Melissa O’Brien

Melissa O’Brien is Research Leader at HFS Research. Melissa leads HFS’ research initiatives for CX services including digital marketing and sales, contact center, and digital associates. In 2021, Vistio named Melissa one of the Top 10 CX Leaders. Her industry research focuses on key dynamics within retail, CPG, travel and hospitality, with regards to customer-centric strategies, intelligent operations and service delivery.

Melissa brings over 13 years of both hands-on industry and analyst experience to her role at HFS. She previously led IDC’s Worldwide Customer Experience Management Services program, including in depth analysis of evolving contact center business process delivery and consumer communication trends. Prior to IDC, Melissa held various roles in the contact center BPO industry, including new client implementation, program design, and training development and delivery for contact centers in Manila and Cebu, Philippines. Melissa has led plenary sessions at HFS FORA, NASSCOM, IDC Directions, and various other service provider and industry events.

Melissa graduated with honors from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in English and Communication, and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She is a Boston area native who enjoys traveling, kickboxing, and spending time outdoors with her husband and hounds.

Content By Melissa O’Brien

Point of View

Smart Enterprises are considering the untapped potential of Vietnam

The days of resistance to offshoring are over with organizations eager to plug capability holes and become much more agile in these unpredictable market conditions.  The emerging brand of more packaged operational services, outcome-based services, and As-a-Service offerings – will...

Point of View

Put smart decisioning at the heart of AI strategy to help cultivate your OneOffice future

Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) tools found a hot platform in the last 18 months as companies struggled to keep up with customer and employee expectations in a virtual environment with human resource constraints and remote working. The ability to generate...

Point of View

Arrest the disruption now—that light you see is not the end of the tunnel

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will...

Highlight Report

HGS divests its healthcare business to make space to accelerate growth

HGS divested its healthcare business, which is approximately 53% of its total book of business to a diversified Asian private equity entity late July. The divesture means that HGS will focus its attention on its consumer experience (CX) and digital...

Highlight Report

Accenture acquires HRC Retail Advisory to expand retail strategy capability

In July 2021, Accenture announced an agreement to acquire HRC Retail Advisory, a Chicago-based provider of management consulting services to the retail industry. HRC’s mission is to help retailers to navigate through disruption and improve profitability and competitiveness. HRC’s team...

Top 10 Report

CX Services in the Pandemic Economy—The Best of the Best Service Providers

The 2021 HFS Top 10: CX Services in the Pandemic Economy—The Best of the Best Service Providers report examines the capabilities of the world’s largest providers of contact center services. We assessed and rated the industry-specific service capabilities of the...

Point of View

Develop a hyper-personalized employee experience

Designing the ideal hybrid working environment post-pandemic will be a mission-critical issue for employers to grapple with in the years to come. Employees’ needs differ drastically based on the individual and their circumstances. Leaders must over-communicate with empathy and design...

Point of View

Break down silos to supercharge EX and CX in tandem

The organizational silos that have inhibited digital transformation initiatives for years didn’t go away during the pandemic, despite the changes it forced businesses to make. These siloes hamper efforts to transform and improve customer experience (CX). To eliminate the silos...

Hot Vendor

HFS OneOffice™ Hot Vendors: Q2 2021

The HFS OneOffice™ Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players, each with a differentiated value proposition for the OneOffice. HFS analysts regularly speak with numerous exciting start-ups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS...

Point of View

Embrace NATIVE automation to enable growth strategies

Robotic process automation (RPA) emerged in the early 2010s as a threat to traditional low-cost automation. Since then, RPA initiatives in global businesses have focused on process improvement and cost take-out as critical criteria for operations improvement. With the pandemic...

Highlight Report

HGS’s Future of Smart CX is a quadruple-win proposition

At a recent analyst event, HGS leaders spoke of doubling the typical “win-win” expression as it re-imagines its customer care services. The four wins in question? Employees, customers, clients and in turn… HGS. Clearly there is a winning formula at...

Highlight Report

NTT DATA scales product-focused digital transformation

Japanese multinational SI NTT DATA has announced its intent to acquire former HFS OneOffice Hot Vendor Nexient. It’s a move that would bring scale to NTT DATA’s application development and modernization capabilities in its largest market – the US. Nexient...

Point of View

THL recovery: over-confident or poised for a surge back?

Economic recovery is underway but travel and hospitality continue to limp along, with the largest firms in this sector losing hundreds of millions per quarter. But even so, volume and revenues are miles ahead of 2020 levels and so optimism...

Data Viewpoint

HFS Data Viewpoint: The Seven Must-Haves for a Successful Modern Retail Organization

Company performance and success have always been measured by revenue and profit, but since COVID-19 hit, ”fit-for-future" measures are growing in importance to retailers. Companies taking a broader view of what "success" means has inspired a more holistic approach to...

Point of View

To react to disruption rapidly, build a foundation of customer-centric experience design

If there’s one thing we can all agree on in 2021, it’s the goal of beating this global pandemic and moving faster to do so.  In a recent webinar titled “Building a digital business at speed to beat this pandemic,”...

Point of View

Capgemini’s Vision to Create Frictionless Enterprise Operations

The business services industry has been overdue for some much-needed changes, and now digital transformation agendas are pushing a pace of change never seen before. The future is here, and there is no time to wait. So how will service...

Industry Primer

HFS Travel, Hospitality, and Logistics Industry Primer 2021

  The travel and hospitality segments have been in flux—deeply impacted by revenue depletion—while the logistics industry has faced surges in demand amid challenging circumstances. Companies in these segments have found their burning platform to embrace disruption and thoroughly re-invent...

