7 Inc on the hunt for partners
Contact centre specialist pursues channel model for NZ
By Simon Eskow, Auckland | Friday, August 17 2012
Customer service solutions provider 7 has no clients in New Zealand as yet, but it is on the hunt for Kiwi reseller partners.
The California-based company follows different paths to market from region to region, but sees the reseller partner model as the way to win business in New Zealand.
“We have no partners yet, but we are establishing our base in ANZ,” says Ananth Siva, the company’s Australasia managing director. “We’re looking for anyone interested in taking the traditional call centre IVR to the next generation, dealing with real-time decisioning systems, that's our focus. We can add substantial value.”
Using its cloud-based, PX platform, 7 provides analytics to help predict customer preferences and create greater efficiency across multiple channels, from social media to traditional telephone calls. Its customers include Avis and United Airlines, and in Australia, Optus and Lenovo.
In February, the vendor announced a major deal with Microsoft taking an equity stake in the software company. The agreement includes the merging of Microsft’s interactive self-service assets into the PX solutions, an R&D partnership, and a shared technology roadmap for speech related technologies. 7 now incorporates Microsoft’s Tellme natural language technology, and it will also integrate its solutions with other Microsoft products, including Dynamics CRM.
To build momentum in the region, the company appointed Jason Jurin as its ANZ sales director, based in Sydney.
Siva says that in New Zealand, the company is positioning itself as an enhancer to resellers specialising in call centre technology, especially those with a significant investment in CRMs.
“Our biggest proposition is it's all about the end consumer,” he says. “we leverage the CRMs, and Big Data because we have the tools to mine unstructured data. We simplify the whole process by putting the predictive piece in front of the IVR and the databases.”
Siva says the company is responding to major trends in contact centres and the multiple channels people take to engage with a company. The PX solutions include online, mobile and voice-based self-service applications designed to anticipate customer preferences.
“Companies like Google have told us that if you can predict intent, you can do a better job serving somebody rather than randomly asking something,” Siva says. “Customers want things in a simple way that's relevant to them, and the customer care industry can be deficient of that. That's what we solve.”
7 is currently trying to identify “strategic partners” in New Zealand. Delivered out of its own datacentres and from those in the Microsoft alliance, Siva says the solutions can be implemented in four to six weeks.
“There is a significant deal flow because we rely on outcome based model and we don't charge licence fees up front,” Siva says. “This gives our partners the confidence to build relationships with customers. We would go and work with the company and say 'What's the cost for an interaction through a time motion study?' ...we'll take that cost per call and we'll bet that we can shave that off.”