Posts Tagged ‘cloud’

We integrate Salesforce with the Agent Workplace

For some time now, we have an integration of our Agent Workplace with Salesforce, the leading cloud-based CRM system.

As a fully cloud-based customer relationship management service, Salesforce fits our network-based contact center suite perfectly. It runs in any leading browser, so both products are well positioned to match each other. On top of that, Salesforce is a powerful CRM module with all its features and I’m not surprised that it became such a huge success.
For the integration, we’re using their API, which allows us to pull up a separate tab, which is presented in the same browser session as the workplace. So when an incoming call reaches the platform, after the IVR service logic, the call eventually hits the skill group. When that happens, our system sends a variable e.g. the caller’s CLI to Salesforce via the API. Salesforce returns with a page in the browser showing the respective customer information in case the person was found. If the caller was not found, the agent gets to see a page that allows him to create an account for that particular number.
Joining two powerful products in this way entails an easy to use, feature rich, quick to market solution for managing a contact center solution completely in the cloud.
The good news for our customers: this CRM plug-in is a standard connector, so we can offer the integration to all our customers who are offering the NBCC product.

How not to Deploy a Contact Center

Truism alert: companies need interaction with their customers. They need to deal with questions, complaints and they need to sell. Customer contact is like scoring goals in soccer: you can’t win if you don’t do it. In soccer, you have a skilled striker and hopefully a tactic that helps you to score goals whilst with customer contact you have the right technology as well as a strategy on how to deploy and use the contact center without ruining your business case. Thanks to the cloud, this is something you as a carrier can help your corporate customers with.

A while back, deploying a contact center was a costly business. You hired a consultant to find out which solution would suit you best, then you bought hardware and software. This would amount to a considerable sum of money and that was only the beginning. The hardware had to be assembled and configured, software had to be installed and also configured. The integrator who did that for you would certainly not do it for free.

Then, of course, there are professional services. You’d be stuck with the same integrator who charges you for service and maintenance. Do you have multiple locations? Well, have fun, because the integrator can charge you for each site and you also need maintenance for each location. Another fun scenario is when you have multiple locations with equipment from various vendors, which you need to harmonize for your Number Translation Services or to do follow-the-sun. You end up paying a fortune even before you get your first call or make your first customer happy. In addition, the number of agent seats is limited.

Since I have a smart readership on this blog, I can easily anticipate your question: why is a network-based solution better? It’s better because it makes all the above mentioned cost-factors obsolete. You get a network-based contact center from your carrier. You choose the number of agent seats that you need, maybe some additional features in the Agent and Manager Workplace and that’s it. It’s pretty much like Software-as-a-Service. You rent the virtual equipment that you need and you don’t have to worry about setup, maintenance, on-premise equipment, ect.

You also don’t have contact center equipment on your books that you have to depreciate. Instead you have predictable monthly costs. This is especially valuable when it comes to upgrades. Depending on the type of upgrade and additional features, your monthly fee might increase but you don’t need an integrator to install the new features. Also, you can get additional agent seats on-demand and your agents can work from any location.

So, if you can tell me a good reason why premise-based contact centers are still preferable, please do. I’m really curious.

Cloud-based Contact Centers

See below an expert comment from our VP for Contact Center Solutions Reinier Meuwissen, which appeared in the German tier 1 telco publication funkschau in their issue from December 2nd 2011. From Reinier’s view carriers have the potential to drive providers of enterprise equipment out of the market with cloud-based solutions because they can offer more flexibility at a better price.