Point of View

Emerging technology adoption has a people problem

The top challenges to emerging technology adoption are not about the technology itself. HFS data, collected with the support of BluePrism, for our report ‘Your workforce has changed – Now the C-suite must adopt a NATIVE automation mindset’, indicates that...

Data Viewpoint

HFS Data Viewpoint: Are you “fit-for-future?”

For the past few years, there’s been a hidden factor priced into company performance that has determined whether a company is considered “successful”. That hidden factor is now coming to the surface - is the firm viewed as fit-for-future in...

Point of View

Call center worker power is sustaining the in-office model

70:30 is post-pandemic goldilocks ratio of in-office: WFA for contact center services The benefits of digital services are all about being faster, cheaper, and more profitable—and the work-from-anywhere (WFA) economy had a huge impact on call center services. In short,...

Point of View

Work-from-anywhere economy drives a huge reliance on customer data platforms

When companies with the size and stature of Aetna, Amazon, Nationwide Insurance, Microsoft, and Unilever commit to maintaining a hybrid work model well beyond COVID-19—when home working is encouraged—then businesses must prepare for a seismic shift in not just how,...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Firstsource’s newest partnerships target the patient experience for healthcare clients

Under new leadership, Firstsource has been building a portfolio of technology partnerships to bolster its digitally enabled contact center and industry-focused capabilities. To that effort, the firm recently announced new partnerships with Zappix and Uniphore to target the healthcare industry...

Point of View

Your workforce has changed Now, the C-suite must adopt a NATIVE automation mindset

New research by HFS Research, supported by Blue Prism, surveyed 400 of the Global 2000 enterprises. The results show that over 96% of enterprises are pursuing automation as the catalyst for modernizing their legacy business processes and ultimately achieving a...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Can EXL's CONNECx connect the dots for the OneOffice customer experience?

Increasingly in this remote and fluid workplace and consumer environment we’ve adopted as normal, companies seek to better understand and connect with their customers and employees within the new paradigm of fully digital experiences.    While CX transformation has allegedly been...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Teleperformance’s Cloud Campus prepares to overcome cyber threats in its global work-from-home model

Data security and privacy have always been a critical concern in the BPO industry, as vulnerability to cyber threats present potential revenue-impacting events. Teleperformance, the largest contact center BPO company with over 380,000+ employees across 83 countries, has made huge...

Point of View

Focus on digital led growth imperatives to survive and thrive

In 2020, the decades-old corporate mindset of resisting change flipped overnight to one of advocating change just to ensure survival. This worldwide seismic shift has forced enterprises to pursue and realize their digital transformation possibilities. Supported by Infosys, HFS led...

Data Viewpoint

HFS Data Viewpoint: Are your digital associates dumb? How to unlock their full potential

We have just released the HFS Digital Associates Services Top Ten report, an update from our 2018 assessment (Cognitive Assistants Services). We found that service providers are now doing more than just implementing digital associates – the leading providers in...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Fulfilling the promise of omnichannel in the public sector

For government and education organizations, taking a more holistic approach to customer interactions is imperative for both cost containment and customer experience.  Many of these organizations make the mistake of their CRM platform as the central technology of their contact...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Design sophisticated digital self-service to provide top-notch citizen experiences

Today’s citizens have the same expectations for government and education services as they do when wearing their consumer hats; personalization, on-demand services in the channel of their choice, and proactive communication. The public sector is overdue for implementing strategies that...

Point of View

Survival is on the line for travel and hospitality, and emerging tech is the silver lining

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact has been profound and far-reaching in travel and hospitality, with executives in these sectors having relatively lower confidence about emerging opportunities and rebounding quickly from the pandemic (see Exhibit 1). As lockdown mandates slowly relax, digital...

Top 10 Report

HFS Top 10: Digital Associates Services

The HFS Top 10 Digital Associates Services report examines the leading IT and BPO services firms developing conversational tools with and for their clients across enterprise functions. We assessed and rated the capabilities of 17 service providers across a defined...

Hot Vendor

HFS Hot Vendors Q4 2020

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players, each with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOffice. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting startups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot...

Point of View

New digital reality dictates reimagining customer and employee experience expectations

The opportunity to develop deep collaborative capabilities between customers and employees has never been greater than it is in this emerging business environment. In October 2020, HFS, with the support of HGS, brought together 20 thought leaders from major global...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Genpact acquires critical e-commerce capability to expand Rightpoint

Genpact has been slowly but steadily building thought leadership and capability around “experience innovation” over the last few years. Genpact’s 2017 acquisition of experience consulting firm TandemSeven was its first big demonstration of an appetite to develop a OneOffice capability,...

Point of View

Technology alone will not bridge the Digital Divide

“There is an extraordinary change in the momentum of importance on digital capabilities—and those who haven’t moved aggressively on this are falling behind every day.” Traci Gusher, National Leader AI and Enterprise Innovation KPMG Businesses require essential technologies that are...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Will the pandemic grind the Mphasis growth story to a halt? We don’t think so…

HFS recently attended Mphasis’ Virtual Analyst and Advisor Day, which boasted 10 clients presenting and participating, to check in on how this dynamic mid-tier growth firm has been faring during this generally cruddy year. You may already know that the...

