The CRM and CCaaS Landscape
Along with the explosion of cloud-based solutions, CRM applications and contact center as a service (CCaaS) has experienced considerable adoption as well. Unfortunately, neither the CRM nor the CCaaS landscapes have yet caught up with the customer demands, leaving it up to the vendors to set the customer service vision rather than the businesses adopting these technologies. As businesses gain a better understanding of their customer service vision, they are demanding greater flexibility from their cloud vendors in overcoming CRM/CCaaS limitations and aligning the technologies with their specific requirements.
The approaches that CCaaS vendors are taking to address business needs, vary widely. Approaches range from pure API based offerings, to fully built, traditional fixed feature solutions and everything in between. Let’s walk through some examples.
Current CCaaS Offerings
Some vendors, like Twilio, offer two solutions. Twilio API, where a customer is expected to build the solution from the ground up, and Twilio Flex, a workspace-based model, where some UI elements are pre-built, but software engineering is required to map the solution to customer service use cases. Both Twilio and Amazon Connect fall into an almost pure development category, requiring a heavy engineering lift to meet most of the integration scenarios.
Companies, like Five9 and Genesys, fall onto the other side of the spectrum. Both of these vendors offer robust contact center capabilities, full multi-channel, and intelligent routing. However, these vendors offer fixed feature user interfaces, built on their CCaaS platform, offering their customers less flexibility when it comes to modifying the user’s experience.
When it comes to CRM, most businesses have centered their customer service use cases, data, and business processes around CRM/CSM platforms, such as Salesforce, Dynamics, SAP, Zendesk, and ServiceNow. Customers invest heavily in these platforms, utilizing their rich features or modifying the applications to suit their specific needs.
Companies typically plan to tie CRM and CCaaS systems together, wanting to significantly improve customer satisfaction, agent efficiencies, and 360° view of the customer. Unfortunately, customers are facing massive hurdles due to the technical limitations of both CRM and CCaaS platforms.
What’s the problem with a single integration point?
All major CRM applications on the market today, provide an integration path for contact center use cases, some doing a better job than others. They usually provide containers of some sort (ex. iframes) where you can embed a “softphone” UI and trigger various events, like screen pop, click to dial, and activity logging. Those CCaaS vendors that offer pre-built user interfaces, commonly do the work to wire their UI onto the approved integration path. These pre-built integrations are based on a set of fixed features, and usually provide limited options for customization.
The major problem with this integration approach, is that CRM vendors only provide a single integration point. This means that only one URL can be hosted and presented at a time, leaving you with very limited options for specialized use cases. For example, if you wanted to have your users take phone calls with Amazon Connect and answer SMS messages through Twilio, you’ll have to find other integration approaches to make this work. If you wanted to bring two vendors / applications together into an embedded CRM experience, you are unable to without considerable coding or modifications
Proprietary workspaces present their own challenges
For those CCaaS or digital channel vendors (like LivePerson) that offer proprietary workspace-based models, there are different issues you need to address. Workspaces offered by these vendors are largely feature rich and open to customization, but they typically don’t support integration with competitors’ services. Also, by using the vendor’s workspace, you lose access to some of the latest, more advanced features that are part of the CRM experience.
So if the customer wants an embedded CRM experience, they end up dependent on one vendor’s vision, roadmap, and fixed features. If a customer goes with a stand-alone workspace experience, they may have greater flexibility to develop custom capabilities, but they are still locked into that vendor’s vision and technology stack.
DaVinci – Your Strategy, Your Vision
These integration issues are why we created DaVinci. DaVinci is an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) that focuses on the agent experience and putting the customer in charge of their vision. The iPaaS approach frees you from fixed feature, limited options, vendor vision. DaVinci can combine several pre-built apps into a single URL through a programmable framework. Customers can use the same pre-built or custom DaVinci apps either in an embedded CRM experience or workspace model. DaVinci frees you from getting stuck on one CCaaS platform; putting you in charge of your customer service vision and employee experience.
Today’s CCaaS offerings drive significant value, and by combined DaVinci with CCaaS customers can go beyond a vendor’s vision:
- iPaaS approach frees you from fixed feature, limited options, vendor vision
- DaVinci can combine several pre-built apps into a single URL through a programmable framework.
- Use the same pre-built / custom apps in an embedded CRM experience or workspace model
- DaVinci frees you from getting stuck on one CCaaS platform
- DaVinci focuses on the agent experience and bringing contact center and CRM together.