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Contact center orchestration features on tap from Genesys

Genesys is set to productize contact center technology from LogMeIn Bold360, Exceed.ai and Pointillist acquisitions to better compete with Microsoft, Zoom and Salesforce.

Contact center technology vendor Genesys plans to release new tools that better orchestrate messages across voice and online channels, including a new integration with Zoom Phone.

"Experience orchestration" will be the theme of Genesys' Xperience 2022 digital user conference on Wednesday. Expected to be released are new conversational AI features that generate and track customer service engagements and automate some aspects of service with AI-enabled knowledge base content through digital channels such as chatbots, email and social sites such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

The features are built from LogMeIn Bold360 technology that Genesys acquired last year, as well as the acquisitions of Pointillist and Exceed.ai.

Genesys also will bundle Zoom Phone unified communications as a service (UCaaS) with Genesys contact center systems. It also integrates with competing UCaaS providers such as 8x8 and RingCentral.

Genesys will offer Zoom Phone through its sales channel because customer demand has picked up for Genesys bundled with Zoom UCaaS, said Mike Szilagyi, senior vice president and COO of product management at Genesys.

The Genesys-Zoom bundle makes joint functions such as transparent presence -- to connect contact center agents with experts in the company who might be able to help solve customer problems -- more straightforward to integrate, Szilagyi said.

Early users of the bundle may be existing Zoom video conferencing customers. Companies that would utilize the Genesys-Zoom package will likely be large enough to support a contact center of 20 agents or more, Szilagyi said.

Cloud capabilities the future of customer service

The partnership sounds like it might be a prelude to bigger things to come between Genesys and Zoom, said Dan Miller, founder of Opus Research. Genesys' relationship with Zoom is a bit more complex than with other telephony and video conferencing providers, as Zoom was one of the primary companies -- along with Salesforce and ServiceNow -- backing the company's $580 million funding round in December.

Genesys also directly competes with Zoom for contact center business, as Zoom released its own contact center as a service (CCaaS) earlier this year.

That adds Zoom to a field of competitors that includes longtime rivals such as Mitel and Avaya, and Salesforce Service Cloud and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, Miller said. While Genesys partners and integrates with all these companies, the company will need to show to current and prospective customers it presents enough value to win contact center sales.

Many contact centers will buy new, remote-work-friendly systems in the next three to five years, if they hadn't done so during the pandemic, Miller said. Zoom, Teams and Slack weren't considered real choices before now.

"Genesys has a head start," Miller said. "They have a formidable salesforce and formidable partnerships. They have lots of relationships with different technology providers, and that includes Google and Microsoft ... but we're going into a world where they know that that growth in sales isn't selling butts in seats. It's selling cloud-based capabilities."

Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and enabling technologies for TechTarget.

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