Genesys CEO Bates calls on customers to accelerate their future together

Tony Bates laid out his vision for where Genesys and its technology is headed, which expands the existing layers of orchestration into a future that promises an industry that will be  very different from today.

Genesys CEO Tony Bates

DENVER — On Tuesday, Genesys CEO Tony Bates kicked off the company’s Xperience 2024 event here, outlining the past and future of the event as well as his views on the evolution of IT orchestration and its evolution from half a century ago into the future.

Bates began by noting that the event was considerably larger than last year’s.

“We have a much bigger ballroom than last year, which translates into 1600 new or potentially new customers, as well as 90 new partners,” he said.” In addition, over 65% of the content at this event is partner generated, as we position to be the number one AI-powered platform.”

Bates drew his audience’s attention to his projection five years ago that the generative AI cloud was the future.

“I said that we would all need cloud and AI to deliver expectations and enable every service interaction to be personalized,” he said. “I made that statement five years ago, when I had been in the company for five weeks. Since then, it has become real. It was a risk, as we were in transition on a couple of platforms.”

Bates provided an update on the pace of expansion, in which he said that almost 6000 organizations are now using Genesys Cloud CX, with 850 of these being new since the start of last year.

“We have really scaled up our platform, and added many large businesses,” he said. “More than 40% of our customers now use Generative AI. That is why our theme this week is ‘accelerate the future together.’

Bates highlighted the impact of two strategic partnerships, their CX Cloud agreement with Salesforce made last year, but which still the subject of intense conversation at this event, and a new partnership with ServiceNow which was announced last week.

“These two partnerships are very unique,” Bates said. “Our CX Cloud partnership with Salesforce now has 30 customers. “The unified experience provided through our ServiceNow partnership will also be unique in the industry.”

Bates then reviewed his understanding of the evolution of IT orchestration from its beginnings a hundred years ago, to today, and into the future.

‘At the start when you had people like my grandmother working switchboards, the work was long and exhausting, and there was zero orchestration,” he began. “From there we evolved to Level One Orchestration, menu-based navigation IVR. Many still use that today, while much is also handed off to agents.”

Level Two, predefined dialogue automation, with human agents there to take over with prompts for automated workflows, has grown in significance.

“That is mainly where we are today,” Bates stated. “Automation is not the same as orchestration, in that it doesn’t take out friction. Orchestration is possible, but it requires a lot more innovation, and AI is key for that.”

Bates then laid out his vision going forward.

“We are now getting you ready, with your help, for the AI era,” he said. “Level 3 will be about virtual agents, and will handle many more use cases, with much more nuance and complex case transitions.”

Level 4 he stated, was now within reach.

“This will use empathetic virtual agents that handle not all use cases, but many more than today,” Bates said. “Humans will be working with emotionally aware AI copilots, and humans will play more strategic roles and act more as administrators. For this, we will need partners who can collect data from every part of the business. You will think of us as one of the most important control planes in your enterprise.:

Finally, Level 5 will be universal orchestration, which will generate 2-3x customer loyalty and employee loyalty.

“We think we can go all the way to level 5 in the next 5 years,” Bates said. “It will be the most significant shift we have ever seen in our industry.”

Bates concluded by telling the audience that they should ask themselves what level they are at, and if they want to level up, and join Genesys on their journey.

“We have the global reach, vision and strategy to deliver on this,” he said. “At Genesys we are not going to throw away our opportunity and neither should you.”