Five9 announces major new version of cloud contact centre platform

The Summer Release expands Five9's global capabilities and expands the number of apps available on their microservices architecture.

San Ramon CA-based Five9 has announced the availability of Summer Release 2017 of their Virtual Contact Center (VCC). The new release expands the number of modularized applications available on their microservices-based architecture. It introduces a new carrier grade scalable softswitch to dynamically select the best call path between agent and caller. They have also expanded their availability, making VCC available on the public cloud for the first time and establishing new in-region points of presence in Asia and Australia. Their global routing engine has also been enhanced to more effectively keep voice in-region.

“I’m extremely ecstatic about this release,” said Gaurav Passi, Five9’s EVP of Products and Technology. “Last year, we did three releases, and are focused on agile development and continuous development. This is a major architectural release however, involving our global architecture, and so is a deeper, longer effort.”

Five9’s VCC is an end-to-end turnkey cloud solution, which lets customers contact agents over a broad range of channels, including phone, web, chat, email, mobile apps, and social media. They are enterprise-focused, and have had consistent 30-35 per cent annual growth.

“Today’s consumer is extremely modern and connects with business on digital channels more than they used to,” Passi said. “They are also a lot less patient when they engage with a business, and their expectations are evolving at a much faster base than customer care. They want amazing, consistent experience on the same brand, 24/7, and they want to be known.”

Passi indicated that Five9 is responding to this with multiple philosophies.

“The number one thing for us is tracking customers’ journey end to end,” he said. “Our second philosophy is based on being omnichannel. Many companies say they are, but they aren’t really. They are multi-channel. The difference is that omnichannel has personalization, letting customers use their channel of choice. The content must be able to move from channel to channel, and they must remember the context, so if you change channels, say from your phone to your TV, you pick up where you left off. Escalation and de-escalation of channels is necessary. So is channel blending, where agents handle multiple channels at the same time.”

These philosophies are reflected in the new release.

“The focus in the Summer Release is on global capabilities, expanding the large scale enterprise platform and its effectiveness as an end-to-end solution,” Passi said.

The global component has three elements. One is the expansion of Five9 Global Voice’s capabilities to all parts of the globe by establishing new in-region points of presence (PoPs) in Australia, Japan, China and other locations around the world.

“This ensures that enterprises can keep calls in region, to ensure high and consistent quality around the globe,” Passi said. “This is a game changing investment to create regional PoPs anywhere in the world. We have also extended our single global routing engine to enable easier finding of the right resource anywhere in the world. And we have invested in extrernalized string architecture, meaning you can take any language and localize, and create multilingual support, right out of the box.

Five9 also continues to expand its microservices architecture by modularized existing applications to the new architecture, where the components communicate through REST APIs, and which have superior cloud resiliency, elasticity, and scalability.

“The big module here was the voice component, with many smaller ones as part of that,” Passi said. These include text to speech, voice prompts, voice recording, answering machine detection, and speech recognition. Other modules now modularized for the new platform include email, chat, social, event services, DTMF, and customer journey analytics.

This release also introduces a new carrier grade softswitch that dynamically selects the best call path between agent and caller and scales to support thousands of agents.

“Our goal is to keep us with technology as the world grows,” Passi stated. “We used AudioCodes for this before, and now we have moved to a full software stack.”

Five9 is also launching cloud deployment options for both private and public cloud, expanding availability beyond Five9 datacentres for the first time. This technology is designed to be fully cloud agnostic and supports all the major public clouds.

“Delivering voice on the cloud is an extremely hard business,” Passi said. “We have always delivered this from our own data centres before, and this is the first time we have put it on a public cloud because we are now able to ensure that the voice latency goes away and it provides the right voice quality to the consumer.”

Five9 also announced co-development integrations with strategic vendor partners. A new Salesforce Lightning Experience with Omnichannel Integration provides a unified omnichannel desktop that fully leverages and complement the Salesforce Lightning Experience. Enhancements to Five9’s Microsoft Skype for Business Integration: Enhancements to the Five9 integration for Skype allows agents to seamlessly connect to experts outside the contact centre. Five9 also announced it has jointly developed an end-to-end, fully integrated WFO solution, in the cloud, with Verint and Calabrio, that ensures operational efficiencies across all customer channels.

Until two years ago, almost all Five9’s sales were direct. Since then they have expanded their channels, first into the telco space, and then through the solution provider channel.