Speech Analytics Comes of Age
analytics solution based on the Aurix engine. Avaya has also continued to license Aurix to dozens of third-party vendors, including many of the smaller WFO competitors, who are using it to build their own speech analytics solutions.
Contact Center Infrastructure Vendors
The fourth group of speech analytics competitors are contact center infrastructure vendors, who offer speech analytics as a component of their core suites. Some of these vendors also have their own WFO suites. The market has made it clear that there is a strong preference to purchase applications or systems from a suite provider rather than from a stand-alone vendor, as long as the functionality is equal. End users prefer to avoid having to integrate applications, but will do so when the benefits outweigh the costs. This is one of the most compelling advantages of purchasing speech analytics from a contact center infrastructure vendor, as long as the solution is functionally strong and able to meet the customer's functional requirements. This group of vendors includes Aspect, Avaya (Aurix), Castel, CTI Group, Genesys, Interactive Intelligence, NewVoiceMedia, and Noble Systems.
The fifth group of speech analytics vendors is service providers. These are business process optimization outsourcers or other vendors who offer speech analytics as a managed service. This is a growing group of competitors, and they are expected to attract more business in coming years. The best-known competitor in this group is MatterSight, but this sector is going to become highly competitive as more of the established vendors sign up partners to offer their applications.
There are a variety of other categories of vendors that also offer speech analytics capabilities. DMG has seen speech analytics used as part of an IVR analytics offering and included in a sales application, for example. We expect to see a growing number of uses for speech analytics in the coming years, because it can enhance the output from many types of applications. BBN Technologies is an example of a vendor that falls into this category.
Speech Analytics = Big Data Analytics
Another way of viewing speech analytics is as a big data analytics tool. Contact center infrastructure solutions (ACDs and dialers) generate massive amounts of data, most of which is wasted because organizations do not have the right tools to analyze and leverage it. Many of these solutions, and all IP-based contact center solutions, have the ability to record conversations. Speech analytics applications can structure the recorded conversations and find customer insights and trends. If done right, enterprises can turn these conversations into a treasure trove of information.
Emerging real-time speech analytics applications are providing yet another rich source of data. For example, contact center managers can join a conversation in real time and alter its outcome. The data from this type of transaction can be captured and fed into the big data repository to figure out what happened to prevent a call from going bad. During the next few years, vendors and end users are going to invest substantially in this area as they strive to figure out ways to use customer insights to improve the customer journey.
The speech analytics market is highly competitive, with new vendors continuing to enter the sector. DMG estimates that this big data–oriented IT sector will continue to grow rapidly as end users discover ways to leverage speech analytics findings and use them to enrich the output of other contact center applications. Enterprises and vendors are going to come up with structured ways of applying speech analytics findings to improve the customer journey and their bottom line. As this happens, the price of these solutions will decrease, making them more affordable and accessible to a larger number of organizations.
Donna Fluss (firstname.lastname@example.org) is founder and president of DMG Consulting, a provider of contact center and analytics research, marketing analysis, and consulting.
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