Cisco® Unified Communications Solutions unify voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks, enabling easy collaboration every time from any workspace.
As part of the Cisco Unified Communications Solutions portfolio, Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions create the foundation for positive customer service, a critical factor in building a stronger business. Cisco Unified Contact Center combines the power of collaboration with contact center management tools that transform customer care from simple phone transactions to unique collaboration experiences that you can customize to address the needs of individual customers.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise segments customers, monitors resource availability, and delivers each contact to the most appropriate resource in the enterprise. The software profiles each customer contact using related data such as dialed number and calling line ID, caller-entered digits, data submitted on a web form, and information obtained from a customer database lookup. Simultaneously, the system monitors the resources available in the contact center to meet customer needs, including agent skills and availability, interactive-voice-response (IVR) status, and queue lengths.
This combination of customer and contact center data is processed through user-defined routing scripts that graphically reflect your company's business rules, enabling Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise to route each contact to the right place. Wherever an agent is based, the system delivers a rich set of call-event and customer-provided data as a contact arrives, personalizing service and increasing efficiency. Throughout the process, distributed fault tolerance helps ensure uninterrupted operation, and rich reporting provides the business intelligence necessary to effectively run your contact center.
Flexible Deployment Models
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise supports a variety of deployment models. From premises-based to hosted installations, you can deploy the solution with a single or multiple Cisco Unified Communications Manager clusters performing agent-level skills-based routing and reporting in a centralized, distributed, or clustered wide-area network configuration.
You can also deploy the Cisco Unified Contact Center solution with third-party automatic call distributors (ACDs) to deliver enterprise-level skills-based contact routing, voice self-service, computer telephony integration (CTI), and multichannel contact management. By combining multichannel ACD functions with IP telephony in a unified solution, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise can help your company rapidly deploy a distributed voice-over-IP (VoIP) contact center infrastructure.
The Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, Hosted, and Federated deployment models are suitable for service providers, outsourcers, and large enterprise companies. For incumbent service providers and new service carriers, the solution creates a new high-margin service revenue stream. For enterprise companies with multiple branch offices or divisions, the value is a centralized contact center infrastructure that can offer services to its various divisions or satellite offices.
Packaged Deployment Models
Cisco also offers a predesigned and bounded deployment model of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise called Packaged Contact Center Enterprise (Packaged CCE). Customers who fit within the boundaries of the Packaged CCE solution can enjoy the advantages of the simplified management interface, smaller hardware footprint, and reduced time to install, while benefiting from the rich features of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal. The solution comes packaged with Cisco Unified Intelligence Center for comprehensive reporting and Cisco Finesse
® desktop software for an enhanced, next-generation desktop experience.
Table 1 lists features and benefits of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise 10.0, and Table 2 lists and describes the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise options.
Table 1. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Features and Benefits
Reduces long-distance toll charges and network bandwidth
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise treats the entire IP network as an intelligent switch, meaning that calls can be handled at the edge of the network, thereby reducing bandwidth usage.
Reduces integration costs
Until now, businesses had to integrate numerous products from different vendors - an expensive task that postponed service introduction. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise provides ACD, private branch exchange (PBX), IVR, and web interaction. In addition, the solution supports best-in-class contact center applications such as customer relationship management (CRM), workforce management, recording and monitoring, and wallboards. By consolidating all contact center functions in a single platform, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise reduces capital expenditures and integration expenses while accelerating time to market for a complete contact center solution.
Promotes IP and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) migration
The industry is encouraging businesses to migrate from time-division multiplexing (TDM) to IP and from H.323 to SIP to take advantage of converged voice and data services. Because Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise integrates with both IP and TDM networks, it facilitates this transition. Customers can continue to take advantage of their investments in existing systems while migrating to a SIP architecture.
For the large enterprise, the value is a centralized contact center operation in which the software and administration are maintained centrally. This centralized operation helps the branch offices avoid purchasing and maintaining the software, installing their own upgrades, and making staffing decisions independent of the rest of the company.
By retaining "call context" as customers are transferred among agents - even between different locations and to at-home agents - a company can differentiate itself through superior customer service. For example, the information a customer has already supplied to purchase one product or service can be retrieved when the customer initiates another purchase or interaction elsewhere.
Allows control of network resources
The enterprise can control certain network resources, such as assigning agents to skill groups and defining routing based on a number called or caller-entered digits such as account numbers. In addition, all functions can be controlled from a single operating interface, reducing training and support requirements.
