Cisco® Unified Communications Solutions unify voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks, enabling easy collaboration every time from any workspace.
Cisco Agent Desktop is a powerful team productivity and management suite of software solutions for the Cisco Unified Contact Center. It provides a unified framework of tools in a composite application that customer contact teams need to increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce costs. The Cisco Agent Desktop suite includes Cisco Supervisor Desktop for team management and collaboration, Cisco Agent Desktop for agent workflow productivity, and Cisco Desktop Administrator for agent desktop application configuration.
The Cisco Agent Desktop suite is deployed as an integrated component of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise or Cisco Unified Contact Center Hosted. Cisco Agent Desktop is provided in three versions: Standard, Enhanced, and Premium to match your customer contact interaction management requirements.
For contact center agents, the Cisco Agent Desktop:
• Provides a unified set of customer contact application tools in both browser- and Windows-integrated editions
• Presents caller information in real time
• Provides performance reports that present snapshots of crucial metrics
• Extends real-time collaboration to the broader enterprise through presence integration
• Offers integrated business applications, providing easy access to customer data
• (Enhanced and Premium) Allows one-click automation of routine operations using the task toolbar
For contact center supervisors, the Cisco Supervisor Desktop:
• Provides the management framework for monitoring, coaching, and training centralized or virtual teams
• Manages contact center environment and processes
• Displays snapshots of crucial customer contact center metrics in real time
• Alerts supervisor when contact center events occur that exceed defined thresholds
• Monitors and records agent calls
• Provides collaboration and intervention tools to help agents meet customer needs and call center objectives
For contact center managers or administrators, the Cisco Desktop Administrator:
• Provides the ability to configure workflows and desktop settings, and integrate business applications in a packaged paradigm, with no programming required
• Allows effortless scaling of the Cisco Agent Desktop suite from single- to multisite IP-based contact centers
• Offers an intuitive and GUI-based solution, decreasing IT dependency and supporting simplified customization, maintenance, and change management
Figure 1 illustrates how Cisco Agent Desktop and Cisco Supervisor Desktop allow agents and supervisors at multiple locations to operate as one virtual team, with full computer telephony integration (CTI) capabilities, monitoring, collaboration, and reporting.
Figure 1. Cisco Agent Desktop and Cisco Supervisor Desktop Enable Virtual Teams
The products can be displayed to agents and supervisors in English, French, Canadian French, Italian, German, Spanish, simplified and traditional Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian.
Cisco Supervisor Desktop Features
The main features of the Cisco Supervisor Desktop follow:
• Interactive collaboration with agents, including barge-in, intercept, and silent monitoring, is supported.
• In environments with Cisco Unified Presence, collaboration can be extended beyond the contact center and supervisors can interact with subject matter experts throughout the enterprise.
• On-demand recording of active agent calls, available in Enhanced and Premium versions, improves customer service and encourages appropriate and consistent agent behavior.
• Real-time display and email alerts of crucial performance metrics give managers at-a-glance status information about the contact center environment, allowing rapid response to real-time changes.
• An integrated, multitabbed browser permits managers to perform multiple job functions simultaneously through a single desktop application, increasing productivity.
• On-demand agent re-skilling allows managers to respond to a changing environment and reassign contact center resources where and when they are needed, keeping customer satisfaction and call response levels high.
Cisco Agent Desktop Features
The main features of the Cisco Agent Desktop follow:
• Customer interaction call control (answer, drop, transfer, and conference) and automatic-call-distributor (ACD) features (login and logout) provide skills-based contact center capability, facilitating consistent and responsive customer interaction.
• CTI screen pop, task automation, integrated browser, and chat capabilities improve agent productivity, facilitating faster, more efficient customer service and improved customer satisfaction. An integrated multitabbed browser is featured in the Premium version.
• Support for Cisco Unified Mobile Agent, which allows agents to be part of the virtual contact center workgroup from any remote location, keeps operating and support costs to a minimum.
• In environments with Cisco Unified Presence, collaboration can be extended beyond the contact center and agents can interact with subject matter experts throughout the enterprise.
• The Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition thin-client agent desktop reduces total cost of ownership and removes the need to maintain yet another application on the desktop.
• Included in Enhanced and Premium versions, on-demand call recording permits agent capture of transactions to enhance service quality and facilitate training.
• Easy deployment keeps implementation costs to a minimum; Cisco Agent Desktop installs more quickly and easily than traditional CTI and desktop workflow technologies.
• GUI-based management facilitates customization, maintenance, and change management, decreasing IT dependency.
Common Features of Cisco Agent Desktop Client Edition and Browser Edition
Both the Cisco Agent Desktop Client Edition and Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition provide call control capabilities - such as call answer, hold, conference, and transfer - and ACD state control - such as ready, not ready, and wrap-up. Customer information is presented to the agent through an enterprise data window and optional screen pops.
