LiveOps Vendor Profile - IDC

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Information about LiveOps Vendor Profile - IDC

Published on March 10, 2014

Author: Liveops



A contact center solution and services provider, LiveOps has situated itself directly in
the center of some of the most important trends in customer care, specifically social,
mobile, cloud, and customer experience.

Filing Information: June 2013, IDC #241956, Volume: 1 Contact Center Services: Vendor Profile V E N D O R P R O F I L E O n - D e m a n d C o n t a c t C e n t e r P r o v i d e r s P r o f i l e S e r i e s : L i v e O p s Melissa O'Brien I D C O P I N I O N A contact center solution and services provider, LiveOps has situated itself directly in the center of some of the most important trends in customer care, specifically social, mobile, cloud, and customer experience. LiveOps' strategy and offerings operate on four general assumptions about the future of customer service, which IDC observes as the following:  Contact centers are moving to the cloud. Because of cost efficiency and flexibility, more and more companies are moving their contact center technology to the cloud. Mobile and social customer care interactions are also delivered via the cloud, further driving the trend of on-demand and cloud-based delivery. LiveOps was one of the first contact center providers to offer cloud-based delivery, and it continues to be an important player in the market for contact center on demand.  Customers are mobile and social. Social and mobile are changing how customers interact with businesses. Customers will use the channel they want, whenever they want, and companies need to be prepared to interact on whichever channel the customer chooses. In particular, social and mobile interactions are newer means of communication that are adding new dynamics to the contact center. LiveOps addresses these changes in many ways, most significantly through its social-savvy agent network and LiveOps social and mobile solutions.  Customer experience is paramount. Along with the trend of mobile and social comes a customer's expectation for a seamless experience. Customers have grown tired of repeating information, choppy cross-channel interactions, and having their information siloed. Integration of customer data is important to create this seamless experience. Companies are realizing that they can drive customer loyalty by having a holistic view of the customer experience: simply put, the various interactions with the company across all touch points over time. The LiveOps Platform with the multichannel plus social desktop, LiveOps Engage, allows for multiple and cross-channel interactions, helping customers get a step closer to better customer experience.  Agent experience directly impacts customer experience. Having an integrated agent desktop with all channels, including social, visible and available for contiguous interactions empowers the agent to deliver a personalized experience. The LiveOps Engage desktop allows agents to have the view that they need to create a better experience for the customer. GlobalHeadquarters:5SpeenStreetFramingham,

2 #241956 ©2013 IDC I N T H I S V E N D O R P R O F I L E This IDC Vendor Profile highlights LiveOps, an on-demand contact center and customer care BPO service provider. S I T U A T I O N O V E R V I E W C o m p a n y O v e r v i e w LiveOps, an on-demand contact center company with regional offices and customers in North America, Europe, and Australasia, is a private organization backed by four venture capital partners. Founded in 2000, LiveOps handles millions of interactions every year, through both its on-demand contact center platform and its home agent customer care BPO services. While LiveOps has a deep heritage in customer care interaction services via its home-based agents, it has in recent years placed a much more significant focus on the cloud contact center platform part of the business. The on-demand platform includes interactive voice response (IVR), ACD, intelligent multichannel routing, agent management, workforce management, quality monitoring, chat, email, Twitter, Facebook and SMS, reporting and analytics, outbound dialing, screen and voice recording applications, and a newly revealed integrated multichannel plus social agent desktop. The two aspects of the company's services, the on-demand contact center platform and customer care BPO services, along with some interesting highlights of each, are detailed in the sections that follow. On-Demand Platform LiveOps began selling the LiveOps Platform to enterprises in late 2008. There are approximately 37,000+ users on the LiveOps Platform, which includes LiveOps' own community of independent contractor agents plus customers' own agents. LiveOps has more than 300 customers worldwide and has datacenters in Nevada, New York, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Auckland, New Zealand. LiveOps does not lease its contact center equipment from other providers. This allows clients the advantage of dealing with only one vendor and gives LiveOps ownership control of the technology capabilities it can offer and/or customize for clients. The LiveOps Platform offers a comprehensive suite of services, including intelligent IVR such as detailed call filtering and data; live call monitoring; intelligent call routing using PSTN, VoIP, or WebRTC; call recording; screen recording; email functionality; desktop API; multichannel routing/queuing and channel pivot (detailed in the Multichannel Plus Social: LiveOps Engage section); screen recording, call flow authoring; scheduled and priority call back; reporting; and dashboards. Workflow management, predictive dialing, and Web collaboration are all on the road map for future functionality.

