inContact’s acquisition continues the trend of contact center infrastructure vendors offering workforce optimization capabilities. These two companies are well-suited to compete in the CCI market.
On 6 May 2014, the cloud contact center and customer service software provider, inContact, announced its acquisition of workforce optimization (WFO) provider, Uptivity for $8.8 million in cash and approximately $37 million in stock.
This acquisition continues the trend of contact center infrastructure (CCI) vendors that now offer viable WFO capabilities (Mitel acquired Oaisys in March). Uptivity’s well-rounded WFO suite is ideal for inContact’s small and midsize business (SMB) customer base. inContact has provided WFO through an OEM arrangement with Verint, and although the relationship has been successful with larger enterprise customers, the complexity of the Verint product line has not proven well-suited for inContact’s SMB customers (those with less than 150 seats).
inContact has committed to maintain the OEM arrangement to serve its ongoing aspirations to penetrate the enterprise market and meet the WFO needs of its larger customers. inContact currently has over 100 Verint WFO customers and is investing more resources into the relationship via in an additional Verint data center in the U.S. and one in Europe. It also has an aggressive road map for more Verint automated integrations and enhancements. Nevertheless, Gartner forecasts that ultimately inContact will terminate its OEM relationship with Verint once Uptivity has been fully integrated and further developed to reach functional parity; for the foreseeable future, however, inContact will maintain a two-tier/two-product strategy.
Those negatively affected by this deal will be CCI vendors without a clear WFO strategy and CCI vendors that do offer WFO, such as Interactive Intelligence, Aspect and Genesys, but now have another credible cloud suite provider to contend with.
Stand-alone WFO vendors will benefit due to the disruption and uncertainty of the purchase by a cloud-only vendor, but over the long term, more organizations will be drawn to the value of integrated and cloud-based CCI/WFO.
inContact customers and prospects in need of a WFO solution: Consider Uptivity, factoring in the strengths of its established quality management solution versus the limitations of its less mature in-house WFM capability.
inContact customers using the "OEM’d" Verint WFO solution: Determine if you need the sophistication, complexity and associated cost of this offering during the next contract extension. Factor in the likelihood that inContact will continue to support both products after integrating and strengthening the Uptivity product line. Migrating to Uptivity might be a better long-term financial investment.
Uptivity customers using competitive CCI platforms: Although you will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future, shy away from additional investment (such as a major upgrade) if your CCI vendor can support your WFO needs.
Uptivity customers set on an on-premises solution: Consider looking into alternative providers when investing in a major upgrade, as inContact is exclusively a cloud provider. Uptivity claims it will continue to enhance, sell and support its on-premises solution, but in Gartner’s opinion, ongoing commitment to this deployment mode will eventually wane because it clashes with the core philosophy inContact was built on.
Any organization buying WFO: Look to your CCI vendor first to see if it can meet your needs due to the associated reduced TCO and elevated business value. Gartner expects other leading CCI vendors to develop and promote their own WFO strategies via acquisition or in-house development within the next 18 months.