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TMC Labs Recognizes Winners of 2019 CUSTOMER Innovation Award

By CustomerZone360 Staff April 08, 2020

As COVID-19, the newest coronavirus, causes more people to work from home, while companies scramble to handle the rapid change in business process and management, leaders have come to understand how important it is to be prepared.  Technology is no longer a Band-Aid to be applied to fix point solutions – it is important to embrace the solutions needed to get the job done ahead of time.

The expression “future-proofing your business” takes on new meaning when an organization is forced to have hundreds or thousands of workers instantly start working from their homes.

Our 2019 TMC Labs Customer Innovation Awards are designed to highlight the leading companies in the industry and their recent innovations but, more importantly, our winners also help future-proof your organization.  As we have seen in the last few months, planning ahead and having the right tools in place can make the difference between companies surviving black swan events, which seem to be happening with alarming frequency these days.

In all, the innovations in this space continue unabated – helping the digital transformation of the contact center to speed rapidly along.

Cyara’s solutions ensure contact centers provide quality interactions at scale.  How many contact centers were literally dealing with a massive influx of new interactions while simultaneous dealing with agents working from home for the first time?  Cyara’s customers were in a great position to handle these unforeseen changes.

As companies experienced worker shortages as a result of coronavirus cases amongst their teams as well as many workers not being set up to work at home, many organizations turned to AI chatbots to fill the void.  Thrio is a contact center solution designed with AI in its very fabric.  Thrio’s customers were able to rely increasingly on AI as humans just weren’t available to get the job done.

In short, we applaud Cyara and Thrio for making solutions that allow contact centers to be more product and efficient, while embracing the future of work.

Cyara – Cyara CX Assurance Platform

The Cyara CX Assurance Platform helps companies accelerate CX development, increase quality across all digital and voice channels, and assure the quality of customer journeys from beginning to end.  Cyara’s automation and collaborative environment helps organizations rapidly innovate their CX.  Cyara then puts CX systems through extensive performance and load-testing, ensuring systems work at scale.  Finally, Cyara delivers real-time CX insights via desktop or mobile phone, enabling customers to identify any issues and troubleshoot problems.  Cyara’s customers include leading brands across a variety of consumer and business segments including technology, insurance, finance, travel, and retail.

The company’s solution is predominantly deployed in the cloud.  Some customers opt for an on-premises deployment of some or all of the components.  For example, to test agent routing, customers may opt for a fully cloud deployment, or may opt to deploy components on-premises to ensure they are testing at specific points along the path between customer and agent.

Cyara’s numerous achievements:

  • CX Assurance – Founder Alok Kulkarni identified a gap in the industry in 2006, and the need for a solution that could test, monitor, and assure that CX systems were running as designed.
  • Pulse Monitoring for CX Alerts – Cyara put real-time CX incident management in the palm of customers’ hands with its new Cyara Pulse Mobile App.  This app makes it possible for CX business and operations teams to monitor their CX systems across all channels, quickly identify CX problems, and accelerate issue resolution.  The app is highly customizable and enables users – from IT operations managers to business executives – to create a personalized dashboard of critical CX metrics.
  • First CX Assurance Solution in the Amazon Web Services Partner Network – Cyara is the first partner in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) to provide a customer experience (CX) assurance solution that encompasses CX design, testing and monitoring.  As an APN partner, Cyara supports customers who are using Amazon Connect, a self-service, cloud-based contact center service from AWS.
  • Support for Cloud-Based Contact Center Migrations – Cyara launched the Cyara Accelerator for Cloud Migration to automate and simplify the migration of contact centers to the cloud, de-risking what can otherwise be a long, complex, and often labor-intensive project.  The Cyara Accelerator technology enables brands to transition smoothly to a variety of cloud-based contact center platforms, including those offered by Amazon Connect, Genesys, NICE inContact, RingCentral, and Twilio.  Cyara also launched the first of a series of platform-specific solutions, Cyara Accelerator for Amazon Connect, which adds the ability to discover and import existing customer experience (CX) designs directly into an Amazon Connect call flow.

Support for Amazon Connect, as well as the Cyara Accelerator for Cloud Migration, are both examples of integrating with and taking advantage of industry-leading technology to create unique offerings and value for customers.

In addition to those two solutions for the cloud, Cyara is also enabling integrations with broader IT and software development infrastructure.

Cyara CX Assurance Platform now shares CX data with leading technology solutions for Agile, DevOps and Incident Management from Splunk, Jira, and ServiceNow.  With these integrations, Cyara clients can more quickly troubleshoot and resolve CX issues such as dropped calls or delays, and better utilize enterprise toolchains that support Agile software development and operations.

Cyara holds more than a dozen patents for CX technologies, covering unique solutions for its integrated testing platform, automated chat testing, automated multi-channel customer journey testing, and voice quality testing.  Another half-dozen patents are pending for Cyara’s IVR crawler, web testing, mobile dashboard, and other technologies.

Cyara is a unique all-in-one, unified platform for CX design, testing, and monitoring.  It also has a unique, outside-in approach being a technology-agnostic omnichannel solution.

Cyara also has integration, supporting the latest methodologies and platforms for a DevOps and Agile approach to CX design and testing.

Cyara won this award because of its dedication to ensuring optimal customer experiences at scale.