Hot Vendor

HFS Hot Vendors Q3 2020

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players, each with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOfficeTM. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting startups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Concentrix is investing in global WAH at scale for the long term

The pandemic has pushed BPO providers and their clients to embrace a whole new level of flexibility as both its staff and clients have shifted to working at home (WAH) en-masse. But across the globe, a variety of legal, operational,...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Accenture’s customer engagement acquisition strategy is aimed at OneOffice dominance in a virtual world

Accenture’s 20th and 22nd acquisitions of 2020 are enhancements to its impressive customer engagement and operations capabilities. As the firm hustles toward its mission of reimagining business through experience, it has amassed a vast portfolio of assets in digital marketing and content production, sales and marketing operations, as well as customer experience design and strategy, the latest additions being Creative Drive and N3.  These recent acquisitions...

Point of View

Five ways the pandemic is forever changing integrated automation

HFS’ Digital Roundtable points to the need for sustaining momentum and driving a culture of genuine process change to achieve post-pandemic digital success. In HFS’ recent digital roundtable, with the support of Automation Anywhere, a select group of senior leaders...

Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: The Infosys pandemic pivot – how they transformed from media obsession to the industry’s safe pair of hands

Just a few years ago, Infosys was grappling with a leadership transition and ruthless media attention that called into question many company actions.  Spin forward to now and the company has found itself in a remarkable period of stability where...

Point of View

A Manifesto to Revitalize the BPO Industry

Click to read A Manifesto to Revitalize the BPO Industry

Top 10 Report

HFS Top 10 Travel, Hospitality, and Logistics Service Providers 2020

WHAT THIS TOP TEN REPORT COVERS This Travel, Hospitality and Logistics (THL) Top Ten 2020 examines the services landscape for how the leading 20 providers are supporting and enabling THL companies. We analyzed the capabilities of 20 service providers across...

Highlight Report

Cognizant's appetite for business outcomes in the food services industry

Today’s food and beverage service enterprise leaders seek support for maximizing business outcomes and taking advantage of opportunities within their deeply connected and complex ecosystem. Yet services for companies across the value chain are typically siloed, and horizontal services wear...

Point of View

Use integrated automation to align your employee and customer experiences

How Sun Life uses RDA to eliminate customer service agents’ mundane work and improve CX Your employees’ and customers’ experiences are inherently linked, whether or not you’ve made efforts to align them. Today’s automation leaders must know that integrated automation...

Hot Vendor

THE HFS HOT VENDORS REPORT Q2 2020

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players, each with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOfficeTM. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting startups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot...

Industry Primer

HFS Retail and CPG Industry Primer 2020

HFS developed Industry Primer reports to compliment our Industry Top 10 reports. While Industry Top 10 reports cover the leading service providers offering best-in-class, industry-specific services to specific sectors, Industry Primers offer a comprehensive view of industry trends, including the...

Highlight Report

Deloitte’s x-factor elevates human experience to drive end-to-end business results

Work as we know it is being redefined, where this whole idea of “return to work” is really the “future of work” happening right now, just accelerated. Deloitte’s differentiated approach to experience is founded on the evolution from thinking of...

Highlight Report

HFS HIGHLIGHT: Infosys Brings its Live Enterprise AI-driven Solution to the Supply Chain

While retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies around the world have been perpetually challenged with change and disruption, today’s pandemic environment has put a giant spotlight on the inflexible, often broken supply chains due to siloed processes & disparate systems, lack of integration across all internal and external network entities...

Point of View

Propel your business operations "Straight to Digital" with Digital Associates

Enterprises’ desire to progress customer and employee engagement from physical to digital has never been more intense, and many companies have no choice but to make this shift rapidly. HFS uses the phrase “straight to digital” to refer to the...

Point of View

Retail and CPG firms must meaningfully apply integrated automation initiatives to engage customers in the next normal business environment

Mars shares its response to today’s paradigm shock   The COVID-19 business environment is a paradigm shock for all industries, and it has become an existential crisis for many companies. If the challenge for most retail and CPG firms over...

Point of View

Salesforce clients should keep abreast of Cognizant’s continued investments to position itself as a CX services leader

Cognizant doubles down on Salesforce marketing cloud and CX with Lev acquisition   Executives embarking on a Salesforce or CX services engagement need to keep abreast of Cognizant’s acquisitions to understand its growing strength of services and delivery capabilities. Cognizant...

Point of View

Front-office service providers must leverage smart investments to weather the COVID-19 storm

When we wrote about the legacy contact center’s demise, it was with an optimistic view that in the long term, smart companies work with their partners strategically and develop smart CX strategies, rid themselves of broken processes, and optimize digital...

Point of View

Be mindful of your workplace ecosystem when assessing digital associates for your company

Enterprise executives must consider all aspects of their company and industry to select the best fit digital associate (DA) for their needs. In the HFS Webinar Propel Your Business Operations “Straight to Digital on February 28, 2020, Robert Skaljin of...

Point of View

Will COVID-19 put the nail in the coffin of the legacy contact center?

The coronavirus pandemic is exposing an outsourcing industry that has been wildly unprepared for an event like this in many ways, and the contact center BPO industry is no exception.  India and the Philippines have become the examples of world...

Hot Vendor

THE HFS HOT VENDORS REPORT Q1 2020

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players, each with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOfficeTM. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting startups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot...

Top 10 Report

HFS Top 10 Digital Associate Products

Taking a OneOffice approach to enterprise operations requires a shift to focus on both the human elements of business and intelligent technology to support human experiences. We’ve been following the development of ‘cognitive assistants’ and their role in this shift...

Point of View

Invest in Customer Data Platforms to Propel the OneOffice Experience

A new value proposition for Tech Mahindra is “BORN”   In November of 2019, IT and BPO giant Tech Mahindra issued a press release that it acquired a leading digital transformation agency, BORN Group. As a firm that has never...

