As an independent analyst, I come across a lot of under-the-radar companies, and it’s important to extend coverage of the collaboration space beyond the usual suspects. Scale matters with the cloud, and as this market matures, it’s going to be harder for startups to gain traction. The majors will keep consolidating – as they always do – but choice is the best sign of a healthy ecosystem. There are plenty of solid mid-tier players, and let’s hope it stays that way. Atlanta-based Noble Systems is one of those, and if you don’t know them, let me tell you what I’ve been learning.
The company is in its 30th year, and the namesake comes from its founder, Jim Noble. They started out with a predictive dialer, but now have a full suite of cloud-based contact center offerings. Privately held, revenues and profits are steady, and they have around 500 employees across six continents.
Their core technology is home-grown, and with over 190 patents, it’s fair to say they have a culture of internal innovation. I see parallels here to Vonage’s own-the-stack strategy, and when done well, it’s a great way to differentiate in a space that’s getting very crowded.
Product-wise, they have four core offerings, and with a common code base, they all integrate smoothly, and are also designed for both cloud and premise-based deployments. Noble CC is the main platform, and seems to cover the bases – omnichannel, inbound and outbound calling, advanced IVR, skills-based routing and a full range of compliance check-boxes.
Around CC are three complementary pieces – WFM, IQ and Game. WFM is self-explanatory, IQ is their analytics suite, and Game is gamification. I’ve only seen this in demo form, but there’s a fair bit of AI, and I really like the gamification piece. At last week’s Enterprise Connect, customer engagement was a big theme, but many contact centre providers are also talking about employee engagement. Agent turnover is a chronic problem in contact centres, and for digital natives, gamification can really help mitigate that.
Speaking of Enterprise Connect – and AI – Noble Systems was named a finalist there in the category Best Application of AI, and you can review similar kudos on their website. The specific application is called Conversation Analytics, which uses AI to get more value from call recordings. This is another important contact centre trend, where conversations can be mined on a large scale for business intelligence, such as identifying CX trends, tracking KPIs and monitoring script adherence.
This recognition certainly reflects their ongoing growth, especially for CCaaS. As with the big legacy contact centre players, Noble is seeing strong cloud growth, both from new customers as well as their premises-based customers who are ready to migrate to the cloud. All told, there’s a good story (continues on EM360)