Last week Angel Inc. launched a number of mobility applications designed to improve customer care and self-service applications, along with employee productivity. I’d like to look at this announcement from two standpoints. One what to these solutions promise from a customer standpoint, and secondly, how adding this segment is more evidence that Angel (formerly Angel.com, and now a subsidiary of MicroStrategy (MSTR)) has completely transformed itself as a company in a short period of time.
Angel launched Angel Mobile – mobile management solutions for the iPhone, iPad, and Android-based smartphones, that use of the Angel 4 Customer Experience Platform. Angel is now in closed beta with the solutions, which include:
- Mobile Business Analytics – utilizing MicroStrategy® Business Intelligence software to provide mobility for voice applications, with detailed reporting of application performance, call data, VUI elements, from a mobile device.
- Multi-Modal IVR – provides the ability to use Angel’s SiteBuilder platform to rapidly develop and deploy enterprise-quality voice solutions at a fraction of the cost of traditional IVR (think early strategy, but on mobile devices).
- Mobile Call Center — adds mobile access to Angel’s SaaS platform for creating, managing and deploying a contact center.
- Custom Mobile Solutions – applications developed hand-in-hand with enterprise customers based their unique objectives and specifications to better conduct transactions and information exchange via their iPad, iPhone, or Android smartphones.
Everyone is developing mobility applications these days. What I like about the Angel announcement is creating the ability to use business analytics to check on what is happening in the contact center and to react in real-time to it by making design changes to the contact centers. In Angel’s beta program, for example, their parent company, MicroStrategy is using it to improve their customer care centers in real-time. Supervisors can walk the floor or be out of the contact center and still monitor queues and phone calls or help coach agents from their mobile device.
I also like the focus they have on bringing richer self-service applications to verticals. For example, one of their beta customers created a mobile application that uses voice biometrics to let doctors be verified when they order drug samples, which adds a big level of convenience to a worker who really is mobile.
How does this announcement apply to Angel’s reputation? For those of you who haven’t followed Angel, the company was introduced as Angel.com back in 1999, and at the time the company’s marketing strategy was being a fast and easy way to create and launch quick self-service IVR applications at a cheaper cost than traditional IVR vendors. At the time, Angel.com was competing as an alternative to IVR products from Edify, Intervoice, Avaya, Nortel, Syntellect, and Siemens to name a few. Offered as a hosted solution, they were simple to deploy, but had a limited feature set.
In the past couple of years, things have radically changed at Angel. They are now a subsidiary of MicroStrategy, dropped the dot.com from the company name, and vastly broadened their product portfolio and the range of customers they target. No longer primarily attractive to the SMB market, Angel’s cloud-based (SaaS) solutions are attractive and available to enterprises of all sizes. No longer just self-service, Angel provides contact center/customer care solutions and understands, along with premiere players in the contact center that it is about customer care and delivering a great customer experience on each call.
As such, in addition to adding the mobility solutions they introduced last week, over the past 2 years they have added contact center solutions including speech technologies,(including voice verification), multi-channel and multi-modal applications, and caller/business analytics. The company’s “Caller First Analytics” package utilizes parent company, MicroStrategy’s Business Intelligence software.
I think Angel is a company to pay attention to in the on-demand contact center space. The company now claims more than 10,000 telephony solutions to over 1600 customers, but no longer are those solutions largely simple found in smaller companies. Angel has truly moved upstream into the larger enterprise space.