More than 100 million customer interactions each day are facilitated through Genesys customer experience and contact center solutions. With more than 40 worldwide offices and more than 3,500 customers in 80 countries, Genesys works to deliver seamless, tailored customer experiences across multiple channels. In 2010, Genesys planted the seeds for a company-wide data revolution: the Genesys business intelligence (BI) team was established.
Starting Small, Thinking Big
The brand new BI team needed to show the business the value a dedicated business intelligence effort could offer. And the opportunity to impact the business was huge.
“I remember an executive—he was dealing with an organization of 3,000 people at that time—and he told us ‘I need more information about who is working on what, how much I'm spending, what's the status of a project, what is the number of products, or even the number of employees!’” says Jean-Paul Saliou, Senior Director of Business Intelligence and Applications at Genesys.
Unfortunately, the challenges facing the team were great as well. The new team did not have access to BI-specific tools, so they worked with already-available technologies such as Microsoft Excel and SharePoint.
“The first months were about having proofs of concept and doing some homegrown things,” remembers Saliou. “It was really about starting small, but thinking big. That’s where we started with BI overall.”
The team quickly decided to look for better tools to manage and communicate the company’s data.
“We evaluated a few pieces of software and Tableau was one of them. We downloaded a trial and tested it. We were surprised—in a good way,” remembers Nicolas Gousakoff, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Genesys. “It was almost shocking, that we didn't find any limits to Tableau.”
In addition to Tableau, the BI team also considered QlikView and Jaspersoft.
The business intelligence analysts wanted to purchase Tableau, but the nascent team’s budget didn’t match their vision. Instead they built the first BI platform at Genesys using open source technologies.
It took approximately a year to build a library of dashboards and reports.
Victims of Success
“We were doing everything,” explains Gousakoff. “We worked with the business on requirements, going back-and-forth, and then we created the dashboards entirely from scratch.”
Genesys business users and executives welcomed the data with open arms, and demand quickly outstripped the team’s ability to produce.
“We were a victim of our success,” says Saliou. “Unless we were going to hire more developers to work on the homegrown solution, we couldn't scale.”
The team hoped that a new BI platform would provide much-needed scalability while also addressing other issues. For example, some reports only updated monthly—so decisions might be made based on month-old data.
They also needed to meet an executive mandate to help Genesys become more data-driven across the company. As part of that effort, the BI team wanted to provide the Genesys sales team with a “one-stop shop” for customer data insight.
“We needed to create 360-degree customer view and have it accessible within Salesforce,” Gousakoff says.
Taking the Next Step
The time was right to revisit Tableau.
“We purchased a few Tableau Desktop licenses, and we decided to replace what had spent the previous year building and developing,” says Saliou.
The team was able to complete that task quickly, which garnered support for a larger deployment of Tableau, including a Tableau Server core implementation for publishing and sharing visualizations.
“With Tableau Server, everybody in the company could have access to what we build,” says Saliou.
The team quickly realized that they could ease their workload by training business teams to author their own Tableau visualizations. Today, Genesys has more than 30 Tableau Desktop licenses across the company and hundreds of users consume published dashboards and visualizations through Tableau Server.
The BI team has also been able to provide that “one-stop-shop” customer view to sales by embedding a Tableau dashboard into the company’s Salesforce platform.
“The 360-degree customer view provides almost a real-time view of what the customer has or needs. We have included information pulled from our systems—ERP, CRM, defect tracking and so on. We have also allowed some homegrown algorithms. ‘Can we sell more to this customer?’ Or productivity analytics. It gives us a sense about what a customer needs and if we can do more for the customer,” explains Gousakoff.