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Having not produced a major release update of its contact center offering for more than five years, Unify has announced OpenScape Contact Center v9. The solution's added functionality and development roadmap will put Unify back on track with the leading vendors competing in the customer engagement marketplace.

Unify's latest release puts the company back in the race

Sidetracked by changing ownership over the last decade – Siemens, The Gores Group, and now Atos – and a focus on getting its Circuit team collaboration solution to market, contact center provider Unify (formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications) had put its customer care solution business on the back burner. Although there were rumors of the company leaving the contact center business or scratching its own offering to sell another vendor's product, it is now clear that Unify has made the decision to stay the course and try to regain its former high-level stature in the contact center industry. This will resonate well with Unify's 6,000-plus existing contact center customers, as well as prospects considering Unify's voice telephony, collaboration, and contact center solutions.

Given that there were a few cycles of skipped releases, as can be expected, some of v9's features can be described as playing catch-up. However, several added capabilities respond directly to current and future customer demands. These include an easy to install and use, out-of-the-box agent portal interface that matches the company's Circuit product user interface; a 360-degree agent view of the customer journey across multiple access channels; and advanced analytics capabilities (based on a Softcom solution) that trace calls from the moment of engagement. These added multichannel analytics capabilities give enterprises the information required for real-time problem solving and the resources to enhance customer satisfaction and boost loyalty. Unify has also discussed a future development roadmap that includes plans for additional enhancements to its inbound, outbound, and cloud contact services beginning in the fall of 2016, as well as another major product release in late calendar 2017.

What is most significant about this announcement – more so than the new product features and capabilities – is the fact that Unify is now clearly back in the customer service game for the long term, and is again striving to be a tier-1 player in the contact center marketplace. Clearly, its new parent company Atos, headquartered in Paris, has the intent and financial means to support this effort with R&D, an expanded vertical market focus, and global channel investments.



Ken Landoline, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement

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