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Analysis

Exony - making the most of virtualised call centres
David Norris By: David Norris, Practice Leader - Analytics, Bloor Research
Published: 8th January 2007
Copyright Bloor Research © 2007
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Call Centres are now an essential part of most businesses. To get real advantage from them most organisations of any scale need to organise them in ever more sophisticated ways—combining elements of in-house and out-sourced, on-shore and off-shore, etc. But it is also essential for them to operate and be managed seamlessly as a single integrated whole, yet be capable of reconfiguration when required to meet changing business needs. This has largely been achieved by the business having to be reliant on IT technicians who have used manually-intensive and arcane interfaces provided by the base technology providers to provide visibility and control.

Exony, through their Virtualized Interaction Manager (VIM), are empowering the business to achieve all of this without the need to rely on IT. Exony VIM provides insight across the business. It is based upon an interface that emphasises usability and terminology from a business and not a technical perspective; the business manages the resource and not the resource the business. What Exony achieves is to shield the business user from the underlying CISCO technology, which is good news for the business and bad news for the IT integrators who had mastered the arcane world of the CISCO interface.

This is technology that addresses one of the greatest needs facing business in the current market. When CRM was first thought of, its goal was to add value by doing what its name implies: building a single consistent, intelligent and agile interaction with customers to build loyalty and encourage customers to willingly share their wallet with providers on a basis of mutual benefit realised by intelligent, purposeful interaction. The original concept of a call centre was about intelligence and agility. Somehow that got hi-jacked into becoming a means of answering as many people's questions as cheaply and quickly as possible, and any idea of a real relationship and value add got lost. By virtualising call centres into sophisticated networks that can be optimised by customer need, value and other customer and cost- or technology-biased factors, Exony can help to rebalance the value equation of call centres and help enterprises return to the core of what CRM should be about.

As well as addressing the needs of geographically dispersed formally organised units, Exony also enables home-based workers to be integrated into more formal structures whilst recognising the freedoms that people wish to observe when working from home. With costs of travel and the green agenda making commuting into busy urban centres look increasingly like a bad idea, this is an area that will grow and which Exony already have considerable expertise and functionality.

The VIM is not just a management tool—it is a full framework with the reporting and analytics required to direct that management. Those who are closest to the customers know best how channels need to be directed to meet customer needs, but those staff are usually the least likely to want to become an IT boffin to achieve it. Exony can provide those people with the means to analyse and then direct without requiring any other skills than their understanding of the business problem to be addressed.

Whilst not a massive company, no one should fear adopting an Exony solution. Their customer base illustrates their credentials for supporting some of the most exacting of corporate users with Microsoft, Vodafone, National Australia Group Europe, Cable and Wireless, BT, and Verizon amongst the big names they already support.

This is a market which will continue to grow and the core technology behind Exony will be valid for increasing numbers of heterogeneous dispersed organisations so I think that this is a technology and a company with massive potential to continue to grow and do very well. Anyone with a virtualised CISCO call centre should be looking at this now.

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