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Cisco Touts Webex Contact Center-Calling Integration
With the 10th-annual Cisco Contact Center Summit as the backdrop, Cisco and others last week introduced enhanced capabilities and new services aimed at improving contact center efficiency and upping the customer experience.
Cisco led the way with a handful of announcements around its cloud-based Webex Contact Center platform. Top of the list is a Webex Calling integration that will allow companies to bring PSTN connectivity into their Webex Contact Center platforms for use as the telephony control, said Baker Johnson, director of strategy and planning, Webex Contact Center, to No Jitter via email. This does away with the need for third-party calling integration, and expands beyond the previous capability, which gave agents the ability to receive contact center calls on their Webex calling devices, Cisco said in a press release on the enhancements.
"Historically, Cisco contact center solutions have run Cisco on unified communications platforms. The initial iterations of what is now Webex Contact Center (BroadSoft CC-One and Cisco Customer Journey Platform) were not. What Cisco does with the Webex Calling and Webex Control Hub integrations announcements is bring the contact center and collaboration components of the portfolio closer than ever before," said Sheila McGee-Smith president and principal analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics, L.L.C.
Because this is a full technical and commercial integration, Cisco said weaving Webex Calling and Webex Contact Center together provides for simplified purchasing and administration. Contact centers can also expect lower operational costs as they eliminate call routing complexity, Cisco added.
Watch for even fuller integration coming soon, said Johnson, noting that targets include Webex Team and WebRTC – plus an integration that will allow provisioning and management via Webex Control Hub, along with all other products in the Webex portfolio.
Scaling Up…and Out
Along with call routing efficiencies, scalability is a constant focus for many contact centers — especially those facing seasonal swings and other unpredictable changes in call volume. Webex Contact Center eases the worry with the ability to scale up and down as required. From a single routing queue, a contact center can support as many as 3,000 agents per tenant, with the number of tenants allowed per system unlimited, Cisco said.
To achieve this scalability, Cisco rearchitected the contact center platform following the BroadSoft acquisition, which completed in February 2018. While that work was underway, Cisco had instituted a temporary 300-agent limit per single queue, said Johnson.
While Cisco improves the platform scalability, it’s also growing the Webex Contact Center’s global reach by adding data centers for the service in the U.K. and Australia. This will allow customers data residency in these countries, in part to allow for compliance. Both data centers will open by the end of the year, said Johnson.
Elsewhere in the Ecosystem
Cisco partners, too, were busy making news at the summit. Tata Communications, for example, announced that it has expanded its partnership with Cisco to jointly offer a fully managed Webex Contact Center service across its global backbone. The multichannel offering includes AI and contextual capabilities for agents and provides the ability to analyze interactions and get a consolidate view of data, Tata said.
Tata has been a Cisco cloud contact center partner since 2015.
And not to leave out Cisco customers running their contact centers from premises-based systems, Inference Solutions introduced a fully managed version of its Intelligent Virtual Agent solution. Through the cloud-based virtual agent service, companies using on-prem Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Unified Contact Center Enterprise, and Unified Contact Center Express will be able to extend the self-service options they offer customers, Inference said. The offering includes Inference’s “fully loaded” agent class with all features, including speech, text-to-speech, natural language processing, voice authentication, and the latest version of the company’s queue callback feature, a company spokesperson said.
Pricing is not available at this time.