Point of View

Executives must focus on improving customer journeys – Wipro’s acquisition of Rational Interactions aims to help them do just that

As customer experience (CX) becomes one of the overused and underdelivered words in our corporate lexicon, it’s still undeniable that CX and, increasingly, employee experience (EX), are incredibly important aspects of business—however we define them. Many companies now see experience...

Point of View

Service providers will find ample opportunity in content moderation services, but they must proceed with caution

The BPO industry has been buzzing since Cognizant’s announcement to discontinue its content review and moderation services, reportedly freeing up about $250 million of revenues for the taking. While questions whirl about why and how Cognizant will gracefully exit this market, HFS decided to examine the nuances of this tricky but very critical work that most digital enterprises need...

Point of View

Find the right partners to help you break down internal silos and reach your full potential

It is more necessary than ever for companies to break down functional silos within business lines to support digital customer experiences (CX). Savvy service providers are capitalizing on these trends by investing in capabilities and assets that will help their customers bridge the gaps between their internal silos. Enterprise marketers and...

Point of View

Enterprises must put humans first when using digital associates to create OneOffice experiences

Smart companies are no longer just trying to get faster and cheaper; they are rewiring operations to prepare for a future hyperconnected state. Taking this approach focuses on the human elements of business, but it requires increasingly intelligent technology to...

Point of View

Shun digital complacency and prepare to be an experience-oriented retailer

If you’re in a strategic role at a retailer, helping to shape the future of experiences for your company is likely your biggest imperative. As the face of retail continues to change as quickly as athleisure duds and pet health...

Hot Vendor

THE HFS HOT VENDORS Q4 2019

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOffice. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting start-ups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot Vendors...

Point of View

Ditch the diesel: How to go ‘Straight to digital’ at a pace that works for you

      Market disruptors like Lemonade and Tesla are captivating customers and forcing incumbent players to change how they operate. When an enterprise goes “straight to digital,” it is has decided that enough is enough. It wants an operating...

Point of View

Drive meaningful customer experiences with equally meaningful employee experiences

  Integrated automation can enable a OneOffice experience by breaking down silos across an enterprises’ customers and employees   In December 2019, HFS hosted an executive roundtable in London to debate the impact of integrated automation on the customer experience....

Top 10 Report

HFS Top 10 Retail and CPG Services 2019

  What this Top 10 Report covers     The HFS Top 10 Retail and CPG (consumer packaged goods) Services 2019 report examines the competitive landscape of the top 17 providers of industry-specific services to retail and CPG companies. We...

Point of View

Developing the Hyperconnected Airport for Next-Generation Passenger Experience

  The travel industry is a dynamic hotbed of complexity, where aligning the ecosystem to customer experience is remarkably complicated. Airports, in particular, have a short time frame for making or breaking a passenger experience; their business operations require fluidity...

Point of View

Infosys BPM acquires Eishtec to bolster its OneOffice offering

  The “outsourcing” market, as we know it, is changing at a faster pace than ever, and it is aligning with the Digital OneOffice. In many forward-thinking organizations, organizational silos around the front, middle, and back offices are collapsing to create organizations where...

Point of View

Use the combined power of human-focused design, data, and intelligent automation to deliver an omnichannel experience

  The highest performing companies in the Global 2000 want to use customer experience (CX) as an enterprise growth driver. But siloed data, a lack of speed and agility to implement new ideas, and a lack understanding of customers’ journeys...

Point of View

“Solv-e” your workforce models, or miss out on untapped talent

    Every enterprise needs to rethink how they source talent—or risk falling behind. A cursory glance at what makes well-known digital disruptors tick should tell us one thing: The way we build workforces of the future must change, whether...

Point of View

Trailblaze a path to your customer-centric OneOffice experience with these five strategic imperatives

  HFS Research developed the Digital OneOffice and key imperatives of a OneOffice strategy that can help enterprises design and create successful transformational experiences. We use this model to define how companies must adapt their operations to be more customer-centric,...

Point of View

Take a “People-First” Approach for Omnichannel Success

Consumers’ increasing expectation for seamless shopping, whether in store or online, is challenging retailers to transform their operational models to support a true omnichannel experience.  In order to stay competitive, retailers must work toward bridging experience across digital and physical touchpoints throughout the customer journey to help customers better connect with...

Top 10 Report

HFS Top 10 Digital Front Office: CX Design, Sales, and Marketing

  As we move toward the hyper-connected economy, companies are recognizing the need to break down internal silos to align with customer-centricity and bolster business performance. Customer-centricity should be paramount to the entire organization, and the front office needs to...

Point of View

Put Culture and Talent at the Heart of Your CX Partnering Strategy

  Competing priorities, culture, and talent are the biggest inhibitors to achieving customer-centricity among the Global 2000 (see Exhibit 1). Your partner strategy must include selecting a provider that is focused on talent and culture if customer experience is an...

Point of View

Shed complacency and innovate your CX—guidance from design leaders

  Most companies are trying to put the customer at center stage, but there’s too much confusion, and there are too many over-hyped buzz words, especially in the big banks. A holistic front-to-back transformation is the key to unlocking the...

Hot Vendor

The HFS Hot Vendors Q2 2019

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOffice. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting start-ups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot Vendors...

Point of View

Want to elevate CX with integrated automation? Start with the humans

  Findings from our latest executive roundtable     A recent HFS study of 590 global 2000 enterprises found that the top strategic and operational objectives for intelligent automation are revenue growth and improved customer experience (CX) (Exhibit 1). At...

Point of View

Go big or … specialize. Chris Caldwell chats on contact center convergence

  Contact centers are alive and well, but they have changed immensely over the last few years and are still evolving. The next generation of contact center firms doesn’t reflect the legacy world of scripted, low-value, transactional phone calls; it’s...

