May 29, 2024 – Duration 00:26:12

S4 Ep. 10 Customer experience technology considerations for cloud migration

The benefits of migrating customer experience technologies to the cloud are clear. CX leaders say they include better access to data across channels; the ability to add new capabilities, channels, and features faster; and enhanced report and analytics. But the technical considerations of a migration can seem less clear. In this episode of Tech Talks in 20, Kyle Kuntz, VP of CX Evolution at Genesys, discusses the technical consideration integral to any cloud migration. He also shares his advice on optimizing resources and streamlining the transition to a cloud-based CX platform.


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Kyle Kuntz

Kyle Kuntz

VP of Engage and PureConnect Business Operations at Genesys

As the VP of Engage and PureConnect Business Operations, Kyle Kuntz and his team have one focus: maximizing the value of the Genesys Engage and PureConnect lines of business. Specifically, that means ensuring we deliver on our commitments to our Engage and PureConnect customers as effectively and efficiently as possible while simultaneously helping our customers adopt Genesys Cloud through CX Evolution.  

Conversation Highlights

Here are conversation highlights from this episode, edited and condensed. Go to the timestamps in the recording for the full comments.

Kyle, welcome to Tech Talks in 20. Tell us about yourself and what you do here at Genesys.

Kyle Kuntz (01:25): 

I’m the Vice President of CX Evolution. I’ve been with Genesys for… this is my 12th year. I started at Interactive Intelligence in a rev ops sales ops type of role, and then spent the majority of my time at Genesys in a product organization specifically focused on our Engage and Pure Connect customers and what their journey was like over the last almost decade. I’ve recently made the move back into the sales organization as a part of the rev ops team to support the field and help customers make this transition from on-premises to cloud.  

The benefits of moving to cloud include better access to data across channels, adding new capabilities, features, and channels faster, and increase cybersecurity. What are some other key benefits CX leaders are talking to you about?

Kyle Kuntz (02:51): 

For a long time, some of the things you stated have been and continue to be benefits — the biggest one being access to new features quickly and easily. Scalability became very important around 2020. Remote work became very important in that time, too. Not that it wasn’t before, but I think the world realized just how flexible they need to be, especially in customer experience space, and those benefits still exist today in a changing world.  

The cost aspect is there. Generally speaking, you should see lower costs.  

Security is important, especially as you think about aging hardware and infrastructure that you need on an on-premises platform and the need to manage that. That also speaks to the cost side.  

The most important thing I think most people are realizing is that they need to make decisions and evolve to be prepared for AI. Taking advantage of AI is table stakes. To be using cloud CX and being ready for AI should be top of mind right now. Being well-positioned for the next great evolution of technology is really important.  

One of the benefits that was mentioned is better access data. Tell us more about what you’re seeing around that.

Kyle Kuntz (05:30): 

If you’ve got disparate tools, systems on-prem, if you’ve got a mix of what you’re using in cloud, if you’ve cobbled together multiple vendors for a CX solution, those things all being separate and disparate is a headwind to really being able to leverage AI. So, the conversation around data has changed to being more streamlined, more uniform and singular. And that’s why cloud-based tools that can be all-in-one and powerful platforms start to float to the top. CIOs are realizing that to take advantage of AI, where that data lives, the structure of that data, and access to that data becomes increasingly important every day.  

Are you seeing less technical debt as customers transition to cloud?

Kyle Kuntz (07:07): Yes, and this is a big reason why we use the phrase “CX Evolution.” It’s an opportunity to leave behind a lot of that technical debt. It’s an opportunity to rethink something like the IVR or how complex routing really needs to be or how you’re using other channels outside of voice. It’s an opportunity to evolve and simplify and leave some of that tech debt behind.  

Cloud technologies and platforms not only allow customers to move away from tech debt that may exist today, but also keep it away. More flexibility, powerful APIs, powerful architectural and administrative tools help to manage that down, so it does feed back into the notion of cost as well.  

We absolutely see success for customers as they transition to cloud in approaching it as an evolution and not just a lift-and-shift or a rebuild of what exists today.  

