Sanjay Popli, Senior Director of Marketing, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories

Q. Genesys focuses on call center services, what are the services and solutions that you provide to these call centers and how have they changed over the past couple of years?
A. Genesys provides a host of software-based solutions for call centers that run on our centralized Customer Interaction Platform. A suite of real-time interaction products, referred to as Genesys 7, provide support for self-service, assisted service, inbound and outbound voice and other interaction channels.

Because our platform is built on open standards, Genesys supports integration with all other platforms - TDM or IP; any infrastructure for operating systems, databases, applications and agent desktops; and any type of deployment including premise- or network-based, single- or multi-site.

A recent development that we have is Infomart. It allows businesses to strategically mine valuable contact interaction data and use this knowledge to operate more efficiently and effectively. Our new Genesys Enterprise Telephony Software (GETS) also has great implications for business enterprise users. It interfaces with leading PBXs and next generation IP telephony systems to merge presence-aware collaboration applications (e.g. rich presence based instant messaging) with enterprise telephony.

Over the past few years, our customers' expectations for us as a company have increased and they are impressive. We are constantly revamping our technology to adapt to our customers' needs and integrate contact center applications more closely with business strategies.

Q. How do you target your customer and where do you see the market going as you move forward?
A. As part of our business goals, we have specific industries that we tend to target, but within those, we have very unique users. Our customer base can range in size from a few seats to large Fortune 100 enterprises. Some of them are financial institutions, automotive or industrial suppliers, healthcare, large telecoms and so forth. Each demands different things of our software - some want to interface with existing infrastructures, some want interactive voice response, some want skills-based routing, etc.

I think we'll see contact center technology continue to move toward being a core business application, but we'll see the term "contact center" morph as contact center walls collapse, functionality is outsourced, and the creation of virtualized customer service functions grow. Our GETS solution, however, is targeted at mid to large-sized enterprises; our beta customers have had much success with the Genesys and Microsoft solution.    

Q. Genesys recently partnered with Microsoft, how does a company become a Genesys partner and what is the selection process?
A. Genesys has varied levels of partnership programs with leading software vendors, managed services providers, switch vendors, system integrators and value added resellers. Microsoft brought its Microsoft® Office Live Communications Server to the table; and together our combined solution allows customers to collaborate with colleagues, access availability and presence information, and manage phone calls among computers and desktop phones, using either existing PBX or next-generation IP networks. The partner selection process is quite simple - only those companies that provide significant and substantial benefits to our customers are considered.  Genesys recently scaled back its partner list to focus on driving benefits to our customers from our most important partners.

Q. What impact will this combined offering have on customers who already have collaboration and presence functionality versus new users?
A. Telephony is the key differentiator, and is the last communication silo that needs to be integrated into the enterprise collaboration framework.  Enterprise instant messaging users today are using collaboration and presence functionality to see if their contacts ("buddies") are online - today users are able to access computer presence only. The user experience will be significantly enhanced with telephony integration because enterprise users will now have access to rich presence (telephone + computer presence) in order to see if their co-workers, customers, or partners are available and manage their desktop phone through the Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 client. In short, GETS will extend presence and provide control of desktop phones via Microsoft Office Communicator/Live Communications Server 2005.

Q. This product does not offer speech capabilities at present; do you plan to implement them in the future? If so, when?
A. GETS is designed to provide telephony presence data to Microsoft Office Communicator/Live Communications Server 2005 solution. If business users demand the integration of speech technologies with instant messaging applications, I'm sure that Microsoft, Genesys and our voice partners can find a way to provide that functionality.

For now, contact centers interested in speech technologies can use our Genesys Voice Platform (Voice Self-Service / IVR) to provide speech capabilities. Adding speech recognition can help companies reach more customers, offer consistent, high-quality customer care and reduce the cost of customer service. Being able to use speech self-service to obtain an account balance, transfer funds or request product literature are just a few examples of how Genesys supports speech for customer service.

Q. What is the role of the Enterprise Solutions Group at Genesys?
A. The Enterprise Solutions Group is responsible for leveraging Genesys' technology assets and bringing to market solutions for our enterprise customers that are outside of the contact center. We seek out strategic partners, like Microsoft, in order to jointly deliver innovative and exciting new technologies for these enterprise customers.

Q. Is there anything that you would like to add?
A.  Genesys vision is to become the critical telephony solution provider for all enterprise collaboration; be it handling customer interactions within the contact center or collaboration amongst enterprise knowledge workers. Additionally, our unique capability of providing both a premise-based as well as a managed services solution provides the flexibility and choice to transparently migrate our enterprise customers to a solution that meets their current and future requirements.

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