Point of View

WNS makes an eye-opening shift from outsourcer to operations partner

Not many people have noticed the practical disappearance of the term “outsourcing” from the services dictionary in recent years, but the evolution of heritage “outsourcer” WNS into a firm much better described as a “business operations partner” was highly visible...

Point of View

Accenture is officially a full service digital advertising and marketing partner. But can you break down your internal silos to take advantage?

Accenture just scooped up Droga5 , AdAge and AdWeek’s "agency of the year.” It rounds out a digital experience design capability featuring others like Fjord that has easily become the envy of the industry. With high profile accounts like HBO and...

Point of View

Atos must quickly step outside of its comfort zone to use Syntel for competitive leverage

HFS Research attended Atos’ 2019 Global Analyst Summit in Boston, its first update to the global analyst community since its $3.4B acquisition of Syntel in July 2018.   Our previous analysis from the company’s investor update assessed Atos’ immediate plans...

Hot Vendor

The HFS Hot Vendors Q1 2019

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOffice. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting start-ups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot Vendors based...

Point of View

Airlines must connect front-to-back offices to achieve customer-centric baggage management

Customer expectations for a touchless, personalized experience have been increasing in the travel space, particularly with airlines. A recent HFS study of 460 operations leaders clearly outlined this importance:   Exhibit 1: Which of the following business drivers will have...

Point of View

Cut Through Innovation Center Hype to Maximize Value

If you’re an enterprise services customer, you’re probably getting invitations right and left to visit innovation labs, design hubs, or insight centers. You are probably wondering, “Why should I visit?” and “What’s in it for me?” HFS Research recently visited...

Point of View

AI is Nascent, New, Hard… and Inevitable

  20 enterprise leaders in discussion on AI for business operations - at the Apella in New York     At a recent FORA Roundtable in NYC, produced in association with Genpact and featuring their Chief Digital Officer, Sanjay Srivastava,...

Point of View

NRF’s Big Show: Put experiences at the heart of retail strategy

The retail world is swarming with big, fantastic ideas. There’s no better showcase for these ideas than the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show, which was held January 13-15, 2019. It brings together the best and brightest folks in retail...

Top 10 Report

HFS Top 10 Front Office Customer Engagement Operations Services 2019

    WHAT THIS TOP TEN REPORT COVERS   This HFS Front Office Customer Engagement Operations Top 10 Report is an analysis of the major service providers in the customer engagement services landscape. We assessed and rated the capabilities of...

Hot Vendor

HFS Hot Vendors: Q4 2018

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOffice (read "Introducing the HFS Hot Vendors"). In the rapidly changing space of digital operations, enterprises realize they cannot be everything...

Point of View

Banks Must Embrace Customer-Centric Transformation to Remain Competitive

In the face of digital disruption, organizations across industries are re-thinking how they operate and interact to support the customer experience better. This introspection is relevant in today’s banking ecosystem, which begs for more transparency and seamless ease of use...

Point of View

Forget “Omnichannel:” Your Future Is Intelligent Customer Engagement

Failure to listen to the voice of your customers will result in your demise, so isn’t the customer contact center more relevant than ever as the focal point of intelligent customer engagement?   You would think so. Instead, we’ve been...

Point of View

Travel and Hospitality Firms: You Must Reinvest Now to Anticipate the Needs of Your Customers

You can only provide a real time customer experience if your operations can service their needs in real-time, and you can gain a foothold over your competitors if you have the intelligence to anticipate their needs—and having this customer responsiveness...

Top 10 Report

HFS Top 10 Travel, Hospitality, and Logistics Service Providers

  WHAT THIS TOP TEN REPORT COVERS   This Travel, Hospitality and Logistics (THL) Top Ten 2018 examines the services landscape for how the leading 21 providers are supporting and enabling THL companies. We analyzed the capabilities of 21 service...

Hot Vendor

HFS Hot Vendors: Q3 2018

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOffice (read "Introducing the HFS Hot Vendors"). In the rapidly changing space of digital operations, enterprises realize they cannot be everything...

Point of View

Don’t Fall for These Six Cognitive Assistant Myths

It is critical for enterprise leaders to understand the capabilities and business cases for cognitive assistants and how they can be used as building blocks in the digital enterprise, but unfortunately, hype, myths, and misunderstanding are rampant in this emerging...

Point of View

Enterprise Leaders Must Look to Cognitive Assistant Services as a Critical Building Block for the Digital Enterprise

A new wave of services, powered by the change agents of smart analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), is on the horizon. One application has been to create cognitive assistants that can execute on business outcomes and impact enterprise operations; these...

Top 10 Report

HFS Top 10 Cognitive Assistant Service Providers

WHAT THIS REPORT COVERS   A new wave of services, powered by the change agents of smart analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), is on the horizon. One application has been to create cognitive assistants that can execute on business outcomes...

Hot Vendor

HFS Hot Vendors: Q2 2018

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOffice (read "Introducing the HFS Hot Vendors"). In the rapidly changing space of digital operations, enterprises realize they cannot be everything...

Point of View

Our world has officially gone mad: Teleperformance just splashed a billion on Intelenet

The global market leader in contact centers, Teleperformance, has made the first bold move to shake up an industry in desperate need of a shakeup. But is this merely buying growth out of desperation, or a strategic shift to sell...

Point of View

You’ll never be a Digital Enterprise until...

You’ll never be a Digital Enterprise until you’ve Integrated your Digital and Traditional Customer Channels.   Your customer engagement capabilities, whether digital or traditional, are only as strong as their weakest link, and more often than not it’s the contact...

