Uniphore has just announced a whopping $400 million Series E round led by NEA, giving them a valuation of $2.5 billion. And they have been busy. This funding round is right on the heels of some major moves in 2021: a $140 million Series D round and the acquisitions of Emotion Research Lab (video and emotion AI) and Jacada (low-code/no-code capabilities). This round is reported to be the largest ever in the contact center AI space.

I’ve written before about the (over)investment in solutions aiming to automate customer interactions. News like this represents a huge vote of confidence for the value of understanding and augmenting human conversations.

The conversation intelligence space is getting interesting. Why?

  • The agent touchpoint is more critical than ever. Customers have shown that they prefer to speak with humans. Contact center volumes have increased, complexity is rising — oh, and agents are working from home now, too. AI-powered agent assist solutions provide just-in-time guidance and workflow automation to let agents bring their best selves to customer conversations.
  • Enterprises are unlocking the value of conversations. Conversation intelligence had its start in the contact center, but the applicability of these insights extends far beyond. We are seeing more enterprises work to connect the dots between what’s happening in customer interactions and driving improvements elsewhere in the business.
  • Smart vendors are going full circle. If you want to apply AI to improve customer conversations, you need to consider the full journey: before the contact, during the contact, and after the contact — across channels, too! Vendors that understand this have ensured their portfolio infuses intelligence across the full interaction lifecycle (i.e., chatbots or voicebots, real-time agent assist tools, and postcontact analytics).

Conversation intelligence is definitely having a moment. I have been seeing a ton of new startups emerge with a tight focus on real-time agent assist capabilities, though I’m not confident that this tight focus will allow them to compete with industry heavyweights — especially since several established vendors that have historically focused on post-call analytics have real-time capabilities on their 2022 roadmap in a big way. My thoughts: Vendors that focus on bringing that full-circle coverage will be best positioned to duke it out for market supremacy. Exciting times for customer service!

If you’re looking to learn more about the conversation intelligence space, feel free to book an inquiry with me!