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Google Launches Cloud Contact Center AI Platform

Expanding From Former Suite of Services, Platform Features AI, Scalability, and CRM Integration

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Underscoring its goal to provide a complete out-of-the-box, end-to-end offering for contact centers, Google announced a full-fledged platform solution that brings together artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, cloud-scalable structure, and tight integration with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.

The new offering is called Google Cloud Contact Center AI Platform or CCAI Platform—not to be confused with Google Contact Center AI or CCAI, the suite of services initially launched by Google for contact centers in 2018 that is now superseded by the higher-level platform solution.

Leveraging AI, CCAI Platform can scale contact center interactions to maintain customer satisfaction at high levels while also helping unify sales, marketing, and support teams in dealing with data across customer journeys. “Purpose-built,” according to Google, for CRM, CCAI Platform also offers routing, agent desktop, application software development kits (SDKs), and interactive voice response (IVR) to automate the communication process.

For the core component of CCAI Platform, Google partnered with UJET, the San Francisco-based provider of contact center as a service (CCaaS) software known for its approach of integrating customer service functions into customer-facing applications. Google says UJET offers strong security and scalability features; a mobile-first, end-user focus; turnkey implementation; and best-in-class user experience, making UJET’s CCaaS software a natural fit with Google’s vision for contact centers.

In a Google Cloud blog announcing CCAI Platform, Google says the new solution can help companies achieve “a centralized source of truth and real-time insight” in the customer journey. “Today, we are helping enterprises across industries and geographies to cost-effectively reimagine contact center experiences,” Google states in the blog.

With the launch of CCAI Platform, Google will be competing in the contact center market, populated by a voluminous and varied roster of vendors, including traditional call center software providers, application providers, and platform providers.

In its 1Q 2022 report CX for Contact Centers, Dash Research, the market intelligence arm of Dash Network, projects that the market for contact center software and services will reach $18.1 billion by 2026, up from $13.8 billion in 2019, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4%.

According to Keith Kirkpatrick, principal analyst contributing to Dash Research’s CX Advisory Service and author of the report cited above, Google’s entry into the contact center market will not be easy.

“Despite Google’s brand recognition, it may be challenging for the firm to supplant dedicated contact center software platforms with a more established presence, such as Genesys Cloud CX, Talkdesk, or Five9, among others,” Kirkpatrick says. “Google’s entry into the cloud-based contact center software market may be a part of the company’s strategy to wrestle more market share in the cloud computing space, which is dominated by AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Microsoft Azure.”

Evolution and Integration

Google’s CCAI, the forerunner of CCAI Platform, was introduced in July 2018 at a Google Next conference. By November 2019, CCAI could be found integrated with the first set of major premises and cloud contact center solution providers, a group that included 8×8, Avaya, Cisco, Five9, Genesys, Mitel, Salesforce, Twilio, and Vonage.

But while Google was enjoying success with CCAI back then, customers were also requesting Google to provide a fully cloud-based contact center experience. That became the basis for the development of CCAI Platform.

In its revamped form at present, CCAI Platform can connect seamlessly with most CRM platforms, enabling  businesses to deliver more tailored CX. Companies will be able to  choreograph client journeys by providing a more uniform and modern customer service experience across all channels.

Google is also expanding its partnership with Salesforce, whose Service Cloud Voice will be natively integrated with CCAI Platform. The combination will enable organizations to view their customers in a single workspace and provide technologies like native agent call controls and real-time call transcription.

CCAI Platform is being launched in the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. It will also be  available to more than 6,000 Google channel partners, a group that includes Accenture, CDW, Cognizant, Deloitte, HCL, IBM, Infosys, Quantiphi, Tata Consultancy Services, and Wipro. UJET and Google CCAI also remain available as standalone offerings, Google says.

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