NICE InContact Continues to Stress Partners' Role

NICE inContact wants to provide its customers with end-to-end contact center resources, but that doesn't mean it makes sense to develop all of the different elements itself, says Praful Singhal, NICE inContact's's principal ecosystem partner advocate.

Instead, NICE inContact works with a growing selection of partners who have their own artificial intelligence apps, web/mobile apps, CRM extensions, agent extensions, workflow solutions, and other applications. The NICE inContact DEVone developer program is an extensive partner ecosystem providing applications from partner companies on the CXexchange marketplace that are designed to integrate with CXone.

"We are always looking to add new features," Singhal says, noting that there are hundreds of APIs connecting various partner technologies with NICE inContact. "We want to be a one-stop shop for our customers."

DEVone offers partners broad tools and resources, including extensive documentation and support and access to an online developer community, to enable independent software vendors (ISVs) to create new applications on CXone. The CXexchange is a centralized marketplace for developers to market and sell their applications ready to integrate with CXone.

The partner program has been growing quickly, now with more than 20 pre-integrated artificial intelligence partners. Artificial intelligence is among the most popular technologies for partners this year, according to Singhal.

While working with NICE inContact, partners can work directly through the company, but they are also free to sell on their own to companies that don't have a NICE inContact relationship.

"It's a very convenient system," says Michael Ryan, CEO of SpiceCSM, a company with one of the longest participations in the DEVone program. Through SpiceCSM, NICE inContact customers have access to a native customer engagement program with seamless integration with the contact center capabilities.

"We're more than just [robotic process automation]. We provide companies with the ability to manage their business processes via the cloud," Ryan said.

SpiceCSM's platform collects data from a variety of systems, connecting disparate systems, people, and processes to present the information to the end user in a single unified view, as well as to seamlessly push data back to the systems of record.

So far, veteran and newer partners have been very pleased with their relationships with NICE inContact.

"It's a fantastic program," says Matt Holloway, vice president of IMImobile, which has been part of the program for about two and a half years. "We integrated our platform into CXone, and it expands what we can offer to our customers."

IMImobile is a cloud communications software and solutions provider that enables companies to use mobile and digital technologies to improve and automate customer experience and engagement. The company's cloud software platform manages more than 42 billion messages and 44 billion commerce transactions a year across the world.

Increasingly, customers are choosing conversational communications, particularly for self-service, points out Dimitris Vassos, CEO of Omilia, one of the newer DEVone partners.

Just a couple of weeks after becoming part of the program, the company added to its customer base, which is growing due to the relationship with NICE inContact and the growing popularity of conversational self-service, according to Vassos. Companies had typically used Omilia on an installed basis, but cloud-based solutions are becoming more popular. By offering the solution through the NICE inContact cloud platform, Omilia can help companies go live with conversational communications quickly.

"We want to be more than just a company that markets our product. We want to make sure the service is there as well," Vassos says.

An increasing number of businesses are offering end-to-end AI-enabled chatbots that use conversational AI, says Raj Ramaswamy, CEO and cofounder of inSync.AI, another DEVone partner. The company provides a comprehensive, end-to-end conversational solution to help drive sales and support operations.

But for such a solution to be valuable for businesses and their customers, it needs to be user-friendly, Ramaswamy says. So inSync.AI works with companies to help ensure the chatbots have needed capabilities without the complexity and the expense of unneeded features.