Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
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Zeus Kerravala | February 12, 2018 |


Altocloud & Cisco: A Win-Win-Win

Altocloud & Cisco: A Win-Win-Win Altocloud is now part of Cisco’s SolutionsPlus partner program, a combination delivering value to both companies and their customers.

Altocloud is now part of Cisco’s SolutionsPlus partner program, a combination delivering value to both companies and their customers.

If you're a fan of the TV show, "The Office" you undoubtedly remember this episode where Michael Scott and company teach us that there's something better than a win-win, and that's a win-win-win. In the tech industry, partnerships work when they are a win-win-win, as such deals benefit both vendors as well as the customers. If one of those constituents lose, then the partnership will likely fail.

Cisco Live EMEA took place in Barcelona a couple weeks back, and while intent-based networking stole the show, there was some other noteworthy news out of the event. Altocloud announced it had entered an agreement with Cisco to join its SolutionsPlus Program. One of the components of the agreement is that Altocloud is now available to Cisco's sales force and reseller community through the Cisco Global Price List (GPL), streamlining the procurement of the solution.

Altocloud was one of the first vendors to use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data to improve customer experience, agent interactions, and sales efficiency. The company itself is not a contact center vendor, but it provides the intelligence to better understand the customer journey and integrates into existing contact center solutions, including Cisco. Under the terms of the SolutionPlus Program, Altocloud will be offered by Cisco for Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) as well as Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX).

Cisco customers that use Altocloud will have the following capabilities:

  • See what customers are doing before, during, and after interacting
  • Notify reps about important visitors and their behaviors (this includes SMS, desktop alerts, and Spark messaging)
  • Act automatically to engage buying interest or need for support
  • Predict how, when, and with whom to engage needs, interests, and goals

The two companies have had a partnership now for a couple of years, but becoming part of the SolutionsPlus Program brings value to the following constituents:

  • Altocloud: The value to Altocloud should be obvious. The company offers a great product that solves real problems, but it's very small so its reach is limited, particularly into large enterprises that require things like dedicate account teams and professional services. The program makes Altocloud available to the thousands of sales people and channel partners that are compensated to sell it. Altocloud has been a strong partner for Cisco and recently won "Most Innovative Partner of the Year" at the Cisco EMEAR Customer Care Sales Summit. But sales and channel may not be as aggressive with the product if the procurement process is complicated and they're not being paid; now that's no longer an issue.
  • Cisco: Digital transformation has become a focal point for Cisco in its discussion with its customers in recent years. One of the core components of how it goes to market around digital transformation is getting its customers to understand the importance of improving customer experience, and to do so with some urgency, so it obviously needs products to sell. Cisco has a great contact center solution, which is where customer interactions often start, but it leverages Altocloud for the AI and advanced analytics. Making Altocloud available on the GPL lets Cisco be more aggressive with it and help more customers derive new insights from contact center interactions.
  • Cisco customers: A recent Five9 survey (who also uses Altocloud) found that customer experience is now the top brand differentiator, well ahead of 2020, which was the date that many experts had predicted this would occur. This means the time to focus on customer service improvement is now. Altocloud brings a number of additional features to Cisco contact centers, including enhanced chat, surveys, filters, transcripts, URL pushing, content offers, video advisor, Marketo integration, and journey context. If Cisco contact center were a car, think of Altocloud as a turbocharger for it that enables customers to see and know more, predict more accurately and act faster than their competitive peers.

    It's my belief that the most successful companies in the digital era will be those that have the most data combined with the machine learning algorithms to interpret the data. Cisco Contact Center solutions produce a significant amount of data, and Altocloud provides the analytics to discover the key insights. Streamlining the ordering and procurement of product makes it easier to sell and for customers to use, which creates the ultimate win-win-win.

    Learn more about Contact Center & Customer Experience at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla. Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Early Bird Pricing or get a free Expo Plus pass.

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