©2013 IDC #241956 3 Integration and Features The LiveOps Platform integrates with's Sales Cloud or Service Cloud to help clients manage their outbound dialing campaigns more intelligently and improve agent/customer experience. Using automated preview and progressive dialers, LiveOps removes the manual aspects of outbound dialing so that agents can focus on delivering better results. For contact centers that have fluctuating inbound call volume, LiveOps fully supports blended inbound/outbound agents, allowing agents to take inbound calls during call spikes and make outbound calls at other times. For companies that utilize's Sales Cloud and Service Cloud for both inbound and outbound campaigns, the LiveOps CTI integration for provides a smarter, more flexible outbound solution that leverages CTI and LiveOps Data Exchange with LiveOps also offers the ability for agents to categorize interactions with wrap-up codes directly within the customer record. LiveOps' Click to Dial provides one-click dialing from any field in, which reduces the need for manual dialing by the agent, thereby increasing agent productivity. Last, LiveOps' on-demand outbound for can be quickly configured and deployed with flexibility across any or all agents, making it a good match for telemarketing, surveys, telesales, or fundraising campaigns. The LiveOps Platform is switch agnostic and can integrate with multiple telephony platforms. LiveOps has partnerships with several telecom providers for network services and is also enabled to work with clients' preferred telephony network. Multichannel Plus Social: LiveOps Engage LiveOps launched LiveOps Engage, an integrated multichannel including social agent desktop, on January 28, 2013. LiveOps Engage is available at no cost to LiveOps Platform customers. The major objective of LiveOps Engage is to give agents the ability to respond to customers in any channel of their choice — and to pivot seamlessly from one channel to another in order to create a seamless experience interacting with the customer. The channels serviced with LiveOps Engage — voice, email, chat, SMS, Facebook post, and Twitter — are integrated within a single window, allowing agents to respond to customer inquiries without having to switch applications. This single-screen integration enables agents to receive a 360-degree view of the customer to ensure that the most relevant information is seen at the right time alongside a history of past interaction. For customers that need a CRM application to facilitate screen pops of customer information on incoming contacts, LiveOps has CRM Lite, included free of charge with the desktop, already built in. LiveOps' customers decide which channels they want to "turn on." Some customers start with just voice, then add email and chat, then add social. Because the platform is cloud based, channels can be easily turned on or off at any time. Thus the customer is only paying for what it uses. LiveOps' home-based agents played a significant role in the development and deployment of LiveOps Engage. A pilot program of LiveOps Engage was deployed with a select group of the community, allowing for feedback and testing on the new desktop to be performed in-house.

4 #241956 ©2013 IDC LiveOps Insight LiveOps Insight is a suite of reporting and analytics tools. LiveOps Insight capabilities range from identifying broad trends across all contact centers to performing granular analysis of individual agent performance. Flexible ad hoc reporting empowers LiveOps' customers to manage and customize their own performance data without requiring IT support; clients have the power to select metrics, define dimensions, and set thresholds/visual alerts themselves with these reporting tools. LiveOps Insight offers "live dashboard" views that monitor real-time agent performance and display up-to-date industry-standard KPIs including intraday metrics — by time period, session, or agent. Additionally, a silent monitor tool allows supervisors to listen in and provide immediate feedback to agents from anywhere in the world. Customer Care BPO: LiveOps Independent Contractor Agents LiveOps' niche in the customer care BPO services industry is customer acquisition calls, including direct response infomercials and direct marketing campaigns. While there is a heavy concentration of clients in the retail, telecom, and professional services industries, LiveOps also has expertise with healthcare, BFSI, and government. Utilizing the independent contractor model for its agent community, LiveOps has a network of 20,000 home-based independent contractor agents. The independent contractor model means that agents are incorporated business owners who work for themselves and are contracted by LiveOps. LiveOps has selected this model, rather than the traditional employee model, because it believes that independent contractors are more invested and therefore have more accountability for providing good customer service. LiveOps' home-based independent contractor agents are all working on the LiveOps Platform. From an agent perspective, the gamification features of the platform that allow agents to participate in virtual competitions that boost morale and productivity are one particular differentiator. Some of LiveOps' independent contractor agents have reduced call time by 15%, and sales have improved 8–12% among certain agents that handle sales-related calls. Because LiveOps uses the independent contractor model, agents have a choice about whether to participate in the gamification techniques. In addition, LiveOps University, an award-winning, elearning portal, allows agents to take optional online courses to receive accreditation to work on various accounts. Home-based agent profiles often don't fit the typical demographic of agents found in brick-and-mortar centers, who tend to be younger and less experienced. Figure 1 shows that 42% of LiveOps independent contractor agents have a college degree, and many have other desirable skills. In addition to their experience, these agents tend to be "social savvy," a skill that is very important when they reply to inquiries using social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Independent contractor agents in the LiveOps community not only use the social tools embedded in the platform but also tend to use social networks in their personal lives, which further increases the affinity for social customer care interactions; 79% of the agents in LiveOps' community are regularly on Facebook, 19% regularly use Twitter, and one out of four agents has used social media to interact with a company himself/herself as a consumer.