What are some of the top concerns CX leaders have now with that cloud migration or evolution?

Kyle Kuntz (08:42): 

One is the departure from the way that business has been done for a long time. There’s no way around it. Whether or not you approach it as an evolution or as a lift-and-shift, you do have a way that business has been done, down to the individual agents. Certainly, IT staff and administrators have done things a certain way for a long time. They’ve built up incredible skills in doing that. The change management that needs to happen is one piece that I think is seen as a blocker.  

Two is the transition itself. There are still some questions about capabilities and customizations that exist on-prem and whether those can be replicated or improved upon through a transition to cloud. I think when you dig into the technology and have a real conversation about it, those things can be overcome.  

The biggest one now is security and compliance, and flexibility as it relates to security and compliance and limitation of liability too. There’s an answer for a lot of concerns in these areas that can be addressed in an open conversation about it.  

Do the organizations making that evolution to the cloud feel like they have the resources to handle it?

Kyle Kuntz (13:02): 

There’s less concern about where resources are and how they’re leveraged post-transition. My read of it is that most people in a technical role realize their skill sets need to evolve. It’s a question of how they’re going to evolve.  

I think what concerns CX leaders most at a holistic level is how they’ll need to approach resourcing the transition itself. We can talk all about rainbows and sunshine on the other side of a transition, but we can’t skip over the part that a transition has to be done.  

That transition is one place where working with partners that are highly skilled and experienced in this space is important. I’ll get on my soapbox for just a minute and talk about this, but I count Genesys as one of those. It doesn’t mean we’re the only one, but the reality is we’ve gone through thousands of iterations of this.  

For organizations that haven’t made the transition to cloud yet, what are some of the things holding them back?

Kyle Kuntz (15:25): 

I don’t think there’s a single organization that we’ve had conversations with that don’t know that this is in their interest. There are, of course, certain spaces where some companies in particular industries or regions of the world say they can’t make this shift right now.  

When will the time come for them? The timing is influenced by the organization itself, by outside factors, by regulators, by a number of different factors. One is readiness. Some businesses are just going through an iteration of what their organization looks like and what their priorities are. They need to plan out what they want to accomplish as they go through this transition.  

Share a story of a customer that stands out to you as having had a successful shift to the cloud in the past year or so.

Kyle Kuntz (18:22): 

There’s a large multinational utilities company that wanted to get to 80% of interactions being digital over the course of five years. They wanted to streamline their IVR. And they wanted to realize costs savings. They also had some things that were table stakes for them around security and voice quality across regions. They were also going mostly remote and needed related capabilities and flexibility. The CX platform itself met most of those needs. Anything that couldn’t be met from services perspective by Genesys was met through our App Foundry partner ecosystem. 

One of the things we’ve started to do more with all our customers, once we get the agreement that this is a path we want to go down together, is to immediately start offering training down to the agent level so they can quickly adopt technical training. We have a full portfolio of technical scholarships and courses that customers can take. This goes a long way for them being successful not only after the cutover, but well before that cutover people going into it thinking, “I know how to leverage this tool. I know how to support, manage, administer this tool.” They come out with a lot more success.  

How do we address the developers and how to upskill them and change the employment opportunities within an organization?

Kyle Kuntz (22:10): 

The skills are changing for a lot of those technical resources. I have this great story about a customer moving from a competitor of ours to Genesys Cloud. The look on their faces when they saw our Architect tool and said, “I can do X with no code. I can just do this.” That flexibility and the sigh of relief they had for giving up that tech debt, they were elated because they realized they can focus on the cool new stuff that’s coming out and can think about how their company is going to adopt things like AI rather than having to manage a complex IVR. There’s a sense of relief that they have and then an excitement about what they can go and do next.  

That is absolutely an evolution we’re seeing of the resources that using these tools every day, and that’s true of the agents too, like auto-summarization: “How great would it be if I don’t have to type all this stuff up when I’m done?” It’s the little things that people see and attach themselves to. It removes a burden over them. That’s where the most joy comes from as you make a transition to the cloud.