Network infrastructure and Customer Interaction Management (CIM) solutions are helping these companies gain efficiencies and deliver better customer service to end users. Chennai-based Servion Global Solutions is one such company that works in this space.
Shankaran Nair, president - Corporate Strategy, Servion Global Solutions, interacted with Priya Padmanabhan of CyberMedia News in an email interview, and discussed trends in the industry and Servion's play in the CIM space.
What technology trends are driving the contact center industry?
The technology trends in the Customer Interaction Management (CIM) space include adoption of a unified communication infrastructure for the organization through which customers can communicate with the sales and service teams, and growing importance of knowledge management tools. A few years ago, knowledge management was limited to a self-service portal for customers.
Now, with the need to provide consistent real-time responses on the rise, we are experiencing an influx of agent, employee, and partner portals. Other technology breakthroughs are Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Presence. SIP is quickly evolving into the underlying technology for converged communication. It can support any type of communication session -voice, video, or instant messaging.
Presence - the same underlying technology that drives all the chat engines like MSN Messenger and AOL Chat - is one of the exciting applications of SIP. It allows you to locate a user and determine their availability to communicate via phone, e-mail/text, or video. Both people and applications can use Presence information, providing the opportunity to integrate communications into business processes.
How has the partnership with Cisco helped Servion in reaching out to customers?
Servion's established presence and domain expertise as an end-to-end CIM solutions provider complements Cisco's technology leadership and market presence in delivering intelligent and flexible Unified Communications for Contact Centers. Servion and Cisco now jointly target the Internet Protocol based Contact Center solutions market that merges IP telephony technology, intelligent contact management technology, and legacy Contact Center applications into a Unified Communications platform to deliver personalized and superior customer service.
Products apart, what are the consulting services you offer to enterprises?
Servion's expertise in the Contact Center industry has enabled it to offer consulting services in specific areas such as process, technology, and operations. We have worked with organizations around the globe to enhance customer interaction. These organizations cut across diverse verticals such as banking and finance, telecom, real estate, outsourced outbound Call Centers, technical help desks, and transportation. Servion has consulting services spread across greenfield consulting, contact center intelligence, inbound and outbound operations, self-service optimization, technology gap analysis, process gap analysis, and workforce optimization.
The market has moved towards multi-channel support. How is Servion helping enterprises manage this?
In today's extended enterprise, information needs to be managed in a variety of compelling ways to encourage customer interaction management across the enterprise, internally and externally. To enhance user experience, increase overall customer satisfaction, and optimize revenue per contact, an integrated and intelligent communication infrastructure is a pre-requisite.
An IP backbone that integrates Contact Centers, optimizes contact management, and simplifies interactions on a Unified Communications platform provides a powerful solution. This will result in management of the complete customer life cycle across multiple inbound and outbound contact channels, multiple sites, and self-service systems while blending customer contacts and responses with business processes.
Servion along with Cisco is helping organizations integrate, optimize, and simplify existing and future investments in CIM technologies by breaking physical boundaries, resulting in seamless communication, improved productivity, and enhanced customer experience.
What are your target verticals and which geographies do your revenues come from?
Banks and telecommunication companies have been the primary adopters of CIM solutions and processes worldwide. In India owing to the explosion in the consumer base and the increase in service offerings, these two verticals dominate the CIM adoption race.
However with the economy on overdrive and rapidly increasing consumption of all goods and services in all verticals - retail, utilities, insurance companies, hospitality, FMCG, government, and healthcare, the option to stay out of the race is no longer available to Indian companies.
The USA accounts for 35 per cent of our revenues, India is a close second at 30 per cent followed by APAC (25 per cent) and EMEA (10 per cent).
What are the development activities Servion engineers undertake in India?
Servion's engineering team develops and customizes various CIM packages for over 17 industry verticals. The team also develops language packages for self-service solutions and builds speech libraries for enhanced recognition of speech applications. Apart from these, they build interfaces to integrate various telephony and computing environments.
What are your expansion plans this year in terms of sales and marketing as well as engineering efforts?
We will continue to focus on our strong markets with emphasis on customer acquisition and planned forays into new verticals. Our strength lies in the ability to design solutions that address the unique business requirements of different verticals, and our experience in deploying these solutions in diverse technological environments.
We will focus on enterprise class customers with global requirements for CIM solutions as we remain one of the few companies in the world possessing the capability of delivering these solutions to multinational client corporations across the many locations from which they operate.
We also see an increasing trend amongst our clients to look at strategic outsourcing and managed services - to leave the day-to-day management of their CIM in the hands of an expert. We will focus on this. Our engineering team will maintain continual focus on emerging technologies and innovative ways to leverage technology to improve customer experience at the moment of truth.