NTT and Genesys: Why cloud is key to customer experience
Genesys offers its customers the ability to create great customer moments for end users, as Heinrich Welter, Territory VP EMEA Central and GM DACH, explains. “We power around 70 billion interactions per year, all focused around empathy - that is our utmost aim. What we provide is the ability for agents to deliver high quality interactions across all channels.” Doing requires advanced technology, and Genesys has duly been recognised in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. “What we do is powered by the cloud. That in itself is an innovation driver, but along with that we combine emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.”
Like all industries worldwide, the sector has been to some extent upended by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “The pandemic has required companies to think through a totally different model, one where they needed to send people home basically overnight, but still be able to provide services,” says Welter. “For most companies, customer service has become the store window of the organisation. You do not have your branches anymore, so customer service has even become more important.” Even before the pandemic, however, changes were afoot in the industry, specifically in the area of technology. “Customer experience has changed from a cost piece to a value piece,” says Welter. “Technology enables things - if you have a smiling agent and that agent is friendly, that's great. But if the agent says to you: ‘I'm really sorry, I can’t help you. You need to call this or that other function,’ then that is still not an empathetic moment.”
Genesys has a longstanding relationship with NTT, dealing with large customers and clients with NTT as a systems integrator. “What’s really important is that NTT has made the full transition into the cloud. As a systems integrator, you need to change to support cloud - because it is a different form of project. You need to be fully agile and adopt a different type of deployment methodology. NTT is creating the ecosystem required to successfully deliver cloud projects, because when it comes to the cloud, it’s about integration, bringing things together and making things work in an ecosystem - not doing everything yourself.”
That’s been especially important in the pandemic, with Genesys serving new customers who were deciding in days to go to the cloud. “With NTT, we were able to take them live after just 10 days,” affirms Welter. “So it’s a very deep collaboration on all levels, not only technology. As a supplier, you need more than tools, you need knowledge of how to use that technology, how to adopt it.”
Going forwards, Welter sees the cloud as only becoming more vital to providing good customer service, not least when combined with AI. “It really requires the cloud, because you're talking about huge amounts of data processing, with the capabilities needed only given via the cloud. That’s why we need the close collaboration we have with partners who follow the trends, such as NTT, to make sure that clients understand that.” Welter further emphasises that all this is in service of helping its customers to become as customer centric as possible. “You need to make sure that all your organisation's efforts are aligned around the customer - putting the customer in the middle and structuring everything around that.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”