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Cisco Upgrades Contact Center Engagement

Cisco this week announced the Customer Journey Solutions 12.0 release for its on-premises and hosted contact center offerings, bringing a slew of enhancements touching the customer experience; agent, supervisor, and IT productivity; and organizational aspects such as scalability, security, and support for an open ecosystem.
This release reflects Cisco’s understanding that not all enterprises are ready for the cloud, a realization that Vasili Triant, GM and VP of Customer Care at Cisco, said came to him after he joined the company a year ago and began talking to customers. As a result, Cisco has shifted its strategy, and is now working to bring its cloud and premises experiences together, he said.
As noted, release 12.0 brings enhancements to its on-premises and hosted solutions, which include Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE), Packaged Contact Center Enterprise (Packaged CCE), Unified Contact Center Express (Unified CCX), and Hosted Collaboration Solution for Contact Center (HSC--CC). But “don’t be confused,” advised contact center analyst Sheila McGee-Smith. “This announcement is 90% about Cisco’s premises contact center portfolio (UCCE, PCCE and UCCX) -- the other 10% being about the partner-hosted version of same, HCS-CC.”
Cisco Customer Journey Solutions
As this release shows, Cisco is starting with improvements for the agent experience, Triant said.
With 12.0, Cisco is aiming to enable contact centers to deliver omnichannel customer interactions, improve first contact resolution through better use of agent resources, boost agent and supervisor productivity, and better manage complexity with more scalable systems.
“One of the big things with migrating to cloud is retraining all the agents and kind of the forklift culture that really goes into this transformation,” Triant said. Cisco’s next-generation agent interface is “our foray into bridging our cloud agent experience with our premises agent experience. Eventually, they will completely collide, and we’ll have a common agent experience across all platforms.”
Some of the key features of 12.0 include:
  • Simplified UX for admins -- now allows IT to manage Cisco and partner solutions from a single pane of glass, providing the same UX as other Cisco Collaboration products
  • Omnichannel support -- provides a new browser-based desktop client supporting multiple channels of interactions, including digital channels and messaging platforms like Apple Chat; adds support for Facebook Messenger chat to Unified CCX
  • Improved collaboration -- enables supervisors to send broadcast messages to teams as well as chat one on one for agent coaching or to reach subject matter experts
  • Advanced supervisor capabilities -- provides supervisors with new capabilities to manage agents, calendars, applications, and outbound campaigns
  • Increased scalability -- now supports up to 24,000 agents on Unified CCE and HCS-CC and 12,000 agents on Packaged CCE with a single instance
  • Open ecosystem support -- now supports VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services for Unified CCE, Packaged CCE, and Unified CCX deployments
  • Ramped-up security -- enhances security for Unified CCE with secure end-to-end transport of personally identifiable information, simplifies certificate management, and de-couples authorization dependency from Active Directory
Some customers, including a 15,000-user takeout company, already are deploying 12.0, Triant said, noting that this goes against the typical 12- to 18-month delay Cisco tends to see with new releases.
Hear more from Vasili Triant at Enterprise Connect, coming to Orlando, Fla. March 18 to 21. Triant will take to the mainstage on Wednesday, March 20 at 10:45, in the panel, “Why Customer Engagement Is Leading the Enterprise Communications Conversation.” If you haven’t yet, register now to take advantage of our Early Bird Rate. As a No Jitter reader, you can use the code NJPOSTS to save an extra $200!