Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Gartner Customer Strategies & Technologies Summit 2012 on behalf of Presence, a forum aimed to companies using CRM solutions and their key suppliers and manufacturers worldwide: SAP, Microsoft, Oracle … The event was held in Lancaster Hotel in London, near Paddington Station and within walking distance of Hyde Park.
The format of these kinds of events includes a very functional registration area, as there are areas where you confirm your information and directly get the access card, and another networking area, where the sponsor area is located. The conference took place on another floor. Some of the conference was targeted to the general public, but there were other more specific tracts for sales, marketing, customer experience and customer service, as well as workshops end-client focused.
The part of the conference most related to our niche, the Contact Center, had its heyday with the two workshops by analyst Michael Maoz, which was one of the reasons for which we decided to attend this Summit. He came to endorse “the world of CRM needs to interact with an important part of customer’s business such as Customer Service Centers”. This is a market trend, as confirmed by the movements performed by SAP with the purchase of BCM or Oracle with RightNow.
Michael Maoz focused on explaining how a niche as the Contact Center has opened (by strategic decisions, global policies, etc…) other areas of business besides multichannel service, and has needed integration with other applications. In this perspective, Michael explained that CRM providers have understood these kind of reactive integrations are a trend. Because of this reason, they have done some changes in company strategy, seeking complementarily solutions with Contact Center providers. Finally they have merged to provide a fully integrated solution – CRM & Contact Center.
Finally, Michael Maoz said customers shouldn’t “fear” closing a Contact Center project with some of the providers listed in the Gartner Magic Quadrant (such as Presence), since these are companies differentiated and contrasted within the broad amalgam of companies offering these services. He added that this company profile is ideal for large corporations that develop CRM and are trying to complete their core.