Top 10 Report

HfS Blueprint Report: Digital OneOffice

WHAT THIS BLUEPRINT REPORT COVERS The Digital OneOffice is where the organization's people, intelligence, processes, and infrastructure come together as one integrated unit, with one set of unified business outcomes tied to exceeding customer expectations. It allows an enterprise to...

Point of View

CX leaders have a massive opportunity to impact digital business strategies by mastering AI

Customer Service leaders who think artificial intelligence (AI) stops at chatbots are cutting their careers very short. Too many people think that AI for customer service is limited to robotic chat screens and monotonic IVR scripts taking over from human customer service...

Point of View

HfS FORA New York: are we just kicking the can of job elimination down the road?

The HfS FORA event in New York focused on actions enterprises must take to understand the importance of these change-agents and emerging technologies, and how to apply them to their businesses effectively. It also explored the pace of change: how...

Point of View

Using cognitive tech to connect customers to business operations

Creating an engaging customer experience is more readily achieved by embedding increasingly sophisticated digital and cognitive technologies into the very fiber of an organization’s processes, from its front office right through to its back office.   Successful organizations are both...

Hot Vendor

HfS Hot Vendors: Q1 2018

The HfS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOffice (read "Introducing the HfS Hot Vendors"). In the rapidly changing space of digital operations, enterprises realize they cannot be everything...

Point of View

Retailers Seek Omni-channel CX with Digital Customer Engagement Strategies

There may not be another industry in quite as much tumult as retail at this moment. As we analyze in our HfS Retail Customer Engagement Services Blueprint, the retail space is bifurcated: bricks-and-mortar legacy retailers pivoting to omni-channel and online...

Top 10 Report

HfS Blueprint Report: Retail Customer Engagement Services

WHAT THIS BLUEPRINT REPORT COVERS There may not be another industry in as much tumult as retail right now. As retailers of all shapes and sizes work to carve out their unique value proposition, the focus on creating engaging customer...

Point of View

Industry Impact—The Retail and CPG Operations Value Chain

HfS is expanding its industry coverage in 2018 to include detailed IT and business process research on 11 core sectors, powered by extensive buyer research with Global 2000 firms. The transformation and challenges posed by digital disruption and changing competitive...

Point of View

Industry Impact—The Travel, Hospitality, and Logistics Value Chain

HfS is expanding its industry coverage in 2018 to include detailed IT and business process research on 11 core sectors, powered by extensive buyer research with Global 2000 firms. The transformation and challenges posed by digital disruption and changing competitive...

Point of View

IPsoft’s 1Desk Aims to Be the Cognitive Agent for the OneOffice

The pace of change in the industry is nothing short of astounding. Especially where AI capabilities are involved, we are seeing many projects going from the initial discussion to prototype and proof-of-concept (PoC) literally in a few months. Against this...

Point of View

Can Genpact Pivot from Operations Execution to Digital Innovation?

Like so many of its peers in the business services industry, Genpact has undertaken a brand refresh, complete with new logo and “Transformation Happens Here” mantra. If one thing is resoundingly clear from Genpact leadership, it is the acknowledgement that...

Point of View

Re-Imagining CX for First Class Traveler Experiences

The bar for customer experience has been raised across the board, but no industry seems to have attracted more attention lately than travel and hospitality. Customer service issues that have received a lot of attention in the travel industry recently...

Point of View

Crafting Great Customer Experiences - Cisco’s Story

As an example of a OneOffice journey underway, Cisco saw an opportunity two years ago to transform the business, in large part using automation to take out costs and improve efficiencies, in turn re-investing into a redesign of the business...

Point of View

Concentrix’s Tigerspike Acquisition Adds Digital Design

“Improving people’s lives through technology.”   This is not typically a phrase you would associate with Concentrix. This mantra is now part of the service provider, however, as Concentrix acquired the company Tigerspike, which was founded on this phrase 14...

Point of View

Cisco Case Study: Delivering World Class Customer Service

As we move along the Digital OneOffice journey to deliver better customer experiences, enterprises need to think big and take action in order to transform—involving many stakeholders, including service providers, as partners on that journey.   The aim of Cisco’s...

Point of View

Un-Learning to Embrace a Digital OneOffice Culture

The Role of Culture in OneOffice The classic Peter Drucker adage goes “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and this holds true for both enterprises and service providers as they make a shift to support digital customer experience. Culture is the...

Top 10 Report

HfS Blueprint: Travel and Hospitality Customer Engagement Services

MARKET DYNAMICS In HfS’ first Blueprint focused solely on the Travel and Hospitality industries, we analyze the innovation and execution capabilities of 16 providers whose services offer support for customer engagement in this market.    WHAT YOU’LL KNOW AFTER READING...

Point of View

Infographic: Creating Great Digital Customer Experiences with OneOffice

HfS Research teamed up with Concentrix for an in-depth look at how enterprises are investing in and adopting a digital OneOffice-type framework. We surveyed 154 buyers of enterprises with over $1 billion in revenues across a wide variety of industries to understand where they...

Point of View

Creating Great Digital Customer Experiences with OneOffice

Companies across all industries are learning the importance of using customer experience (CX) as a brand differentiator. At the foundational level, doing this well means aligning the entire organization to the customer—but it’s not simple. Great customer experience requires not...

Supplier Assessment

A Buyers’ Guide to Concentrix

WHAT YOU’LL KNOW AFTER READING This is a comprehensive buyer-focused analysis of Concentrix. This guide will enable buyers of outsourcing services to make better informed sourcing decisions to not only outsource specific services but future-proof their organization in the context...