Cisco Agent Desktop Client Edition and Browser Edition both give the agent a full-featured user interface for managing calls and their ACD state. Wrap-up data and reason codes allow management to accurately track call types and agent state changes. Cisco Agent Desktop also supports the Cisco IP Communicator, allowing the agent's PC to act as the phone device.
Cisco Agent Desktop Client Edition and Browser Edition both support remote and home-based agents.
Cisco Supervisor Desktop
The Cisco Supervisor Desktop (Figure 2) provides the virtual contact center manager with an extensive list of tools to interactively collaborate with agent teams to efficiently manage and improve performance metrics.
Through the Cisco Supervisor Desktop, the supervisor can view a display of agent states (login, logout, ready, remote, local, etc.) and call information (wrap-up and reason codes). Monitoring features also allow the supervisor to view agent states (login, logout, ready, etc.) and silently monitor agent-client interaction, status, enterprise data, and call history.
Included in the Enhanced and Premium versions, skill threshold alerts notify the supervisor of skill groups needing attention. Supervisors can also record agent-customer conversations.
With the Premium version, supervisor workflows allow for enhanced threshold notification features, including email messages, highlights, and audio alerts. Graphical real-time displays enhance the usability of real-time data, improving reaction time to address potential problems.
When intervention or assistance is necessary, the Cisco Supervisor Desktop also provides the means to silently communicate with agents one on one through text chat and with the entire team through team messaging. With the Premium version, a web push to agents provides an alternative means of communication with team members.
An integrated multitabbed browser (Figure 3) permits supervisors to facilitate agent re-skilling, view reports, collaborate with agents, and use other web-based applications within the same Cisco Supervisor Desktop application.
The Cisco Agent Desktop Client Edition (Figure 4) is extremely flexible in presentation, requires minimal screen real estate, and is easily configured to meet varied and specific needs of the customer contact center.
The multitabbed browser feature permits agents to open and perform multiple simultaneous work tasks, each through its own browser tab, reducing call duration and making the job of servicing clients easier. Chat messaging between the agent and the supervisor - or, if enabled, between agents - allows the agent to get timely information while assisting callers.
Figure 4. Cisco Agent Desktop Client Edition
Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition
The Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition (Figure 5) executes as a thin client from within the Internet Explorer or Firefox web browsers, making it easy to deploy and maintain. The Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition also includes an agent toolbar, contact data, enterprise data, and agent status information, making it an ideal solution in thin-client applications.
Figure 5. Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition
Cisco IP Phone Agent Features
The Cisco IP Phone Agent function allows agents to use the Cisco IP Phone either as their primary ACD interface or as a backup to the Cisco Agent Desktop application.
With the Cisco IP Phone Agent, agents can log in and out of the ACD, view and change the ACD state, be informed of caller data through an enterprise data display, view statistics including calls in queue and longest in queue, and enter reason codes and wrap-up data (Figure 6). Advanced features in the Enhanced and Premium versions include the ability to perform supervisor- and agent-initiated call recording.
Figure 6. Cisco IP Phone Agent Skill Displays
The Cisco IP Phone Agent can also act as a backup to the Cisco Agent Desktop by allowing the agent to log in and take calls even when the desktop application is not functioning because of a PC failure.
Cisco Desktop Administrator
The Cisco Desktop Administrator (Figure 7) allows system administrators to define and configure agents' desktops and workflow from a centralized location. Administrators can choose which agent states are visible on the agent's toolbar, define unique icons for agent and knowledge worker toolbar buttons, add reason codes for wrap-up and agent state changes, and customize the user interface of agent desktops. It also allows flexible configuration of Cisco Agent Desktop to meet various operational needs and maintain overall workflow automation efficiently and cost-effectively.
Figure 7. Cisco Desktop Administrator
From the Cisco Desktop Administrator, system administrators can configure the automatic transition of agents to the next ACD state or set up automatic answering, reducing ring time and increasing agent efficiency. Keystroke macros allow administrators to easily set up routine actions that change applications and speed up task completion, without software coding. Cisco Desktop Administrator also provides simplified administration for high-end functions, such as screen pops, task automation, reminder and utility actions, web integration, launch of external applications, and interprocess communication.
Cisco Agent Desktop and Cisco Unified Presence Integration
For a long time, agents and supervisors have been able to effectively collaborate within the Cisco Unified Contact Center by using the chat services built into their desktop applications.
But for many contact centers, extending real-time collaboration into the broader enterprise has been a problem. Agents require guidance on how best to engage subject matter experts. At the same time, other departments struggle to be responsive to the needs of the customer base without being tied to the phone at all times.
Integration of Cisco Agent Desktop with Cisco Unified Presence addresses this problem by integrating the contact center desktop applications with Cisco Unified Presence.
Agents and supervisors can collaborate with relevant colleagues and subject matter experts outside the contact center. For efficiency and convenience, the contact center defines the view to show only those colleagues that are appropriate for agents to access.
