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Should the Contact Center & UC Collaboration be siloed or not? The day old question. How can Cisco UCCX help?

I remember in 2005 when I was a support engineer at one of IST’s customers,  we asked our selves that same question. At the time we were talking about an on-premise solution, we have concluded to have both the UC & CC from Cisco, to benefit from their native integration, however, to separate the Cisco Unified Communication clusters for the contact center and the office telephony.  At the time we’ve realized that  Office IP Telephony would require more frequent upgrades and new feature release than the contact center telephony cluster, so it made sense to separate both clusters to meet the different demands of each group.

13 Years later, I find myself asking the same old question. The technology landscape has dramatically changed, and I foresee in the future it will even change more as Cloud Unified Communication & Cloud Contact Center. However today, I’m thinking of how collaboration tools have effectively changed the way we think Of Unified Communication. Notice, when I mentioned the customer in 2005, I said IP Telephony, I did not say Unified Communication or Unified Collaboration. Well because back in the early 200s, even though collaboration tools were being introduced in the market, they weren’t fully mature and required an infrastructure overhaul. It wasn’t until the late 2000s that people really started to use them.

Techopedia Defines UCC as:

Unified communications and collaboration (UCC) refers to the combined use of communications and collaboration solutions. UCC aggregates the communication services that people often use into a single interface. These services include email, instant messaging, voice, click-to-dial, presence, videoconferencing and so on.

Before answering the So to answer the day old question, Should the Contact Center & UC Collaboration be siloed or not?

I want you to imagine the look on the face of the agent when they answer their customer’s inquiries on the first call.

cisco ucce

The Answer is No. They should not be siloed.

I’m reminded by the famous quote in the industry by Gartner’s Gene Phifer, vice president & distinguished analyst at Gartner.

“Delivering customer engagement in silos can significantly damage the customer experience, We predict that through 2020, silos of customer engagement will be one of the top three leading causes of customer dissatisfaction for enterprises across all industry segments.”

My sentiment is echoed by one of Cisco’s latest blog “Improve Retail Experience with Collaboration Technology”, Where they argue if anything integrating the unified collaboration with the contact center drastically improves the customer experience. I think this could be best explained with a simple example.

This is based on a real-life scenario that has occurred to me personally.  Recently I’ve called my bank in London to inquire about a mortgage, I did not have complex questions, I just needed to know some questions around the eligibility requirements and the interest rate. The contact center agent that I called,  told me he can’t help me with this and that I must visit a branch in central London, where the mortgage expert was. I was baffled, mostly because the contact center agent was asking me, the customer to do the effort of traveling to get some basic information. When I know there has been technology out for more than a decade now that would have enabled the agent to answer my question then and there.  The technology is Cisco Remote Expert combined with presence. It would have enabled the contact center agent from his desk, see the availability of the mortgage experts across the organization, messaging someone online via jabber my questions and answers them via the phone. Maybe then and there, they would have been able to upsell to me more products from the same bank.

There is a lot of uses for when combining Cisco Remote Expert with Cisco Contact Center other than this specific scenario. Think if you are that same bank, where some of your branches that are not in Central London and don’t have mortgage officers in them. Instead of asking your customers living in that area to travel to central London, you could extend your mortgage officers presence virtually by using Cisco Remote Expert. The way it works is there will be a kiosk in the remote location, powered with UHD Video Conference, scanner, fingerprint, electronic signature pad, basically all the tools the officer would need to interact with the customer. The mortgage officer themselves can be physically located anywhere.

Again to ask the day old question,

Should the Contact Center & UC Collaboration be siloed or not?

The answer should be obvious by now, it shouldn’t. siloing any technology, in general, is a bad thing and would limit your organization.

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