Point of View

Want to avoid a PR Disaster à la the legacy Airline Industry? Then fix your DumbOffice asap

It seems everywhere we turn there’s a new story about airlines behaving badly, and these stories are illuminating examples of a complete breakdown of people, process, and technology: a classic “DumbOffice” fail.  No industry is immune from digital disruption and...

Point of View

Redesigning the Digitally Driven Front-Office

When an entire organization pivots to align with customer-centricity, the importance of front-office services increases significantly and the leadership roles in these areas change drastically. The need to support customers on digital channels and create the support structures in the...

Point of View

IPsoft’s Amelia can provide the Digital glue between Front and Back Offices to create OneOffice™

Amidst all the hype and confusing marketing propaganda surrounding Robotic Process Automation (RPA), it felt like a breath of fresh air listening to customers talk about their genuine experiences with IPsoft’s cognitive solutions. The Digital Workforce Summit in New York...

Supplier Assessment

A Buyers' Guide to Teleperformance

WHAT YOU’LL KNOW AFTER READING This report is a comprehensive buyer-focused analysis of Teleperformance. This guide will enable buyers of outsourcing services to make better-informed sourcing decisions to not only outsource specific services but future-proof their organization in the context...

Point of View

How Integrated Security Improves Digital Customer Experiences

In today's interconnected environment, where customers want to be able to work with you safely without sacrificing speed or effectiveness, security is the lynchpin of great customer experiences. In fact, as more "back office" processes become visible to customers, your...

Point of View

Making Cognitive Real: The Transformation of Service Agents

As organizations are progressing toward the As-a-Service Economy with a dual mandate to drive down cost while increasing business agility, service delivery is ever more taking center stage when discussing strategic imperatives. Notions of Intelligent Automation are not only enabling...

Point of View

The 2017 Digital OneOffice Premier League

As HfS Research the concepts within the OneOffice™ Framework, we believe it essential to evaluate how service providers’ emerging capabilities are stacking up, not just in each distinct category, but how they align to the holistic Digital OneOffice Framework. Being...

Point of View

In 2017, Will Banks Break the Siloes to Better Serve Customers?

For banks to remain competitive in the current climate, they will need to embrace a “customer first” strategy, with better customer experiences at the forefront. We outline some trends that will define the progress in 2017 – for banks as...

Top 10 Report

HfS Blueprint Report: Digital Marketing Operations 2016

WHAT THIS BLUEPRINT REPORT COVERSThe 2016 Digital Marketing Operations Blueprint presents a comparative analysis of the innovation and execution capabilities of service providers in this market. The scope of services within this Blueprint includes marketing content development and management, campaign...

Point of View

HHS Summit at Harvard: Moving Toward the OneOffice Endgame

Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies are dealing with some of the most difficult issues that face society—issues such as poverty, mental illness and child abuse. At the same time, these agencies are driven, measured, and often funded through regulatory...

Point of View

Journey to Intelligent Operations in Retail

Staying competitive in today’s intense retail environment is no easy feat. At the heart of the issue is a clear call to arms to understand and satisfy today’s savvy shopper. Retail’s biggest challenge and opportunity is the vast amount of...

Point of View

How to Be As-a-Service in Contact Center Operations

Contact center operations are being faced with the potential of serious impact from a number of shifting dynamics. Rising consumer expectations coupled with technology advancements are leaving contact center operators struggling to play catch up in terms of both talent...

Point of View

The Services Industry Stirs in its Sleep…But Can it Wake Up?

In September 2016, HfS hosted its 13th Working Summit for services buyers at the Ritz-Carlton, in White Plains, New York.   Entitled Cognition, this three-day event focused on the global dynamics that are shaping the services world at the moment....

Top 10 Report

HfS Blueprint: Digitally Enabled Contact Center 2016

WHAT THIS BLUEPRINT REPORT COVERS   This Blueprint is a spinoff of the previously published Contact Center Operations Blueprint, focusing on the digital elements of contact center BPO, highlighting 12 service providers in the contact center services market. Digitally enabled...

Point of View

Customers Want Self-Service Their Way—Will HGS’ DigiCX Deliver?

HGS wants to make it easier and more pleasant for customers to get the right answer fast—by making self-service a more fluid experience across channels. In a recent demo for the launch of DigiCX, HGS introduced a strategy for helping...

Point of View

What Enterprises Can Learn from Digital Natives Using BPO for Innovation

There’s a new set of ambitious, demanding BPO clients, and they’re changing what the future of BPO looks like for all of us: born in the cloud enterprises, digital natives and unicorns. These companies, like Nest, Slack, Google, Facebook and...

Point of View

Vision 2020 For Intelligent Operations: Making the Digital Customer Real

Using recent research from HfS into the "Intelligent OneOffice" as the starting point, the Vision 2020 San Francisco Summit explored how digital and automation will drive the move to OneOffice and the As-a-Service Economy. The HfS team unveiled data from...

Point of View

Tech Mahindra Becomes the New T in TWITCH

Welcome to the TWITCH family, Tech Mahindra! Tech Mahindra has quietly accelerated to a formidable position in the IT services industry, to add another T to the WITCH[1] acronym of leading India-heritage service providers. This is a company with deep engineering...

Point of View

Can HPE+CSC Dominate the Digital Underbelly or has that Ship Sailed?

HPE and CSC announced the merger of HPE's Enterprise Services Division and CSC, which is expected to happen before the end of March 2017. The new company will have revenues of approximately $26 billion and around 160,000 staff. We heard CEO...

Point of View

EGS Joins Alorica “Insanity"—But Does it Help Fulfill Omnichannel Vision?

