At first sight, Contact Navigator looks like a shot at CRM vendors like Siebel. Since infrastructure firm Genesys is a close partner of Siebel and PeopleSoft, the new application could seem unwise. However, Genesys has taken great care to create an application that boosts its visibility among clients without encroaching on the vendors’ space.
Alcatel unit Genesys has released its Contact Navigator desktop product.
Alcatel’s contact center infrastructure subsidiary, Genesys Laboratories, has released the Contact Navigator option for its Genesys Suite 6 desktop product.
Contact Navigator is a desktop application that allows contact center agents to manage customer interactions over multiple channels, such as phone, email, and web chat, using a single graphical user interface (GUI). It can be used either in call centers without existing CRM desktops, or as a complement to existing CRM applications.
Because Contact Navigator is primarily an interaction management tool, it does not compete directly with information management applications from its CRM vendor partners, such as Siebel and increasingly PeopleSoft.
Indeed, Genesys has wisely gone out of its way to avoid competing with its partners’ desktops applications. It offers pre-packaged integration with desktop applications from Siebel, PeopleSoft and SAP, allowing agents to launch the other applications directly from Contact Navigator.
Although the technology behind Contact Navigator is not exciting, the application is an important step in Genesys’ efforts to reduce its dependence on computer telephony revenues. Like many other contact center infrastructure vendors (including Avaya, Edify and Davox), Genesys is striving to move into faster-growing front-office applications.
Genesys’ background in routing and integration has made this switch tricky, since these solutions are sold on their technological effectiveness. Selling applications is rather different: although functionality is obviously important for end users, so is the look and feel. Genesys has been selling interaction applications for years, but has until now lacked a ‘face’ allowing potential clients to see all its functionality in one place.
Contact Navigator will be an important sales tool, allowing sales reps to demonstrate Suite 6’s functionality in an environment that can be packaged and sold to the customer. Its presence on the desktop will also help Genesys to position itself in contact center managers’ minds as more than just an infrastructure vendor.