Market Leaders: Speech Analytics
Despite a global recession that is only now starting to end, speech analytics is alive and kicking. DMG Consulting, a provider of contact center and analytics research, predicts the analytics market will see a 40 percent increase by the end of this year, a 42 percent increase by the close of 2011, a 32 percent increase in 2012, and a 25 percent increase in 2013.
Likewise, Ovum sees a lot of potential. Associate analyst Aphrodite Brinsmead still views analytics as an early adopter’s market, but cites plenty of room for growth. Ovum expects around a 13 percent annual compound growth through 2014—chiefly in mature economies like North America and Europe.
A major reason for all the buzz around analytics has to do with increased attention to customer satisfaction and customer retention. With that as a backdrop, businesses were anxious to find “voice of the customer” solutions, and to get the most out of existing interactive voice response (IVR) technologies. By analyzing the reasons why customers are not satisfied in self-service applications, the underlying problems can be fixed and IVR task completion rates will increase.
This year saw strong showings from both CallMiner and Verint Systems, which had similar scores—CallMiner barely edged out Verint with a better score in customer satisfaction (4.3 versus 4.0, respectively), and Verint just beat CallMiner in depth of functionality and accuracy (4.5 versus 4.3, respectively, in both categories). Both scored a 3.5 in affordability, and also had identical scores (4.3) in ease of use. But that’s not to imply that these two firms are interchangeable.
Verint has a much larger install base and has a higher-power solution, counting major enterprises among its customer base. Moreover, nearly all of our analysts and consultants, when speaking broadly, identified Verint as a major player in the space, while they maintained that CallMiner is a smaller player that doesn’t have the same kinds of resources at its disposal.
When rating the companies on individual metrics, however, CallMiner’s overall score emerged as strong as Verint’s, which speaks volumes about the quality of the company’s product, despite its size and limitations.
Reprising three years of wins, Nexidia takes top honors again this year with a commanding set of scores across the board. With an average of 4.0 or higher in depth of functionality, affordability, customer satisfaction, accuracy, ease of use, and ease of installation, this year Nexidia looked like the total package. “They have more robust software than most,” says one analyst. “They’re going into multimodal, they’re doing video—I would say they’re the market leader in the area.”
Historically, the company has rated very well with its phonetic approach to analytics, while lagging just a bit in depth of functionality when compared to the leaders. Though this year was no different, the gap is narrowing. During the past year, Nexidia has been hitting hard. In December it launched ESI-Quality, a new component for its Enterprise Speech Intelligence suite that expands the tool set for assessing individual agent performance. Likewise, the past year has seen a number of partnerships between Nexidia and firms like Merced Systems, which are also leveled at agent performance assessment.
Israel-based NICE Systems, a market leader in 2008 and 2009, this year collected one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings (4.7) among all of the vendors considered. Despite the high price tag that its analytics suite carries (NICE had one of the lowest scores for affordability, with a 3.0), the company manages to hold onto a loyal and satisfied customer base, according to our analysts and consultants. Also contributing to its success this year were its depth of functionality and accuracy/contextual understanding scores (4.2 and 4.3, respectively). Its accuracy/contextual understanding score, in particular, was one of the highest among the top vendors.
Companies and Suppliers Mentioned