“Marketing is eating sales,” said Barry O’Sullivan the new CEO of Altocloud, a company dedicated to producing solutions which can be used to create happier customers. Simply stated they have an analytics platform which integrates your contact center and marketing automation software in order to allow instant insight on what your customers are doing and more importantly, helping them receive increasingly personalized experiences with smarter interactions and faster resolution.
And having Barry on board carries a great deal of importance. He not only was a VP/GM at Nortel when the company was doing well, he also spent 11 years at Cisco, most recently as SVP & GM UC & VoIP. There was much speculation regarding where he would go after leaving Cisco a few months back.
By categorizing customers into groups, the cloud-based Altocloud solution makes suggestions on which agent would be best to talk with a specific customer at the time they place a call. It's worth mentioning such calls can be initiated via phone or through WebRTC via an app or the web. Moreover, the solution allows you to track user activity so when they engage with the contact center, the agent knows the journey they took on the website or app to get there.
While the customer is waiting to be connected to a live agent, they can see a personalized ad or video which explains something specific to them like why their roaming charges have increased.
Perhaps there is nothing more frustrating than having to explain a situation over and over to an agent in a call center. In fact I recently had an experience with a travel website who confirmed a seat on a flight only to learn later that the seat placement was a “suggestion” and not a “confirmation.” This caused a few frustrating discussions with the call center agents and at each juncture, I had to start over.
I will likely not use this service again.
Barry sees Altocloud tackling the next major convergence opportunity. We have seen the merging of the voice and data space. The UC space helped converge the desktop and phone and now the intersection of marketing automation and communications is next he explained.
And what he says makes sense. For example, today, if a caller comes into your call center that is scored as likely to purchase something based on your marketing automation software, how do you prioritize the call? You likely can’t. This is why O’Sullivan repeated a few times, “The middle is white space,” referring to the opportunity which lies in tying these two areas together.
Moreover, their analytics engine looks to see what actions were taken as a result of their suggestions… Did you click on the video to get more information? When an agent gave you a recommendation based on the system’s suggestions, did you take it?
The Alticloud solution is certainly a winner for companies that deploy it. In addition, it’s great for consumers who will benefit from better service – thankfully not having to start over, whenever a new agent takes the phone.
One last comment worth making is I perhaps have never seen an acquisition candidate so perfectly positioned - assuming the company is even moderately successful. The marketing automation and communications companies will likely look to grow their organizations into the space in the middle so Avaya, Cisco and Marketo are a few to watch. In the end, it seems to me that Oracle followed by Salesforce are the best acquisition candidates. Time will tell but you read it here first.
In the meantime, here are some graphics that show how the solution works (click each for a larger version):
In this example, a customer has an accident and is able to upload photos and initiate a call with a live agent.
The live agent then able to see the photos, the caller, the reason for the call, the GPS information and more.
In this case, a customer on the web initiates a call about auto insurance after visiting a page relating to home insurance.
The agent is prompted to ask about home insurance thanks to the search history of the caller.