• March 25, 2019
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Vonage Takes Contact Centers to the Cloud: The 2019 CRM Service Rising Stars Awards

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Founded in 2001 as a provider of residential telecommunications services based on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Vonage today is a legitimate player in the contact center market, thanks in large part to its September acquisition of NewVoiceMedia for $350 million. In that deal, Vonage, based in Holmdel, N.J., picked up a solid cloud contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) provider.

“The NewVoiceMedia team will be a big part of jump-starting Vonage’s attack on the huge CCaaS market opportunity,” says Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst of McGee-Smith Analytics.

But for Vonage, the deal was so much more. Company CEO Alan Marasek said at the time that it “represents a major step forward in the realization of our strategic vision to deliver a differentiated, fully-programmable communications solution that drives more meaningful customer interactions and better outcomes for businesses.”

But Vonage was on a path to contact center prominence well before the acquisition. The company already had an advanced omnichannel contact center product suite, Vonage CX Cloud, which leverages technologies from the NICE inContact CXone cloud contact center platform. In June Vonage expanded CX Cloud to businesses using its cloud-native unified communications platform, Vonage Business Cloud (VBC), and gave businesses greater ability to customize CX Cloud through Nexmo, the Vonage API platform.

Vonage also expanded its contact center development ecosystem by growing its Nexmo platform and opening it up to more business partners. The Nexmo platform already included communications capabilities such as voice, SMS, two-factor authentication, and text-to-speech, and Vonage recently added skills-based routing and real-time sentiment analysis. Alongside that initiative, it launched other programmable contact center capabilities through Nexmo. These include split recording, real-time text-to-speech translation, onAnswer functionality that provides contact center agents with pre-call prompts to provide context, and WebRTC, all supported by the Nexmo Voice API .

Other milestones for Vonage this past year included its being named a launch partner for the WhatsApp Business Chat solution, the addition of social messaging to its Vonage Business Cloud, the release of the Vee virtual assistant chatbot (which it later integrated with Workplace by Facebook) and the release of the Vonage Integration Suite and SugarCRM Connector, capable of bringing CRM information into the Vonage unified communications platform.

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