1175 — NICE Systems expands beyond quality management and liability recording. By Donna Fluss, principal, DMG Consulting

Mar 30, 2004 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

In part one of this series, we examined why it’s important to invest in, or upgrade, quality management (QM) and logging applications. Whether you are looking to improve contact center quality, build customer loyalty, improve agent satisfaction or protect your contact center from frivolous lawsuits, the good news is there are some compelling solutions available. In this article, we’ll focus on one leading QM and logging vendor, NICE Systems. NICE was founded in 1986 and has two business divisions: CEM (Customer Experience Management) and Security.

Its CEM business includes contact center, quality management, logging and financial trading solutions. NICE has roughly 15,000 customers and 30,000 installations of its recording solutions. It is considered a “leader” in most of the QM/logging market segments in which it participates.

The company has 1,100 employees and reported 2003 revenues of USD$224 million, of which USD$166 million, 74%, is estimated to be from its CEM business. In 2003, NICE realized a profit of USD$7.1 million, an estimated USD$5.3 from its CEM group. (NICE does not report separate financials for its two business divisions. The revenue for CEM is estimated based on NICE guidance.)

NICE Products

The company’s QM/logging suite includes:

• NiceLog Total Recording: Client-server based foundation for the NICE logging platform.

• NiceUniverse: Web-based comprehensive QM solution that captures voice, email, chat and screens. Includes evaluation forms, calibration, reporting and search tools.

• ScreenSense: Event-driven recording that can be set up without any programming.

• NICE Storage Center: Storage management solution for scheduled archiving and retention.

• NICE Feedback: IVR-based survey tool.

• NICE Learning: The NICE eLearning solution.

• NICEAdvantage: Same as NiceUniverse but for contact centers up to 250 seats.

• NiceCall Focus: Same as NiceLog but for small to mid-sized businesses.

NICE Technology
NICE products are based mainly on Microsoft languages, including C++ and C#, as well as Java. The application runs on a Windows 2000 server and the client can be Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP Pro or 2003. The primary database is Microsoft SQL and it is open database connectivity (ODBC) compliant. Starting with Version 8.7, there is a web application in both NiceUniverse and NiceAdvantage.

The products are open and non-proprietary and designed to integrate with any type of external storage device. (NiceLog includes a proprietary voice card manufactured by Flextronics.) NICE also features its own screen capture software that can be distributed from a central server.

NICE Recording
NICE does 100 percent recording, quality assurance recording, random recording, selective and event-driven recording, on-demand recording and live monitoring. When doing on-demand recording, the system logs the call from the time of the request. However, when using voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), the solution records the call from its inception so that it can be played back in its entirety. NICE is also able to log screen activity after a call drops off.

NICE Quality Monitoring
NICE introduced its quality management application in 1998. The quality management module, and, in particular, the Form Designer, has improved greatly with each release. The form creation module is open, flexible and requires drawing, similar to a Visual Basic environment.

NICE Differentiators:

• Largest install base in the QM/logging market.

• Plays in all segments of the greater QM/logging market.

• Proven track record of delivering product innovation.

• Considered a market leader by the leading analyst firms.

NICE Challenges:

• NICE’s leading position in the QM/logging market is being challenged by competitors that are catching up functionally and competing more effectively, particularly with pricing.

• Does not have global head of marketing based in US and is not communicating its vision as effectively as competitors.

• Rigid sales approach—less open to product modifications than competitors.

• Sales staff more skilled at selling hardware solutions (boxes) than software-based applications.

• Implementation resources are stretched thin.

Looking Ahead
Recognizing the promise of related technologies, NICE is extending its contact center product reach beyond QM/logging into speech analytics and performance management. Version 9.0, due out at the end of Q2 2004, moves NICE’s suite away from its proprietary and hardware-oriented past. Version 9.0 will make enterprise storage a standard feature, allowing contact center interactions to be saved to any internal or external device. Version 9.0 will also include a portal to give users, both in and out of the contact center, a personalized view of data.

In my next article in this series, we’ll look closely at another QM/logging market leader—Witness Systems, which is one of NICE’s biggest competitors.

Donna Fluss

Donna Fluss is the Principal of DMG Consulting, delivering customer-focused business strategy, operations and technology for Global 2000 and emerging companies. She is a recognized leader and visionary in customer relationship management and a highly sought-after writer and speaker. Donna is the author of the new, industry-leading 2004 Quality Management/Liability Recording Product and Market report. Contact Donna at [email protected]

Performance Management
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