CF20: 2023's 20 Top CCaaS Providers You Should Know

NICE, RingCentral and Five9 all made our list. See who else did and why.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

August 21, 2023

20 Slides

Contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) providers saw a surge in demand during the COVID-19 lockdown and they continue to benefit from that momentum with an ongoing transition to cloud-based solutions.

This is the result of the flexibility and resiliency that cloud solutions afford, in addition to advanced capabilities such as generative AI, which are typically cloud-based.

This is our fourth annual list focusing on CCaaS providers. Analysts share their views on what it takes to succeed with the technology. It includes an updated list and fresh views on changes in the competitive landscape.

According to Fortune Business Insights, the global CCaaS market should grow from less than $4.9 billion in 2022 to more than $15 billion by 2029 — a compound annual growth rate of 17.5%. The increase in cloud-based CCaaS adoption for global remote working is driving market growth.

Impact of Generative AI on CCaaS Providers

Raul Castanon, senior research analyst at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, said while unquestionably disruptive, the impact of generative AI for CCaaS is likely more evolutionary than revolutionary, building on previous AI milestones and large language models (LLMs) that businesses have been using for several years.


451 Research’s Raul Castanon

“This gives companies and products like Dialpad, Twilio Flex, Salesforce’s Contact Center, Google Cloud’s Contact Center AI Platform, Microsoft’s Digital Contact Center Platform, Genesys Cloud CX and Zendesk a leg up,” he said. “These companies have a long trajectory with AI and numerous assets they can build upon. For instance, Dialpad acquired TalkIQ back in 2018 and Twilio acquired Segment in 2020.”

Generative AI levels the playing field, enabling players of all types to leverage AI and LLM, Castanon said.

“At the same time, it changes customer expectations, raising the bar for everyone,” he said. “Moving forward, rather than a differentiation, customers will perceive AI-enabled capabilities allowing them to deliver personalized service at scale to be table stakes.”

AI Bringing New Value to CCaaS Providers

Max Ball, principal industry analyst at Forrester, said AI has brought new value in four different areas of CCaaS. Those are:

  • Customer self-service. AI-driven chatbots and voicebots are in huge demand, and CCaaS leaders all have a strong way to provide this capability. There are still a number of conversational AI vendors who make a difference here as well.

  • Agent augmentation. AI-driven tools to make suggestions to agents to help them with insights into customer sentiment, suggested next best actions or answers to questions.

  • Quality management. AI-infused quality management is now provided by many of the leading CCaaS vendors. This allows them to provide better and smarter feedback to agents, and allows them to scale their agent reviews down to very small contact centers.

  • Analytics. The ability to take recordings of customer conversations and turn those into quantifiable data for reports to help the contact center and the entire organization. Customers tell the contact center exactly what they think of the brand and their products.

When it comes to generative AI, there’s not a lot in production yet, Ball said. Brands are experimenting with agent-facing tasks or internal tasks to improve processes as a low-risk starting point.


Forrester’s Max Ball

“Analytics is another place where we will see traction very quickly,” he said. “Most of the contact center managers I speak with are still trying to understand generative AI and what it will mean for them.”

The conversational AI vendors and the CCaaS providers are aggressively going after generative AI for conversational AI to try and understand how to put guardrails around the technology to make it safe while still offering new capabilities, Ball said.

“LLMs and generative AI hold the promise of bots that will be able to make connections that previously would need to be specifically programmed,” he said. “This opens the door to self-service applications that are far more powerful than what we are used to because it will be much faster and more efficient to build them.”

Cybersecurity Big Priority

Jon Arnold, principal of J Arnold & Associates, said cybersecurity is a big priority among CCaaS providers as contact centers are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals.


J Arnold & Associates’ Jon Arnold

“The risks that agents face, they themselves can be targets for cybersecurity obviously,” he said. “Somehow customer information gets compromised and someone calls in pretending to be a customer or trying to do some phishing to extract some other personal information from the agent or order history, and all that kind of reverse social engineering. So a big one is how strong is your security perimeter? What are your cybersecurity tools to have advanced threat detection? And again, AI is the big hero because it can detect patterns and anomalies faster than humans and can flag them. And you can almost even set up fake responses that are basically like a honeypot. It kind of lures the fraudster into thinking they’re pulling something off, and then you can circle around and get them. Also, because fraudsters know they’re being tracked, they will subtly change a couple of words here and there so it looks like it’s a distinct attempt. But again, the AI can have enough intelligence to detect those minor changes and still say no, it still fits the pattern.”

Under Pressure to Make Money

CCaaS providers are all under a lot of pressure to make money, and that’s another change from last year as a lot of companies went through layoffs to right-size, Arnold said.

“And some of them have made some exits from the premises-based side of things,” he said. “I don’t think economic headwinds will affect their M&A plans so much. But if the economy gets tighter and tighter, and interest rates stay high, then the role of customer service will get much more important when people are being very careful about where they spend their money and the brands that they want to trust.”

We’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 20 top CCaaS providers in the slideshow above. It’s based on analysts’ feedback and recent news reports. This is by no means a complete list and includes a broad spectrum of providers in the contact center space.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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