Aspire Leaderboard: Q1 2024 Market Update

The Aspire Leaderboard, our market-leading CCM-CXM vendor evaluation portal, can help industry professionals keep track of key developments in the space and gain a better understanding of their impact on the wider market. Evaluating vendors in six different market segments, the Aspire Leaderboard provides the most detailed and up-to-date assessment of software vendors and service providers in the Customer Communications Management (CCM) and Customer Experience Management (CXM) industries. Below you will find a short update covering the most recent developments within each of these six segments. Keep an eye out for our Q3 launch, which will include information on a new seventh grid dedicated to an Interaction eXperience Management (IXM) Leaderboard focused on providers in the intelligent interactive customer data capture and processing space (also known as intelligent forms automation).

First, the AnyPrem CCM segment evaluates CCM software vendors that have evolved their legacy flagship software solutions by shifting them to cloud-native and CX-oriented versions. Key players, including OpenText and Quadient, are continuing on the path to full AnyPrem. We’ve received particularly positive market feedback about OpenText Exstream’s latest 23.4 Cloud Edition, as well as OpenText’s AI Aviator, which provides a flexible framework for various AI applications within the CCM-CXM domain. We’ve already studied Quadient’s acquisition of Daylight Automation (now called iForms), and we will cover it in more depth when we launch the IXM grid. Meanwhile, SmartComms is expanding its cloud-native batch rendering in order to beef up its hybrid cloud capabilities and has enhanced its migration capabilities by creating a global center of excellence that support various regions with accelerators and AI applications. Messagepoint, with its strong focus on healthcare, has expanded further into the AI space by integrating world-class translation capabilities to meet evolving CMS needs involving mandatory customer communications for primary demographics within the Medicare/Medicaid market.

Next, the Vendor-hosted CCM SaaS segment is focused on providers that have launched dedicated Software-as-a-Service solutions. Smart Communications, Quadient, and Messagepoint along with smaller players such as TopDown and Iberdok all introduced incremental product improvements. We’ve also examined MHC’s NorthStar cloud solution, a complete refresh focused on AR/AP within the mid-market US healthcare space. For its part, OpenText has taken a very measured approach to SaaS. Besides integration within SAP SuccessFactors (for HR), it has integrated Exstream SaaS with its Case Management solution, (with others in the pipeline), and made Exstream available to developers as an API-based SaaS solution on the OpenText Developer Cloud.

Our third segment, dedicated to Enterprise Communications Processing (ECP), evaluates CCM vendors serving the downstream post-composition market. Crawford Technologies continues to innovate in this space with a strong focus on AI and accessibility. Some of its latest developments also bring in AI-based translation and onboarding/job setup as well as auto-tagging for accessibility use cases. With European accessibility legislation now fully on par with regulations in the US, we’re witnessing a strong push from the European market that clearly benefits players like Crawford. Other key players in this space include Sefas, Ricoh, and Compart. Ricohvhas made some significant architectural enhancements to its Ricoh Process Director flagship ECP solution, while Sefas continues to build out its Conductor solution to support downstream CXM use cases. Meanwhile, Compart is shifting some of its focus to upstream cloud composition (SaaS) with its DocBridge Impress solution. Compart has rearchitected many of its products into cloud-native capabilities, and it is now re-platformed them in accordance with the shift to Communications Experience Platforms.

This brings us to the Communications eXperience Platform segment. CXP providers are software vendors or service providers building cloud-native platforms that extend composition with homegrown or third-party CXM capabilities, including data analytics, dashboards, digital delivery, inbound/forms, or even marketing automation, journey orchestration, and conversational messaging solutions. We’ve been impressed by Precisely’s evolution. Not only has it completely modernized its CedarCX components and rebuilt them on a native AWS stack, Precisely has also constructed a new composition engine that will ultimately replace its aging (but still robust) EngageOne Compose solution. We are also quite upbeat about Precisely’s CX potential concerning data analytics, CX, and chat, as well as video and conversational messaging capabilities. It has a direct go-to-market model in the US and the UK, but it partners with companies like Dialog Group for European distribution. We also made some additional tweaks to O’Neil Digital Solutions’ positioning to better reflect further improvements in its strategy and increasing depth around AI-supported use cases.

Our fifth segment is Customer Communications Outsourcing which focuses on traditional transactional print providers who are evolving to offering digital services to improve customer experience. DataOceans released a new offering called ComplianceHub which gives its consumer-lending/auto-finance customers access to pre-approved legal templates for popular customer communications. It has now also partnered with a law firm to offer ComplianceHub+, a legal subscription service that enables clients to get their templates legally approved by a third party (or their own law firm) directly from within the Oceanus platform. We’ve also made some further updates to CSG’s placement. CSG is a large, international business process outsourcer (BPO) with a deep foothold in the cable and telecom market, particularly in the US. The company offers a range of services and digital solutions, but CSG’s Bill Explainer is one worth calling out because it leverages generative AI to construct a one-sentence explainer when a consumer’s monthly bill deviates from what they’ve come to expect, helping reduce bill shock and leading to a sharp decline in call center volume.

Finally, the Implementation Services (IS) segment focuses on system integrators specializing in CCM-CXM solution delivery. This quarter, we added a company called Signal to the grid. A leading UK-based integrator, Signal’s CX-focus, agency background, and software solution-driven approach has set it up for success within the FSI market, particularly in light of consumer duty regulation. Tessi is a large international BPO headquartered in France that has acquired gDocs (a CCM integrator) and VILT (a digital experience specialist). We’ll report on Tessi’s ongoing rebrand in a future blog.

Our ongoing assessment process is very rigorous, and vendors share a lot of detailed information about their solutions, so it’s impossible for us to mention every vendor on the Aspire Leaderboard in a single review. If you need support in your vendor selection or RFI/RFP process, please contact the Aspire team.

Authored by Kaspar Roos, CEO & Founder of Aspire CCS


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