Company Closeup: Genesys – Putting Customer Experience on Top

Genesys-Close-up

Marketers always stress the importance of having omnichannel marketing to view the business from the customer’s perspective. Great customer experience is an upshot of an effective and well-designed omnichannel ecosystem. To achieve it, companies must understand customer journeys across devices and channels. 

To support a marketer in their functioning, to help increase retention and boost customer lifetime value, Genesys has proved itself to be a global leader, which provides omnichannel customer experience (CX) and contact centre solutions on-premises and in the cloud and develops enterprise and customer engagement software intended for call routing and handling. It also helps enterprises and SMBs to integrate critical business information and computing resources with telephony and other telecommunications through the cloud. Genesys uses technology to connect to every customer moment across marketing, sales and service on any channel while improving employee experiences and helping enterprises, irrespective of their size, to provide personalisation at scale, foster customer trust, and loyalty and also manage their customer interactions and employee communications.

The Beginning

Genesys was founded by Gregory Shenkman and Alec Miloslavsky in October 1990.

Miloslavsky and Shenkman’s parents fled the Soviet Union in 1980 and lived in the tightly-knit Russian community in San Francisco. Years later, the two co-founders met at a card game before creating Genesys. Miloslavsky studied civil engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and worked for Steve Jobs at Pixar. Shenkman was a salesman in the telecommunications industry.

Genesys is a reminder of how great heights can be gained by perseverance. From not having any money to pay salaries and no product to pitch to clients, Genesys required intensive labour and a lot of trust. The hard work paid off. 

 The Growth Story

The company, which started with a $150,000 loan from the founders’ families, completed its initial public offering and got listed on the  NASDAQ stock exchange in October 1990. 

Road to the top wasn’t easy. In 1994, the FBI investigated the four-year-old software company as it was thought to be a front for the Russian mafia. The FBI was alerted after it noticed that Genesys employed software engineers from the erstwhile Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The two co-founders, Shenkman and Miloslavsky, had to explain to the US federal agents that they employed people from eastern Europe because they were talented. Also, in a high-tech internet telephony company retaining employees is an uphill task.

For most organisations where software and tech professionals specialise in computer networks, databases and integrating telecommunications, the market attrition rate is higher and the returns are significantly higher for the programmers. For bright software developers in Eastern Europe and Russia, Genesys served like a lighthouse to wandering sailors —  a promise of a bright future for youth ravaged by strife and political upheaval to move to the US. From visa paperwork, picking up new arrivals at the airport to finding apartments and schools for their children and even co-signing loans and mortgages, Genesys did it all.

Today, the company, having a global presence with over 5,900 employees, prides itself for its customer service and call centre technology offerings to enterprises and SMBs.    

Product Portfolio

As a B2B software services provider, Genesys helps enterprises connect with their customers in multiple ways across marketing, sales and service on any channel. Genesys cloud and AI-based applications connect over 11,000 customers in more than 100 countries and have been lauded by the industry for delivering cloud and on-premise customer experience (CX) technology. 

It assists businesses with customer support and has multiple customer interaction points with software that respond to the customer in real-time in their choice of a communication channel.

Genesys’ cloud-based contact centre software has all the essentials like inbound and outbound calling, and call tracking software. From call routing and IVR to email, chat, social media, messaging, screen share, self-service options, workforce optimisation, analytics Genesys has it all. The two primary Genesys offerings are Genesys Cloud and Genesys Engage.

Genesys Cloud

This is the all-in-one contact centre solution that lets enterprises connect their telephony, email, chat and social media interactions under one tool. The cloud solution removes barriers and creates a fluidic customer conversation across digital and voice channels resulting in quality resolutions and fewer escalations. 

Some of the salient features of Genesys cloud is its intelligent automated customer assistance features like a Conversational IVR that is fast, convenient and personalised.

Conversational IVR makes use of Natural Language Understanding (NLU), a type of speech recognition that lets a bot understand spoken requests, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to power itself. The intelligent IVR system connects customers to human agents in times of distress or emergency. 

The Genesys cloud platform also enables enterprises to serve their customers with voice bots that are automated, instant, personalised, backed up by human agents.

Chatbots service reduces the cost per interaction and increases customer satisfaction and revenue. 

Genesys also employs multiple security levels to protect data and communication across the company’s network and prevents any loss due to data for its clients.

Also read: Quicktake: Contextual Advertising

Genesys Engage

It is an omnichannel engagement solution that transforms an enterprise’s digital transformation initiatives. Engage provides clients with unified customer experience channels that log all inbound and outbound interactions. Appropriate and intelligent routing makes the most of automated and assisted engagements and monitors every interaction in real-time with precise analytics. 

Genesys Engage gives enterprises the freedom to choose the solution deployment in a model that best suits the client.  have the option to choose from on-premises, public or private cloud that can be customised with APIs and SDKs.

Engage helps enterprises with outbound campaigns, workforce engagement, reporting and analytics, integrations, applications, AI-optimised operations.

Genesys claims to have pioneered Experience as a Service (EaaS) so that enterprises, especially SMBs, can provide true personalisation at scale, and foster customer trust and loyalty.

Also read: Understanding Zero, First, Second and Third-Party Data

Acquisitions and Mergers

Genesys was acquired by Alcatel-Lucent (then Alcatel) in 1999 for $1.5 billion. The company was acquired from Alcatel by Permira and Technology Crossover Ventures for $1.5 billion in 2012. Genesys in turn acquired multiple companies in its journey. Some of the notable ones are listed below. 

2020: Acquired nGUVU to add gamification to its workforce engagement management suite.

2018: Acquired AltoCloud — a customer journey analytics provider.

2017: Acquired SilverLining — an employee performance management and analysis and learning automation provider.

2016: Acquired Interactive Intelligence — a telecommunications software and cloud computing organisation for $1.4 billion.

2016: Acquired EIT — Genesys’ regional partner in Korea.

2014: Acquired OVM Solutions — provider of cloud-based proactive communications and customer interactions. Genesys also acquired Solariat for social media analytics.

2008: Acquired Conseros — developers of high-volume work item management software and SDE Software Development Engineering. Creators of hosting management software.

2002: Acquired Telera — developers of voice portal and interactive voice response (IVR) systems.

2001: Acquired IBM’s CallPath computer telephony integration (CTI) assets.

1997: Acquired  Forte Software — developers of e-mail management software and Next Age Technologies, a workforce management software developer.

Breakdown of Genesys PureCloud Platform customers by industry, the largest segments are Banking and Financial Services, followed by Manufacturing. (source: Apps Run The World)

Breakdown of Genesys PureCloud Platform customers by Country, the largest segments are US, followed by UK. (source: Apps Run The World)

Leadership

Anthony Bates aka Tony Bates is the CEO. He took over the reins of the company in 2019. Prior to Genesys, Bates was the executive vice president of Microsoft responsible for business development, strategy and evangelism. He was also the former CEO of Skype.

Also read: First to Zero, The Perfect Data Journey 

Key Clients

With over $2 billion in revenue earnings, Genesys services many reputable companies globally. Some of the clients include American International Group, a US-based insurance services provider, Deere & Company, a manufacturing behemoth in the US,  Eli Lilly and Company, a US-based life sciences firm and Motorola-Lenovo owned telecommunications and computer manufacturers. 

The other brands that use Genesys customer experience software include Vodafone Australia, Singapore Airlines, ICICI Bank, Vivo, among others.