©2013 IDC #241956 5 In addition to agent-based services, LiveOps also offers automated services such as LiveOps Mobile Solutions for Direct Response, which was designed to enable brands to communicate and market to mobile customers via relevant and targeted text messaging. F I G U R E 1 L i v e O p s A g e n t S k i l l s Source: LiveOps, 2013 C o m p a n y S t r a t e g y LiveOps targets midsize to large enterprises in the financial services, insurance, healthcare, technology, travel, retail, government, and services industries. The company sells through its direct sales team as well as through channel partners. Currently, the ratio between direct and indirect sales deals is 70:30, with the goal being a 60:40 split. In late 2012, LiveOps officially launched its Channel Partner Program, which includes referral partners and resell partners. Referral partners deliver qualified leads to the LiveOps sales team and are eligible to receive a referral fee if the opportunity results in a sale. Customers referred through these partners are considered direct customers of LiveOps. Through the channel program, partners increase their bottom lines with monthly recurring revenue by leveraging LiveOps' technology along with sales support, marketing tools, training, and more. Referral partners include KTS, OcX, Force Optimized, and AGC Networks. Resellers independently manage the sales process and sublicense LiveOps Platform and/or applications and professional services. Customers brought in through these partners are considered direct customers of the partner. LiveOps shares in an established percentage of recurring revenue generated by the joint customer. Reseller partners include XO Communications, Capstone, BT, CallTower, Astro, ExtraTeam, Gen-i, Eircom, Connect NZ, and Sybase 365. LiveOps partners with leading providers of

6 #241956 ©2013 IDC network services, systems integration expertise, cloud strategy consulting, and complementary technology. In late 2011, LiveOps went global with the acquisition of the assets of New Zealand– based Datasquirt. LiveOps now has employees throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. In late 2012, LiveOps launched a new corporate Web site including a United Kingdom–specific site to benefit LiveOps' second-largest market. The new Web site along with all of LiveOps' other PR and marketing efforts focuses on positioning the company and its spokespeople as industry leaders. As of early 2012, a new PR firm specializing in social media has helped LiveOps position the brand with real-time social media outreach, a blog focused on promoting cloud, and other initiatives that focus on multichannel, social CRM, cloud contact center, agent experience, and customer experience. LiveOps conducts one or two Webinars per month to generate new business sales leads. LiveOps' executives regularly speak at LiveOps' own Webinars as well as at contact center and CRM industry events throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australasia. LiveOps' success in helping government entities throughout the United Kingdom transform their departments with multichannel plus social has also positioned LiveOps as the "teacher" of master classes at government- sponsored contact center events. LiveOps has sponsorships and commitments in place to attend more than 15 industry events around the world in 2013. LiveOps considers the fact that it was an early adopter of cloud computing and has used the Internet to access contact center services with home-based agents since 2001 as its major differentiator. LiveOps heavily markets this experience, and the expertise gained from its network of 20,000 agents, as its greatest competitive advantage. LiveOps also cites proven scalability as another major differentiator. When natural disasters occur, the contact center has a short amount of time to react and deliver, and the LiveOps Platform is a quickly scalable and flexible model that is well poised for bursts of activity. Telethons for the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and, in 2013, "Healing the Heartland" tornado relief all used LiveOps Platform and agent services to provide the agents to answer calls and process millions of dollars in credit card donations around the clock for fundraising. F U T U R E O U T L O O K It is clear that the future of customer care will be deeply impacted by the trends of cloud, social, and mobile. As LiveOps acutely understands, companies are beginning to understand that social and mobile don't solely belong to the marketing department and are in need of customer care–specific solutions. And cloud-based delivery is becoming more of a reality for contact center services because of cost efficiency and flexibility. LiveOps has positioned its messaging and offerings squarely in the key trends that are impacting the customer care services industry today.

