Talkdesk is a Call Center as a Service (CCaaS) provider with a mission
to “offer a better way for organizations to unlock the promise and potential of great customer experience.” The company was founded in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2011. The founder, Tiago Paiva, built a prototype of the software, entered it into a hackathon, and won. He moved the company to California and built it into a successful enterprise.
In fact, Talkdesk belongs to the fast-rising set of startups commonly called unicorns
. This group of prestigious companies is privately-owned, and each one is valued at more than $1 billion. Other unicorns include SpaceX, Epic Games, and Canva.
One of the big differentiating features between Talkdesk and its competitors is the ease of integration. Customers can very easily integrate other products through the AppConnect Marketplace
, which Talkdesk describes as being “the first enterprise app store.” Customers can browse, select, and review more than 80 complementary products and integrations. They can also add products to Talkdesk or integrate Talkdesk with other systems they use, like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Integration Is a Key Differentiator
In the CCaaS and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) markets, potential customers are looking for solutions for their communications issues rather than looking for individual applications. And, they’ve been primed by years of consumer app stores to expect easy-to-use, elegant solutions. On the other side of the equation, companies want and need to improve customer service but at the same time, they are being squeezed from multiple directions.
For example, during the past 12 months, 55% of contact centers experienced a higher volume of customer service interactions, and 47% reported an increase in the complexity of those
interactions, according to a 2021 study
conducted by the International Customer Service Institute and sponsored by Five9.
While interactions are increasing, so is turnover. The same study showed that contact centers have a 58% turnover rate. The main reason for such high turnover? Workload.
This situation creates a market opportunity for companies like Talkdesk, who can help their customers overcome constraints and meet demand—while also improving customer service. Exponential growth in a short period of time is possible for companies with solid solutions in the CCaaS and UCaaS space.
Businesses that sell directly to consumers seem to evolve on a near-daily basis, continually offering new products and services, but companies that follow the business-to-business model, such as call centers, often struggle to meet ever-changing needs. With AppConnect, Talkdesk has found a way to be more agile in meeting the needs of their customers, while minimizing thrash.
The Acquisition That Wasn’t: Zoom + Five9 Merger Attempt
The importance of integration is evident in the proposed acquisition
of Five9 by Zoom. Ultimately the near-merger failed
because Five9 stockholders didn’t approve. The price of Zoom’s shares was declining, leading shareholders at Five9 to vote against the merger.
Even though the merger failed, the reasons for it being proposed are still valid and illustrate what it takes to stay competitive in the CCaaS and UCaaS markets. The broad communications platform offered by Zoom and the customer service software of Five9 would have been a powerful combination for businesses seeking to improve customer engagement.
Three Ways to Provide an Integrated Solution
Depending on a company’s reputation, product, and customer base there are three different approaches to providing an integrated solution: integration points, mergers and acquisitions, or partnership. Each offers benefits and drawbacks, and the best one depends on a host of factors unique to each organization.
Offer Open Integration Points
If a company is a big enough player or has a truly outstanding product, they can add integration points to their software. Other applications can take advantage of those points to provide seamless integration to their customers. The key here is having a product that others are proud to integrate with and providing documentation to simplify the process.
“It’s great to see companies like Talkdesk focus on creating eco-systems to allow greater interoperability with their platform and extend their customer value propositions with partner solutions,” notes Mo Nezarati (President of Voice at Subspace).
Customers in the CCaaS space need flexibility
. They want to integrate their collaboration tools with the CCaaS platform, so having integration points for the more popular and well-known collaboration platforms is beneficial. This means that other companies must respect the platform and product enough to want to be associated with it.
With AppConnect, Talkdesk has taken the concept a step further. Talkdesk offers integration points, but also proactively works to offer a complete solution. Integration with Talkdesk is as easy as the click of a button, so customers can modify and customize their workflows in the way that fits their organization.
Merger and Acquisition
Mergers are usually defined as “friendly” while acquisitions are apt to be “hostile.” In either case, two companies become one and these events happen for a reason. Companies can quickly acquire assets
through mergers that would otherwise take a hefty investment of time to develop internally. Talkdesk has chosen to forego the merger and acquisition route for now. Rather than acquiring companies that have capabilities that would benefit Talkdesk’s customers, the company has chosen to invest deeply in the partnership model. At the same time, the extraordinarily high valuation of Talkdesk makes it unattractive to other companies that may otherwise seek to acquire it.
The third way to provide an integrated solution is to use partnerships to extend the capabilities of a product without significant investment. Many companies are choosing the partnership path. Avaya and RingCentral
, for example, have a well-publicized partnership, and the Zoom/Five9 merger was an attempt to capitalize on an existing, successful partnership.
A Great Solution Requires a Great Network
Even with an outstanding integrated solution, and a top-tier product to offer, there can be barriers to success in the UCaaS space. Distortion, dropped calls, and freezing video are simply intolerable for customers. Often, such problems are caused by the public internet and not by the application or the product—but customers don’t know that.
Subspace offers a high-performance alternative to the public internet. Our platform is designed for real-time use. A superior product deserves the best network
, and your customers do, too. Plus, the kind of network performance Subspace offers serves as a differentiator and gives our customers an edge in a competitive marketplace. Both employees and customers are happier when their connection is better
There are tremendous opportunities in the CCaaS and UCaaS space for those organizations that can grab them. Around 92% of companies
think their call center solution could be more effective. That represents an astounding potential market for call center solutions in the next few years. CCaaS providers, like Talkdesk, that can move quickly to provide a superior product and a comprehensive solution will reap the financial benefits.