Workforce management software vendor IEX is attempting to widen its distribution channels; the non-exclusive global deal with ACD vendor Rockwell is part of this strategy. It will also boost the value of both firms’ products, by offering end users an integrated WFM/ACD solution that requires little customization. The industry can expect more such deals in future.
Rockwell FirstPoint Contact will resell IEX’s WFM and call routing products worldwide.
IEX and Rockwell FirstPoint Contact have announced the formation of a strategic alliance, under which automatic call distributor (ACD) vendor Rockwell will resell and support IEX’s TotalView Workforce Management (WFM) and TotalNet Call Routing solutions worldwide.
Slow growth in its core US market has led IEX to spend the last two years cementing reseller alliances in faster-growing international markets. It recently announced an alliance with Matrium Technologies that moves it into New Zealand.
The Rockwell partnership comes at a particularly fortunate time for IEX, which has had to expand its direct sales presence in Europe after losing long-time European distributor, Teledynamics. This alliance allows IEX to continue focusing on Europe, while Rockwell increases, or at least maintains, its sales levels in North America.
ACD and WFM vendors are both seeing slow growth, due to market maturity and lackluster call center spending. As their market gets commoditized, vendors increasingly need to increase their partnership efforts, not only to gain distribution channels, but also to expand their portfolio to offer higher value packaged products.
The synergies between the partners’ product ranges are clear: since WFM algorithms incorporate ACD data to forecast and formulate agent schedules, integrating the technologies out-of-the-box is natural. The resulting integrated solution is also beneficial to end users, cutting their customization requirements.
Traditional ACD vendor Aspect may be in the best position to leverage its ACD offering as a platform for selling its WFM solution. Aspect has actually acquired its WFM partner, TCS; other ACD vendors, such as Avaya (which sells BluePumpkin’s WFM solutions), have stuck with reseller partnerships.
We will see more such deals in future. As WFM vendors seek additional distribution channels and ACD vendors strive to increase the value of their increasingly commoditized solutions, the logic behind alliances is irresistible.
Related research: Datamonitor, 2002: Workforce Optimization Technologies to 2007
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