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Inspire 2022: Microsoft Exec Calls Partners ‘Critical’ To Contact Center Rollout

Wade Tyler Millward

“If you don't have great customer care, great customer support, you’re not going to have a great brand and people aren't going to have a great relationship with you,” Microsoft CVP Charles Lamanna told CRN in an interview.

Partners will serve “critical” and “absolutely essential” roles as Microsoft introduces its Digital Contact Center offering to the market, Charles Lamanna, Microsoft corporate vice president of business applications and platform, told CRN in an interview.

“Contact centers specifically are at the heart of CX transformation, or customer experience transformation, which is a big initiative for many of our customers,” Lamanna said. “And doing that is something that people look for a partner to help them with.”

The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant unveiled the new offering during its annual Inspire partner event, which goes from Tuesday to Wednesday online.

Unlike other tech conferences, which have returned in person or with a mix of live and online events, Microsoft held Inspire entirely online as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Microsoft’s Charles Lamanna on The Digital Contact Center Platform

* What is the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform?

* Are partners a key part of bringing this platform to market?

* Are you seeing interest in contact center technology from small and midsize businesses?

* What resources are there to help partners learn this new technology?

* Do you have a message to Dynamics partners working on their partner capability scores ahead of the October deadline?

* What should partners expect for product iteration after the platform is released?

Contact centers are “really existential for so many B2C (business-to-consumer) companies,” Lamanna said. “If you don't have great customer care, great customer support, you’re not going to have a great brand and people aren't going to have a great relationship with you.”

In March, Polaris Market Research published a report that put the contact center software market at $23.81 billion in 2021 with a forecasted revenue of $116.02 billion by 2030.

In August, Gartner ranked Genesys, Nice CXone and Talkdesk as leaders in contact-center-as-a-service, with cloud giant Amazon Web Services called a visionary.

“So many of our customers are doing the move to the cloud once and for all in this space,” Lamanna said. “Still, believe it or not, the majority of customers are on premise for their core contact center infrastructure and capabilities and having something that kind of pieces it together makes that move easier and less daunting and less scary.”

Here’s what Lamanna had to say.

 

 
Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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