©2013 IDC #241956 7 E S S E N T I A L G U I D A N C E A d v i c e f o r L i v e O p s LiveOps has built mobile, social, and cloud into all of its messaging and services. By embracing and relying on these up-and-coming trends, LiveOps has positioned itself as a player to watch. As it continues on its growth path, the following factors will have an impact on LiveOps' future success:  Partnership with Part of LiveOps' strategy to position the company closely around cloud, social, and mobile is the complementary partnership with Salesforce is leading the industry in discussions about CRM, customer experience, mobile, cloud, and social. LiveOps Platform's apparently seamless integration with's Sales Could and Service Cloud is a very complementary benefit of LiveOps' portfolio.  Expertise from agent network. LiveOps is uniquely well positioned to sell the contact center platform because of its legacy and expertise in the agent services business. While LiveOps has shifted its business to focus much more heavily on being a platform provider, the agent business provides a very strategic competitive advantage to LiveOps' portfolio. Not only does the platform business gain insight and expertise from its in-house users, but the focus that LiveOps places on positive agent experiences translates directly to positive customer experience. Keeping a focus on understanding the agents' needs will be a true differentiator for LiveOps.  More focus on big data/analytics. IDC believes that the "four pillars" shaping the industry are social, cloud, mobile, and big data/analytics. LiveOps' brand is almost synonymous with the first three pillars, but LiveOps' messaging lacks focus on big data/analytics. Some big data implications are inherent within social and multichannel efforts, and it would behoove LiveOps to create some branding around its analytics offering. LiveOps Insight, while robust and flexible, isn't marketed as a major differentiator. LiveOps would be well served to make some additional investments around analytics and offer marketing messages that highlight the amazing customer insight that can be generated through customer data.  Market visibility and growth opportunities. While it has embraced all of the right trends that are poised toward growth and has a robust marketing and PR function, LiveOps is still a relatively smaller player that lacks the visibility of many major customer care BPO and contact center providers. On-Demand contact center services, while picking up steam, are still a small portion of the larger contact center marketplace that is dominated by on-premise vendors and includes a host of other players, including telco providers, BPOs, large IT outsourcers and integrators, and software companies. LiveOps has received significant coverage from the press that is hopefully translating into more buyer awareness in the market. Additionally, as the market for on-demand contact center services accelerates, LiveOps will be one player to watch. As LiveOps continues a strong investment in marketing, continues complementary partnerships, and keeps beating the drum of social, mobile, and cloud, it will be well poised to move from an up-and-coming competitor to a major contact center brand name.

8 #241956 ©2013 IDC L E A R N M O R E R e l a t e d R e s e a r c h  Arise Virtual Solutions: Using Flexible Staffing to Drive Business Outcomes in the Contact Center (IDC #241312, June 2013)  Worldwide and U.S. Outsourced Customer Care Services 2013–2017 Forecast (IDC #240893, May 2013)  IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Customer Care BPO Services 2013 Vendor Analysis — Leveraging the Four Pillars to Modernize Customer Experience (IDC #240710, April 2013)  TCS Business Process Outsourcing Services: In Pursuit of Excellence (IDC #240274, April 2013)  Meet Your New Boss: The Chief Executive Customer (IDC #239047, February 2013)  The Best of Customer Care Services 2012 (IDC #lcUS23891712, December 2012)  The Future of Customer Care Services: Social, Mobile, and Virtual (IDC #WC20121206, December 2012)  Market Analysis Perspective: Worldwide Customer Care BPO Services, 2012 (IDC #238122, December 2012)  Customer Care BPO Services Buyer Needs: A Demand Side Study (IDC #232820, January 2012) C o p y r i g h t N o t i c e This IDC research document was published as part of an IDC continuous intelligence service, providing written research, analyst interactions, telebriefings, and conferences. Visit to learn more about IDC subscription and consulting services. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit Please contact the IDC Hotline at 800.343.4952, ext. 7988 (or +1.508.988.7988) or for information on applying the price of this document toward the purchase of an IDC service or for information on additional copies or Web rights. Copyright 2013 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved.

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