The Contact Center in the Sky

The Contact Center in the Sky

By Dave Michels April 15, 2013 3 Comments
Dave Michels JPG
The Contact Center in the Sky by Dave Michels

Hosted voice continues to grow in subscribers and scope. Many hosted providers have already expanded from dialtone to robust UC solutions, but now there seems to be a frenzy around contact center offerings. Here’s a short roundup of announcements made in just the past few weeks.

Interactive Intelligence

Has offered a robust contact center service for quite some time, but recently expanded its portfolio to include a new hosted service specifically for small contact centers. CaaS Small Center is for organizations with between 10 and 50 contact center agents. The solution offers multi-channel routing and queuing, interactive voice response, multichannel recording, supervision and reporting, quality management, real-time speech analytics, automated customer satisfaction surveys, and Salesforce integration. For organizations with specific security and compliance demands, CaaS Small Center offers industry certification at the corporate (SOX, ISO 9001, JITC), cloud services (SSAE-16, customer data isolation, proactive monitoring) and data center levels.

Alteva

Announced the upgrade of its Advanced Call Center cloud-based solution. The latest version includes robust call center reporting that also includes access to real-time and historical data on agent and queue activity, utilization and performance. Other key features include a web-based client, virtual queues to foster agents working remotely, and high capacity queuing to reduce busy signals.


Mitel

Announced the release of its Mitel AnyWare Cloud Contact Center solution. Offering small and mid-sized businesses predictable operating costs, capex avoidance, and off-loaded management and maintenance of contact center infrastructure. It is based on Mitel's freedom architecture. It enables agents to work anywhere while providing management and reporting tools to track contact center performance. The service also supports integration with leading Customer Relationship Management applications and other TAPI applications.

Voxeo

Picked up the coveted Best of Show at Enterprise Connect with its CXP application that can be hosted on-premises or in the cloud. It is not a contact center solution for agent interactions, but does provide robust integration tools for self service and advanced IVR applications. Read more here.

8x8

8x8 has been offering advanced contact center solutions for some time, but recently announced a success story with Radixx International. The airline replaced its on-premises PBX at its Orlando, Fla., headquarters with 8x8's Virtual Office and hosted contact center solution. The airline reports a significant improvement in call processing and customer satisfaction.

The cloud will make a lot of sense for a lot of businesses. It simplifies the complexity of contact center operations, allowing firms to focus more on their core business. It also often improves a firm’s disaster readiness, and simplifies costs. It is reasonable to expect firms will move their contact centers to the cloud for these reasons and many other reasons. It looks like the service providers are going to give enterprise customers some robust options.

 

3 Responses to "The Contact Center in the Sky" - Add Yours

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Art Rosenberg 4/16/2013 9:24:57 AM

Dave,

What you are witnessing is the final transition of legacy call centers, that were premise-based, hardware telephony systems, to "virtual," software-based customer interaction centers. This will not only facilitate telework by home-based agents, but also greatly expand the role of mobile, multi-modal, self-service business applications (as opposed to old and highly limited IVR applications).

Both trends will significantly reduce operational costs and satisfy the flexibility needs of mobile customers. Mobile UC has always been a big ROI target in my book, and, when applied to customer services, is a big opportunity for channel partners to help implement customized "cloud" - based solutions!
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Aiden Callaly 4/16/2013 10:11:13 AM

Its just next logical evolution of the cloud .Companies have been held hostage by vendors that supplied expensive, proprietary, on premise solutions and like the CRM vendors such as Siebel and ERP vendors such as SAP they are seeing their business increasing eroded by cloud vendors. However its not just about replacing these systems but rather looking at the challenge of providing UC globally with a cloud service that easily integrates and becomes part of an organisations IT infrastructure and delivers complete flexibility in how communication channels are managed irrespective of locality.
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Dave Michels 4/17/2013 10:28:31 AM

I agree it is an evolution, but I would not be so quick to use the word hostage with regards to equipment purchases. Certainly there are those situations, where the wrong equipment was purchased and a customer may be unwilling to spend their way to fix the situation. Some hosted services are so broad - email, trunks, seats, web sites, wireless, etc. that they can equally capture an unhappy customer unwilling to fix the situation. The key step to prevention is proper due diligence before getting hitched.

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