Genesys Launches AppFoundry, a Customer Service App Marketplace

At its G-Force summit in Miami this week, Genesys debuted AppFoundry, an app marketplace where developers can design, innovate, and collaborate on customer service solutions. With wide-reaching integrations for on-premise and software-as-a-service solutions spanning from CRM and database applications to sales and e-commerce tools, the marketplace promises to extend Genesys's offerings while maintaining the vendor's commitment to the customer service space.

"We are in an API economy," Jim Kraeutler, senior director of innovations at Genesys, says. "It's a fiercely competitive market and [vendors] need a wider ecosystem that can deliver the kind of specialization and personalization that market conditions require. Genesys has always been a platform company, and opening our API is an extension of that," he explains.

Specialization is a key element for AppFoundry. The marketplace offers a number of industry-specific solutions that users can implement and build on. For the healthcare industry for example, the marketplace already offers two apps from CRM vendor Pointel. One of the applications establishes an integration with electronic medical records, while the second provides an integration with a claims manager.

Solutions for financial services users are also well developed—just a week after launch, AppFoundry already offers five tightly integrated authentication solutions.

As for retailers, there are a number of e-commerce solutions to work with as well. U.K.-based contact center solutions provider Anana is one of several e-commerce solution vendors developing solutions for AppFoundry, and recently built an e-commerce solution for British retailer Marks & Spencer. The app's framework makes it possible for customer service agents to gain insight into what the customer has been doing in the e-commerce environment, and be better informed about past behavior when they seek support through the contact center.

"It's about making customer service from Genesys and e-commerce behave as one," Chris Woodward, CEO of Anana, says. And for marketing needs, Genesys now also offers marketing automation capabilities through an integration with Marketo. "We're not a marketing company," Kraeutler says, "so that kind of functionality is only available through our extended ecosystem."

But the new marketplace is about more than just applications—AppFoundry also provides a developer support program, which offers articles, a Q&A forum, and sample code to developers in order to "foster innovation and enable better access to crucial technology," Kraeutler says.

"AppFoundry turns everything on its head," Woodward agrees. "First, it allows us to share industry best practices in a [collaborative] environment. Second, it allows for innovation with, for example, the introduction of applications that enable companies to reach customers through new channels such as WhatsApp. That's an industry first."

Moving forward, Kraeutler expects there to be even more "openness" on AppFoundry. "We want to keep improving it and making it a more valuable tool for developers." Right before launch, AppFoundry had roughly 69 applications available. Within a week, AppFoundry has grown to 77 applications. By the end of the year, Kraeutler hopes to exceed 100. "I'm confident that with better access to technology and more opportunity for innovation, developers will continue building on AppFoundry and we will reach that number," Kraeutler says.

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