Both parties use familiar applications. Contact center personnel use the Cisco Agent Desktop and Cisco Supervisor Desktop, and subject matter experts outside of the contact center use the Cisco Unified Personal Communicator or Cisco IP Phone Messenger. The agent launches the familiar chat dialog from the Cisco Agent Desktop toolbar. In the chat selection window, the agent can see a preconfigured listing of experts and, more importantly, their availability. The agent can simply select an available expert and initiate a chat session. If required, the agent can also use this same dialog to conference the expert into the call, or even transfer the caller to the contact (Figure 8).
The new feature helps agents connect with experts on the first try by knowing beforehand whether they are available and how they prefer to be reached.
Figure 8. Desktop Chat Selection and Chat Windows
The web-based Cisco Desktop Presence Administrator allows system administrators to define and configure contact or buddy lists for their agents. Rather than displaying everyone in the enterprise in the Cisco Agent Desktop Contact Selection window, the administrator can classify important contacts and assign them to specific groups.
Cisco Desktop Presence Settings screens include the option for an administrator to identify external users who exist in a foreign domain, such as an intercluster peer or federated domain. In this way, if a Cisco Unified Personal Communicator can see the external user, so can Cisco Agent Desktop. This setup allows agents to talk to Microsoft Office Communicator users or Cisco Unified Presence users in a different cluster.
Cisco Agent Desktop Workflow and Enterprise Application Integration
The Cisco Agent Desktop integrates easily with third-party applications without custom programming. This capability reduces call duration and allows agents to resolve a client inquiry in a single call.
With the Enhanced and Premium versions, "Events" such as startup, shutdown, agent state change, ringing, answering, hang-up, and time of day can be used to trigger evaluation of workflow "Rules" and initiate automated "Actions". These Events, Rules, and Actions workflows are integral to the architecture of the Cisco Agent Desktop application, and they benefit the user as part of a first-call resolution process.
For example, consider the following workflow:
1. A call is received from the interactive-voice-response (IVR) system.
2. The call receives data from the Cisco Intelligent Contact Management software application.
4. A Cisco Agent Desktop screen pop displays customer information retrieved from the CRM application and displays it to the agent prior to answering the call.
Integration actions include the following for Enhanced and Premium versions: Web integration action, launch external application action, interprocess communication integration action, and keystroke macro action.
• Web integration action: Integration with applications accessible from a browser
– Call information is used as input to URL search strings for integrated browser screen pops.
• Launch external application action: Integration that starts custom or standard Windows applications on agent's PC and passes data to it
– Call information is passed to a third-party application for a screen pop.
– Call information is sent to a Visual Basic application structured to write to a third-party database.
• Interprocess communication action: Integration that allows applications to communicate and coordinate their execution by passing information embedded in User Datagram Protocol (UDP) messages
– A third-party application initiates a Cisco Agent Desktop action, such as dialing an outbound call.
• Keystroke macro action: Integration with applications on the agent's PC that automates the steps for repeatable, recurring actions between Cisco Agent Desktop and Windows rich-client applications
– A macro executes a word processing application for recording call data and completing notes at the end of a call.
– A macro executes an email application at the end of a call with standard sections of the email message completed (the email address, the subject, etc.).
Cisco Agent Desktop provides the fully packaged composite application with embedded telephony controls, third-party application integration methods, automated tasks through workflow actions, and collaboration tools. No programming or complex professional services are required for these capabilities. In this framework, Cisco Agent Desktop also supports integration of customized web services applications (for example, mash-ups and other web services) in support of a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework (Figure 9), providing the benefits of a single customer view and unified desktop for all the tools agents require to deliver consistent world-class services.
Figure 9. Cisco Agent Desktop in a SOA Framework
Cisco Agent Desktop Packages
Cisco Agent Desktop is offered in three different packages to meet the price and performance needs of today's call centers (Table 1).
Cisco Agent Desktop and Cisco Supervisor Desktop provide agents and supervisors with powerful tools to increase productivity and reduce costs in the contact center. Cisco Supervisor Desktop provides the management framework for monitoring, coaching, and training centralized or virtual teams by performance metrics. Cisco Agent Desktop provides accurate information to agents' desktops for more efficient, personalized call handing. It can also reduce wait times and hold times and facilitate quicker call resolution, leading to enhanced customer experience and improved customer satisfaction. Transparent integration to Cisco Unified Contact Center allows companies to quickly and easily deploy CTI and desktop workflow functions at new locations as customer contact operations expand - continuing the evolution toward a true customer interaction network.
Cisco Unified Communications Services
Cisco Unified Communications Services allows you to accelerate cost savings and productivity gains associated with deploying a secure, resilient Cisco Unified Communications Solution. Delivered by Cisco and our certified partners, our portfolio of services is based on proven methodologies for unifying voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks. Our unique lifecycle approach to services can enhance your technology experience to accelerate true business advantage.