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Genesys CEO: Mid-market Is the Market
Ad Nederlof unveils the call center vendor's major push.
For the rest of the October 2002 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Genesys Telecommunications has big plans for the mid-market. Recently, the company rolled out a new out-of-the-box contact center solution called Express IP Contact Center, and struck a partnership with CommerceRoute. With currently 20 percent of its overall sales coming from the midsize-enterprise market, the company, with the help of these two initiatives, is looking to grow that to 40 percent over the next two years. Genesys Chief Executive Ad Nederlof recently met with CRM magazine Editor-in-Chief Elliot Markowitz and Senior Editor David Myron to discuss the company's strategy. CRM: With your two recent announcements, IPCC and your partnership with CommerceRoute, you seem to be aggressively targeting midsize companies. Why? Ad Nederlof: First of all, we found that there is a huge number of organizations in the mid-market that need to be migrated, that want to be migrated, to the same quality of solution as the high-end market. So the mid-market is growing much faster than the high-end market. But selling a solution to the mid-market is difficult, because the budgets are much smaller--especially for the services behind the implementation and the integration part. So the product should be very standardized. And because sales costs are much lower you have to do a Web-based demo, you have to do a three-month trial with the software. You have to download it from the Web. Everything you have to do is on the Web. All the logistics need to be done on the Web. That is why we have this partnership and the software to support it. CRM: So are you going to continue to chase enterprise accounts or are you focusing solely on the mid-market for new accounts? Nederlof: Put it this way. A couple of years ago 50 percent of our revenue was in the telecommunications industry and 50 percent was in other enterprise industries. Now, telco business is down and we sell much more into other enterprises. I am not saying that we have reached the point where the enterprise market is satisfied. There is a lot more to do there, like self service and speech recognition. CRM is a journey, a never-ending journey. It starts with a strategy and it is a journey. It is not done. As long as you have customers, CRM will continue to be a journey. If the customers are gone then you are out of business. So the high-end market continues to be an important market for us, but we see the mid-market from a competitive point of view--we have to deliver the same quality of interaction and services to those customers as we do in the high-end. We are talking about midsize organizations with contact centers.
CRM: How has CRM changed the behavior of business? Nederlof: Clearly it is time for organizations to be ready for the consumer economy, as I call it. I strongly believe that customers are in the power seat and if your organization is not ready, they will move to the competition. And being ready means that you eliminate all the obstacles to become customer centric instead of organization centric. And for many organizations that is a huge step. CRM: How many companies have already made this switch to being customer centric? Nederlof: Seventy percent of the companies are not ready yet. And it is a big challenge to be ready, because the market is ready. Consumers are ready. You and I are ready. The consumer is getting more and more critical. Not just the young people, but the old people as well, because the old people get confused about all this new technology and the young people get confused if there is no new technology. So you have to be ready as an organization and make sure everyone can communicate with your organization in a proper way. CRM: Is Genesys completely focused on the contact center? Are there any plans to move into other areas of CRM? Nederlof: This is our business. These are my friends: Siebel, SAP, PeopleSoft, E.piphany, I partner with them. I make it easy to integrate our software with their software. I will not compete with them and that is not our goal. -- Elliot Markowitz and David Myron
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