Five9’s Virtual Call Center products — on-demand contact center applications — are now fully compatible with Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system. Essentially, what this means is that the system, which requires only a Windows-based PC, Internet connection and headset, can now support Vista.
Of Five9’s nearly 1,000 customers, “multiple” firms started using the Vista support version as soon as it was offered, noted CTO Jim Dvorkin, despite the relatively recent emergence of the new OS.
“A lot of our large customers have been looking at upgrading their internal infrastructure to Vista,” Dvorkin told CRM Buyer, “so that was driving demand for us to provide support.”
Testing for Compatibility
Upgrading the Five9 system to support Vista — a process that entailed development, testing and production release — took only a few weeks, according to the company.
“Leveraging existing infrastructure and using standard components as building blocks — as opposed to proprietary phone equipment — is a key to reducing the time, cost and effort required to implement the call center,” Dvorkin explained.
The changes to Vista from Microsoft’s last operating system fill volumes. For Five9’s user base, though, the most important new features include advanced search tools, user-account control and new system management and diagnostics.
“Vista offers many advantages that make the upgrade beneficial to our customers,” Dvorkin said. “Even if customer demand had not propelled us to make this move right now, we would have done so sooner rather than later.”
Making a Mark
Offering Vista support was a natural, not to mention smart, move for the company to make, Ken Landoline, a Yankee Group analyst, told CRM Buyer. “We can assume the world will eventually move to Vista, and it wasn’t that big of a fix for them to provide support for it now.”
More to the point, by being able to say it offers Vista support, Five9 can position itself ever so slightly above its competitors in this crowded space — at least for the time being, Landoline pointed out.
“It positions them as forward-looking and flexible — two key attributes their customer base wants in a service provider,” he commented.
On-demand contact center functionality is a niche product within a larger niche. That hasn’t stopped the field from populating quickly with a number of small, high-energy companies eager to make their mark.
Interest has also developed quickly among potential users. Traditional contact center equipment and related software is notoriously difficult to install and maintain.
“When this first started to emerge a few years ago, people asked me if it was for real,” Landoline recalled.
Based on several research studies, his conclusion was yes — for the industry. First, though, a shakeout was due among the many players that had sprung up, he said. For all the technology’s popularity, the market wasn’t big enough to support all of them.
“Now, these companies are jockeying to get maximum advantage,” Landoline concluded.