Alorica’s mandate to provide “insanely great customer service” is a spot-on mantra, if a little cheesy. The question is whether the service provider can pivot to adequately provide insanely great customer service to the customer of the future amid extensive expansion....

Point of View

ICYMI: In-Store Retail Experiences Are Back in Fashion

In a consumer world where customer experience is the biggest differentiator for products and services, the retail industry can’t wait to experiment. It is apparent that people, particularly younger generations, are increasingly interested in spending on experiences more than on...

Point of View

Cognizant Gets “ReD”dy to Humanize Digital with Behavioral Sci Acquisition

Cognizant has made an investment that gets to the heart of “digital”—understanding and serving the customer of the future. The service provider announced a 49% stake in ReD Associates, a consulting firm specializing in using human sciences to help businesses...

Point of View

Can Capgemini’s ODIGO Shed New Light on Customer Experience?

Since the acquisition of France-centric Prosodie in 2011, Capgemini has expanded the footprint of the ODIGO SaaS contact center platform throughout Europe. Recently, the service provider has been working to grow Prosodie in North America, where Capgemini has a sizeable...

Point of View

Infosys Confluence Spotlights Delights that Need Cohesion

The San Francisco Infosys Confluence Summit for Infosys services clients, selected sourcing advisors, and industry analysts, has taken on a cultish culture, vaguely reminiscent of Salesforce’s Dreamforce, but for a global services firm with a strong flavor of software at...

Top 10 Report

HfS Blueprint: Contact Center Operations 2016

The Contact Center Operations Blueprint is our inaugural Blueprint in this market, presenting a look at the evolution of the Contact Center Operations market to a more agile, consumer-centric As-a-Service Economy that includes increasingly diverse talent, analytics, and platform-based services....

Point of View

KLM Uses Facebook Messenger to Stimulate Customer Interactions

The easiest way to improve customer satisfaction is to make doing business as simple and effortless as possible. Last week KLM announced the ability to access flight itineraries, get check-in notifications and boarding passes, rebook flights and communicate directly with...

Point of View

India’s BPO Industry Seeks to Write off its Legacy with its First Indo-US Summit

HfS Research led and attended sessions at this event where BPO Service providers, buyers and advisors gathered to discuss the future of the global BPO industry and promote US investment in Indian BPO.   India's BPO market is at a...

Point of View

Solving the Social Customer Experience Puzzle for Service Buyers

Many enterprise executives are on a mission to build a social customer experience in a way that improves customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. They realize that social media should be used throughout the customer lifecycle, and see potential in a...

Point of View

Sykes Buys ClearLink to Target Omnichannel: But can it Integrate the Pieces?

The blending of digital and offline worlds, as well as bridging gaps between phases of the customer lifecycle is a challenge and opportunity for all involved in the customer experience ecosystem, as we examined in Omnichannel Customer Experience: Moving Beyond...

Point of View

Omnichannel Customer Experience: Moving Beyond the Hype

One of the hottest buzzwords in discussions about customers today is the ubiquitous and nebulous term “omni-channel.” The contact center industry has adopted this phrase developed in sales and applied it broadly to customer experience management. When enterprises answer the...

Point of View

Conduit Collaborates for Agent Experience

As the voice of the company, the customer service agent plays a critical role in impacting customer experience. Therefore, it is now more critical than ever that contact center providers think outside the box on how to empower agents to...

Point of View

Mobile CX with Two Way Text: HeyWire is Bridging the Engagement Gap

Consumers have many varied ways to communicate in the digital age, and it can be difficult for companies to meet customer expectations across or even within channels. Adding to the complexity, customer experience is about engagement, so it is not...

Point of View

“Optymyzing” Sales With Operations As-a-Service

Optymyze solutions are a unique example of solutions in the emerging Sales-Operations-as-a-Service market. Using a blend of talent and technology, these services are focused on the improvement of sales operations, including the management of sales compensation, territories, quotas, objectives, analytics,...

Point of View

Geofluent Introduces Multi-Lingual to Multi-Channel

Last week Lionbridge Technologies, a language translation and marketing services company, announced a broadening of its real-time translation platform Geofluent with an offering that brings automated multi-lingual, multi-channel support to the contact center. The SaaS tool integrates with contact center...

Point of View

WNS Gives Wings to Traveler Experience with Expertise and Automation

WNS is leveraging its unique roots in the airline industry, having started as an in-house delivery center for British Airways in 1996, to help the wearied traveler have a more pleasant journey. It is customer experience when getting from here...

Point of View

Born in the Cloud NexGen Agency Finds a Contact Center Niche

NexGen Agency is a customer experience management services provider focusing on contact center, social media engagement and sales/lead generation. While still in start up mode, NexGen Agency social media mentoring program caught our eye as something unique. As social presence is such a sensitive topic...

Point of View

LiveOps Solves its Identity Crisis

Last week it was announced that SaaS contact center provider, LiveOps Cloud Platform, has been acquired by a private equity firm, and its pure play home-based agent BPO business, LiveOps Agent Services, will operate independently. This announcement solves an internal...

Point of View

10 Insights From Harvard Shaping Intelligent Operations

At the start of December 2015, HfS brought together a cross-section of the leading talent from both sides of the outsourcing community together in Harvard Square to discuss and debate the state of the industry.  From these two days, 10...

Point of View

How Contact Center Talent Is Rapidly Progressing In The Age Of Automation

Digital communication channels and technology are significantly changing the talent requirements for delivering an omnichannel customer experience that is increasingly critical to enterprises and their service providers. In doing so, it has created potential for new and exciting career paths...