SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Business communications are in crisis. At least that's what Nextiva CEO Tomas Gorny told the crowd gathered at NextCon, the company's customer and partner conference being held here through Wednesday.

"Companies are spending more time and money on customer relationships than ever before but getting only marginal results," he told more than 1,000 attendees.

Hearing More, Understanding Less

Until now, Nextiva has been known primarily for providing cloud VOIP phone services to more than 100,000 businesses. But it stepped-up its communications play in a big way yesterday when Gorny unveiled NextOS, a new workplace platform designed to fuel communication and workplace engagement.

"Businesses are hearing more from customers and understanding less because the information is scattered across different tools," he said. He cited a recent survey that showed large companies are using more than ten tools to communicate with customers.

NextOS, he said, is a single solution that handles multiple tasks, including:

  • Communication: voice, email, chat, SMS, and social media
  • Collaboration: internally with teams through task management, internal chat, and calendar invites
  • Customer Engagement: email campaigns, surveys, wikis and other self-help options

The platform also leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to drive collaboration and customer engagement. 

Improving Employee Experience

While customer relationship management (CRM) providers and company executives often complain about the high cost of customer churn, they too often leave employee experience out of the equation.

Learning Opportunities

It's a big mistake, Gorny said, calling information overload a serious problem. And he's not alone in his assessment.

"Knowledge workers are faced with increased pressure to communicate and collaborate more effectively and this has led to an overload of tools that attempt to do this," said Jim Lundy, CEO and Lead Analyst at Aragon Research. Lundy had been pre-briefed on NextOS before the conference.

4 Components to NextOS

Looking under the hood, NextOS consists of four components

  1. NextDB: A database for customer history, relationships and employee information providing a view of each customer across all touch points in real time
  2. NextIQ: Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning brought together on the platform to organize and automate information 
  3. NextStep - The rules engine of the NextOS platform that drives automation across the system 
  4. Nextiva Analytics: A tool that analyzes data from all NextOS applications turning raw data into actionable insight 

These are brought together through a single interface.

It is an interesting approach from a vendor who isn’t typically thought of as a customer experience, customer relationship or digital workplace solutions provider.

And this is a good thing through the eyes of tech evangelist Guy Kawasaki, who told the NextCon audience that tomorrow's best tech solutions will probably come from the outside and leapfrog the innovation curve.