Monday Morning Impact – November 9

Published On: November 9, 2020Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

Vonage Survey Reveals Communications and Consumer Behavior Shifts amid COVID

Vonage has released a new report entitled “COVID-19 Reshapes the Global Customer Engagement Landscape.” The document details changing consumer preferences and behaviors and how businesses and service providers need to transform their customer engagement strategies to become more agile in the COVID era.

Key findings demonstrate that the pandemic accelerated the adoption of newer communications channels while increasing fragmentation in channel preferences, especially in the ways that consumers interact with businesses and service providers.

“COVID-19 has upended how businesses operate and how consumers interact with those businesses,” said Joy Corso, Chief Marketing Officer for Vonage. “We are at the beginning of a huge market-wide communications revolution. If there was ever a question that businesses needed to digitally transform not only to survive but thrive, COVID-19 eliminated any doubt. This survey underscores the fact that it is now fundamental for companies to stay connected to employees and customers from anywhere through whatever channel they choose – video, voice, messaging, and chat.”

Since January, globally, there has been 140% growth in the number of people who prefer to connect with businesses via video. Video chat has also become a mainstream addition to people’s everyday lives, and U.S. adoption has experienced four years of growth in just seven months, with 43% of Americans now video chatting with businesses regularly, up from 28% in January.

Across all regions, 55% of consumers have used video to connect with businesses and service providers, up from 44% in January. In Latin America, seven out of every 10 consumers have video chatted with a business, up from six out of 10 in January.

In August, a majority (54%) of respondents in EMEA reported using video chat, up from 42% in January.

Due to the advent of widespread distance learning, 42% of respondents report they prefer to engage with other students and teachers in a virtual classroom in August, up from 35% in January. This trend will likely continue as more students participate in virtual learning environments, according to the report.

SMS preference dropped 23% between January and August, as other preferred methods of communicating with businesses came out on top. With 30% of the vote, mobile phone calls are still consumers’ favorite way to connect with businesses. But the remaining 70% of consumers prefer a variety of other options.

Channel Impact®
Organizations must always be agile and ready to adapt to changes in the market, but 2020 has made the call for agility even more important. With lockdowns and social distancing likely to continue for the foreseeable future, organizations across all industries can successfully adapt to the new normal through the ability to seamlessly deliver goods and services remotely.

Cisco Introduces New Partner Program Enhancements Aimed at Simplicity

Cisco has announced changes to its channel strategy as a means of promoting program simplicity while adjusting to changing market conditions. The company is also in the midst of consolidating nearly a dozen separate partner programs into one single program that provides partners with the opportunity to differentiate their resale, managed services, developer, or advisor businesses.

“Transformation is accelerating now more than ever before and we need our programs and platforms to reflect how Cisco and our partners can best succeed together,” said Oliver Tuszik, SVP, Global Partner Organization, Cisco. “These changes will deliver simplicity and allow Cisco and our partners to be more agile, relevant, and profitable.”

The company is also launching its first digital partner platform that provides a single gateway to partner resources. The Partner Experience Platform (PXP) is intended to deliver an improved experience while reinforcing partners’ ability to collaborate across the Cisco ecosystem. The platform brings together more than 100 tools, applications and portals, while delivering other efficiencies, such as faster program enrollment and onboarding.

“2020 and the pandemic greatly accelerated the need for our partners to transform to deliver managed services and SaaS to lines of business, to develop applications and automation on top of Cisco platforms and to generate full customer value across the lifecycle,” said Marc Suplus, Cisco’s Vice President, Strategy, Planning and Programs. “We are taking a bold step to break down the siloes partners feel between our various partner programs that will give our partners more freedom to differentiate and transform across the dimensions of their Cisco business.”

The program changes are expected to be rolled out incrementally. The Partner Experience Platform (PXP) will is slated for availability at the end of November.

Channel Impact®
The changes reflect ongoing shifts in the market combined with the continued integration of channel programs brought into the company through acquisition.

net2phone Partners with Five9

net2phone, a New Jersey-based provider of unified cloud communications solutions, has announced a partnership with Five9, a key provider in the Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) space. Through the partnership, net2phone is now offering Five9’s cloud contact center as a service (CCaaS) technology to complement its own offerings.

Five9 provides end-to-end solutions with omnichannel routing, analytics, WFO and AI. The company’s CCaaS solution has a comprehensive set of integrated capabilities with APIs and integrations with recognized CRMs and tools.

“The partnership with Five9 enables net2phone to extend our market reach with comprehensive communications solutions for enterprises with significant customer contact operations,” said Jonah Fink, president of net2phone. “net2phone and Five9 clients will gain powerful synergies from our shared integrations with leading CMS applications and our focus on intelligent conversations across channels in untethered and dispersed environments.”

“Five9 and net2phone share complementary features and a deep commitment to outstanding customer experience. We look forward to working with net2phone as we build on these synergies to approach customers,” says Jake Butterbaugh, Five9’s channel vice president.

Channel Impact®
The need to accommodate both UCaaS and CCaaS is rapidly becoming an industry standard. These technologies are now being further augmented with several impressive Artificial Intelligence capabilities.

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