Thrio, Inc. – Thrio

Thrio is a groundbreaking one-stop AI-powered complete CCaaS platform for Fortune 500 enterprises with sizeable customer care centers, as well as SMBs.  Thrio’s core products – Thrio Digital, Voice, and AI – enable enterprises to lower costs, be more agile, and get to market faster.  Agents are empowered to improve CX with Thrio’s AI-driven situation routing, journey management, and agent gamification.

Organizations moving to or expanding cloud deployments can leverage Thrio’s secure, scalable, and reliable software as a complete solution or as an overlay on existing environments.  Thrio creates enriched customer experiences, improves agent productivity, and enables enterprises to deploy new capabilities faster while updating seamlessly and without interruption.

On the back end, Thrio is built on a modern microservices architecture.  It leverages best-in-class network management tools like Kubernetes, event handlers like Kafka, and database tools like MongoDB to run the core platform.

Thrio is based on a hosted software contact center as a service model.  Agents, supervisors, and administrators access the interface through a computer internet browser.  To use the Thrio solution, there is no premises-based equipment or program software to be installed.  All of the redundant servers and load balancing is done in the cloud.  Customers only need internet access, a headset, and a web browser.

While there are many CCaaS offerings in the market, few, if any have been purpose-built to be powered by Artificial Intelligence.  Many of the other products on the market are simply first-generation cloud contact center solutions that offer integration with AI solutions.

Thrio was purpose-built from the ground up with AI everywhere by design.  In fact, it provides out of the box AI capabilities embedded throughout the platform.  The company calls this “Practical AI,” which allows enterprises to gain the operational and financial benefits of AI from day one.

AI is built into Thrio’s workflow engine, dynamic agent support & scripting, and virtual agents, as well as leveraged for personality insights, intelligent scorecards, and consumer sentiment analysis.  This is extremely impactful as it allows enterprises to take full advantage of the benefits and promise of AI without having to determine use cases and do costly integrations like other CCaaS offerings require.

Thrio was purpose-built from the ground up leveraging 2019 modern cloud technologies and capabilities by contact center experts.

The Thrio offering also includes robust built-in capabilities, such recording, monitoring, reporting, alarming, transcription, notifications, mini-CRM, dynamic and progressive agent scripting.  Customers don’t need to use or pay for all of these capabilities – but they know they are available on demand without third-party vendors, costly integrations or professional services, should they choose to add them over time.

From a consumer journey management perspective, Thrio delivers an omnichannel experience.  Consumers can start with self-service or an SMS, progress to a live call, and then transition to an email or survey with all of the information and context being tied together and presented to the agent in real time.  The information is also made available for historical review.  This allows Thrio customers to meet their consumers where and how they want to be serviced.

Thrio offers customers downtime-free updates (the system stays online).  In practical terms, this means more productive hours for agents and fewer disruptions for supervisors in meeting their targets.  Thrio is also built in an “API-everywhere” model, where each portion of the platform has API access for outside services.  With hundreds of published REST APIs, Thrio is truly open to data coming in and out.  This enables a wide array of integrations and connections to outside systems that enable rich reporting, actionable insights, automated updating of lists and campaigns, and other tasks to enhance productivity.

The company recently added:

  • Lead Prioritization – Thrio’s powerful workflow engine can insert leads into campaigns in real time.  This enables enterprises to reach customers right away, when they’ve engaged with them or are high priority in some way.  For example, a prospect who fills out a form on a website can be pushed to the top of a queue and receive a phone call from the next available agent.  Thrio’s workflow can also update lists on the fly, based on other criteria to ensure that enterprises are reaching their leads with the most potential first.
  • Dynamic Agent Support – This advanced tooling within Thrio allows enterprises to build dynamic agent displays that can include customized scripting that changes based on context, AI inputs to help guide agents to success, and data connections to pull information from outside systems into Thrio to keep agents in a single interface.  Together, these tools are highly customizable and connect to Thrio’s workflow engine, which enables tie-ins to over 100 automation actions that can be linked to different campaigns across channels.
  • Company directory – This is an internal chat tool for agents to talk with each other and supervisors.  It enhances an agent’s ability to talk to colleagues/supervisors without swivel-seating to a different platform.  This can decrease handle time and increase first contact resolution.
  • Predictive Email/SMS – This ties Thrio’s omnichannel capabilities to its workflow engine and campaign management tools.  Predictive email and SMS allow enterprises to initiate outbound campaigns reaching large numbers of consumers and tie those campaigns and customer follow-ups to either automation actions or live agents.  In a range of industries, like collections and marketing, these tools enable enterprises to keep their agents busy and reach greater numbers of consumers with ease.

We chose Thrio to win this award for the following reasons:

It is truly an all-in-one soup to nuts AI-powered CCcaaS solution.  Moreover, it has been built to be AI-powered to offer enterprises practical artificial intelligence they can use day one, rather than having to determine a use case and perform integrations.  In other words, it was built from the ground up as a professional AI-powered customer care solution by customer care experts.

Thrio is cloud-agnostic.  In practical terms, this means that Thrio itself is not locked into a single hypercloud provider like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft.  For Thrio’s customers, this means they can offer service in locations where other vendors can’t.  Additionally, Thrio can be deployed into secure stacks within hypercloud providers to allow high security deployments for governments or certain enterprises in a range of countries around the world.

Edited by Erik Linask
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