Paul Fischer
Paul Fischer is a Customer Experience Consultant at TCS. His background in customer relationship management (CRM), telephony, and contact center...
Read Full Bio >>

Paul Fischer | July 31, 2017 |


Telephony Partners Key to Salesforce Omni-Channel Service Strategy

Telephony Partners Key to Salesforce Omni-Channel Service Strategy In Salesforce's summer release, telephony partners are able to provide one integrated omni-channel routing engine.

In Salesforce's summer release, telephony partners are able to provide one integrated omni-channel routing engine.

Salesforce's telephony partners can now implement external routing directly in Salesforce Omni-Channel. In the Summer 2017 release customers can request to have this feature enabled, and have their telephony partners handle routing across channels.

Prior to this release, Salesforce provided its own native Omni-Channel routing engine for chats, emails, co-browsing, Web form submissions, and more. This made it possible to blend media and cross-train agents to handle interactions from a variety of channels.

Until now, there had been a gap in how Salesforce Omni-Channel handled voice interactions. Because routing logic for phone calls lives in the ACD, it had been difficult to prioritize other live interactions with phone calls. This is because calls that were queued and routed via an ACD engine did not have visibility into other live interactions (such as chat) coming into Salesforce. As a result, agents were required to switch statuses between being ready for phone calls and being ready for other channel interactions, which was not ideal. This all changes with the Salesforce Summer '17 release.

Salesforce has been working closely with key telephony partners, including Avaya and Cisco. In February, for example, Avaya and Salesforce expanded their global alliance, with Salesforce providing Service Cloud APIs to allow joint Salesforce-Avaya customers to leverage Avaya routing across any channel. Now that telephony partners have access to the Service Cloud APIs they have visibility into both the call queue and interactions queuing from other channels in Salesforce. This enables telephony partners to prioritize and route live interactions including phone calls, chats, and more complex criteria.

Route Away
It will be exciting to see what types of routing capabilities telephony partners opt to build. The most common methods of routing in Salesforce Omni-Channel today include Least Active, where work items are sent to the agent who is working on the fewest number of items, and Most Available, where work items are sent to the agent who has the greatest difference between his or her capacity and currently open work items. These routing methods work in the context of setting different priority levels for each queue. Within each queue interactions are routed on a first-in, first-out basis. There are multiple layers of routing options, which opens up many possibilities for telephony partners.

The factors influencing which interaction is routed to an agent include inputs from the customer, the agent, and routing rules. Routing rules sit in between the customer and agent to facilitate the interaction. On the left hand of the equation the customer chooses the service channel. The customer type (VIP, for example) influences routing priority if the customer is identified prior to routing.

In the middle of the service equation, routing rules execute to determine if any skilled agents are available to handle this interaction (based on issue type and service channel). If so, the routing rules determine which on them is available to handle an interaction based on capacity. Then the routing rules determine who is best suited for the incoming interaction that the customer submitted (Least Active, Most Available, for example).

Logic Applied
There are various logic and tools telephony providers have historically used to prioritize calls. In a scenario where VIP customers should be prioritized, but not such that standard customers wait more than 10 minutes, it is typical to see two ACDs created -- one for VIP customers and one for standard customers. VIP customer calls are prioritized, but when the wait time of the standard queue hits 10 minutes then the two ACDs are quasi-merged and calls are then only routed by wait time. When the wait time decreases, VIP customers go to the front of the queue again.

When contact centers implement Omni-Channel routing rules with their telephony provider, they should consider both the type of customer, issue type, and service channel. For example, if chats and calls are being prioritized equally and ACDs are seeing high levels of abandonment for queued calls, it would make sense to increase the prioritization/weighting of calls over chats. Logically, customers have a lower wait tolerance while holding a phone to their ear listening to hold music compared to keeping a chat window open on their computer.

This should be taken with a grain of salt, and be built and refined around what you observe in your contact center. And, of course, there will always be exceptions for which you'll want to account. For instance, you may have a VIP customer chat and want his or her individual chat wait time to be less than your standard customer chat/call wait time. Now with external routing for Salesforce Omni-Channel, these examples and many more are a reality.


August 29, 2018

Moving your voice services to the cloud introduces new challenges for 9-1-1 services. These include the need to serve multiple locations, and the increased mobility that comes with having a phone t

August 8, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality for your contact center. But to turn the promise of AI into practical reality, there are a couple of prerequisites: Moving to the cloud and integr

June 20, 2018

Your enterprise may have adopted SIP Trunks, but are you up to date on how the latest technology is driving evolution in approaches?

In this webinar, youll learn how the new generation of SI

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.