins and AI – NICE Analyst Summit 2023

31 Oct 2023

Peru’s Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu may not be your typical locale for an industry analyst summit, but NICE’s recent analyst conference proved that combining the old and the new can bring about amazing results.

As NICE CEO Barak Eilam noted, “Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to see where you need to step next.”

NICE analyst event 2023 - graphic 1

Eilam walked us through some history and introduced a new concept, the “Experience Continuum.”

According to Eilam, CX requires a systemic approach, vision, and execution, as opposed to today’s piecemeal approach, with disjointed ownership of knowledge, applications, channels, and data. Successful CX requires “AI-ization, digitalization, and cloudification & platformization.”

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The Experience Continuum is the continuum of engagement between consumers and an organization, including synchronous and asynchronous communications, both voice and digital. While the traditional approach to automation is to view assisted and automated interactions as separate, that is no longer the case. The Experience Continuum is about understanding that an experience isn’t one-off or a single journey, or about getting from point A to point B in a certain way. Rather, it’s a continuum, where NICE delivers on voice, digital, attended and unattended service, etc., in a continuous way.

Eilam noted that getting to the Experience Continuum requires a deep expertise in interactions. Companies like NICE have to deliver on the whole package, including voice, digital, attended, unattended, etc. in a continuous way.

NICE analyst event 2023 - graphic 3

According to NICE CX President Barry Cooper, the experience continuum isn’t a distinct phone call or chat bot interaction; rather, it’s a continuum of all those interactions. It’s complex and requires an interaction-centric platform like NICE CX that converges rich CX capabilities, including media and channels, data, knowledge, and AI that’s trained on CX interactions. Cooper explained that “An interaction is full of emotion, it has context, it includes everything that went before between the customer and brand.”

Cooper noted that NICE is the architect of the Experience Continuum paradigm, which requires several elements:

  • An interaction-centric cloud platform, providing a seamless omnichannel, single framework with all the data required for the interactions. This requires an open ecosystem of CX capabilities with a unified data and app framework – a place for all connectivity, connections, etc.
  • A convergence of rich CX capabilities and assets, with all the media, channels, data, applications and knowledge in one place. It needs to be channel agnostic, and aware of consumer intent and journey context.
  • AI fusion, or AI for CX that is trained on CX interactions, fuses people with processes, and is purpose built for CX. This is where NICE’s Enlighten Actions, Enlighten Copilot, and Enlighten Autopilot come in to play. (For more information about Enlighten Actions, Copilot, and Autopilot, see my previous BCStrategies article on NICE).

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AI Momentum

NICE has been quickly building momentum for its AI offerings. For example:

  • 25 Enlighten solutions have been adopted across the platform
  • Enlighten deals have experienced sizable growth, growing more than six times year-over-year
  • At least one Enlighten solution is used by 20% of CXone customers
  • 100% of large enterprise deals in 2023 include Enlighten

During the event I had the opportunity to speak with Cooper about NICE’s approach to AI, as well as the changes he made to NICE’s CX organization to enable the company to move more quickly. He also discussed some of NICE’s new innovations, including Enlighten AI and the various applications including Enlighten Copilot, Enlighten Autopilot, and Enlighten Actions. Cooper also expanded on how NICE approaches AI and how being CX-focused sets them apart. Lastly, Cooper discussed the recent LiveVox acquisition to provide proactive outbound capabilities.


Here are some of my key takeaways from the event:

  • AI Leadership: NICE is differentiating itself by emphasizing that it uses AI that is trained specifically on CX interactions between brands and their customers, as opposed to using generic AI. I was impressed to learn that NICE developed its own Enlighten neural network, as well as the AI expertise NICE has internally, as we were treated to a deep dive with several NICE AI experts. AI is a particular strength, as NICE has 650 AI engineers, has created over 1,000 AI models, and 100% of NICE’s enterprise deals include Enlighten AI.
  • Moving the goalposts: As a CCaaS and CX leader, NICE keeps moving the goalposts and expanding its reach. While the company began in the workforce engagement management (WEM) space, and expanded to CCaaS with the acquisition of inContact, it has expanded its leadership to analytics, knowledge, digital channels, and now, AI. The company has also moved from focusing on CCaaS to the broader CX area to take advantage of what it calls “The Grand CX Opportunity.”
  • Experiences, not transactions: With its focus on the Experience Continuum, NICE recognizes the totality of the customer experience, going beyond interactions and transactions, whether through assisted- or self-service, to the entire experience as customers move over time from one channel and media type to another. It’s not about single transactions or interactions that are finished once the customer hangs up or signs off. Rather, it’s enduring, requiring context and continuity.
  • Knowledge and data are key: We’re all familiar with the expression “garbage in, garbage out.” Without the right data and knowledge, organizations can’t provide the best level of service to customers. NICE’s acquisition of Mindtouch provided the company with deep knowledge and knowledge management assets, and noted during the event that “Knowledge management will become AI management, it will be the way AI will be controlled.” NICE invested a good deal of resources on data, making it a key component of the CXone platform. “Everything starts in the unified data layer in CXone, which includes a single data warehouse, data lake, data streams, data visualization capabilities, and a single set of reports, which span all interactions.” The data layer is a unified data layer for CX, not just contact center. For example, Enlighten Actions provides CX leaders with access to the data layer in order to understand their operations and take action insights to make improvements.
  • Values: While we heard a lot about NICE’s technology, we also heard about and observed NICE’s values as a company. Technology, strategy, and go-to-market are obviously essential elements of any company’s success, but the company’s values can be just as important. NICE put its values on full display during the event, which took place during challenging and distressing world events.

As Eilam explained, “The spirit of NICE and our values – and how we live and breathe these values – is different than just stating your values. He provided several proof points:

  • It’s all about speed and precision – we act rapidly, faster than the market and our competitors, and never compromise on precision, boosting our market-leading position.
  • We’re obsessed with winning – we define targets, remain laser-focused, and always play to win, because we’re game changers, not just players.
  • Super sizing value for our customers. We position the customer at the center of our strategy, decisions, and actions, to continuously deliver on incremental super-sized value.
  • A+ is our starting point – we set the highest standards, execute beyond them, and demonstrate perfection from top to tail.
  • Yes, we definitely can. We have a definitely can-do attitude and strong will to help in every situation, to drive outstanding results.
  • Challenging limits, always – we challenge ourselves, make bold decisions and lead transformations fearlessly, while seizing opportunities and constantly evolving.

We got a first-hand view of how NICE brings its values to life, and experienced NICEs’ passion for doing what’s right for its customers and employees.

I left the conference with the recognition that NICE has the elements needed to continue being a leader in the contact center and CX space. It has the right technology, leadership and people, financial resources, strategy and vision, and will continue moving the company and industry forward.

All that, and Machu Picchu too!

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You may be surprised to learn that Incan ruins and AI-powered contact centers have a few things in common:

  • Complexity: Both Incan ruins and AI-powered contact centers are complex systems. Incan ruins are the remnants of a sophisticated civilization that built massive structures and developed complex systems of government, agriculture, and transportation. AI-powered contact centers are also complex systems, involving multiple technologies and processes to interact with customers in a natural and efficient way.
  • Adaptability: Incan ruins show how the Incan civilization was able to adapt to its environment and build complex structures in challenging conditions. AI-powered contact centers are also adaptable, able to learn and adapt to changes in customer behavior and expectations.
  • Resilience: Incan ruins have stood the test of time, despite being exposed to the elements for centuries. AI-powered contact centers are also resilient, able to handle high volumes of customer interactions and recover from disruptions quickly.


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