Agent Capabilities and Benefits
A configurable, automated agent greeting can be played to callers, standardizing the caller experience. The greeting helps keep the agent voices fresh because they do not have to repeat the same greeting on every call.
Customers can play a configurable announcement to an agent right before the caller is connected, providing information about the type of call being delivered (for example, sales or tech support) and other guidance. Agents get information about the caller through their headset, speeding problem handling and improving first-call resolution.
The Cisco CTI OS Toolkit Desktop is designed for companies that require specialized, custom desktop capabilities tailored to meet the specific needs of their contact center operations. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise can help you deploy a complete CTI strategy, including comprehensive functions at the agent's workstation. The solution offers a rich set of data for business applications, providing enterprisewide call-event and customer-provided information to the agent's desktop. It sets a new standard for true enterprisewide, network-to-desktop CTI with minimal custom development or systems integration, helping your organization implement CTI quickly and cost-effectively.
Your company can save costs, improve efficiency, and increase revenue by using Cisco Unified CRM Connector for Siebel to integrate your Siebel CRM applications with Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise. This integration allows the agent to use the Siebel CRM user interface as the sole interface to manage customer interactions. The agent can log in, control agent state, and conduct calls through the CRM user interface. When a new call arrives, a screen pop of CRM information instantly appears on the agent's terminal and the agent can retrieve CRM information by phone number, IVR information, or information the agent enters. Calls can be routed, connected to a conference, or transferred from within the CRM screen. Incoming and outgoing call activity is logged here as well.
Cisco Finesse desktop software
The Cisco Finesse desktop is a next-generation agent and supervisor desktop solution designed to provide easy access to the applications and information required by your customer service organization through a customizable web-based interface. It offers your customer care representatives an intuitive, easy-to-use desktop design to help improve their performance and satisfaction, which in turn enhances their ability to provide quality customer service.
For IT professionals, the Cisco Finesse application offers a thin-client agent desktop that integrates smoothly with the Cisco Collaboration portfolio. It is standards-compliant, and offers low cost of customization of the agent and supervisor desktops.
Cisco Agent Desktop
Cisco Agent Desktop provides ready-to-use agent desktop capabilities that allow agents to perform call-control functions directly from their desktops. Integration of Cisco Agent Desktop with Cisco Unified Presence extends real-time collaboration into the broader enterprise by integrating the contact center desktop applications with Cisco Unified Presence. Through this integration, 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 who are appropriate for agents to access.
Customers may also use Cisco Agent Desktop to integrate with Salesforce.com and Siebel with minimal software development. For other popular third-party CRM applications, Cisco Agent Desktop facilitates integration using key-stroke macros or dynamic URLs, running the (web-based) CRM user interface in the Cisco Agent Desktop integrated browser.
Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition
The Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition executes as a thin client from within a commercial web browser, making it easy to deploy and maintain. The application also includes an agent toolbar, contact data, enterprise data, and agent status information, making it an ideal solution in thin-client applications.
Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent
Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent provides basic ACD functions on a Cisco Unified IP Phone - and in many cases it eliminates the need for installation of an agent desktop on the agent's PC.
Self-service and call-treatment capabilities
Cisco offers two options for self-service and call treatment: Cisco Unified IP Interactive Voice Response (Unified IP IVR) and Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal (Unified CVP). Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise can also integrate with third-party IVR and self-service systems through its open IVR Service Control interface.
Cisco Unified IP IVR
Cisco Unified IP IVR for Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise is designed to simplify business integration, increase flexibility, and provide efficiency gains in network hosting. These features reduce business costs - and they can dramatically improve customer satisfaction. Tightly integrated with Cisco Unified Communications Manager software, Cisco Unified IP IVR offers ease of installation, configuration, and application hosting because it is constructed to exploit the power of IP-based communications.
Cisco Unified IP IVR facilitates self-service applications, such as access to checking account information or user-directed call routing, by processing user commands through touch-tone input or speech-recognition technologies. Customers can use voice commands to retrieve the information they require without ever speaking with an agent, or to quickly navigate to the correct department or agent who can help them.
Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal
Cisco Unified CVP operates with both TDM- and IP-based contact centers to provide a call-management and -treatment solution with a self-service IVR option that can use information available to customers on the corporate web server. With support for automatic-speech-recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS) capabilities, callers can obtain personalized answers to their questions and conduct business in innovative ways without the costs of interacting with a live agent.
For example, with Cisco Unified CVP, you can pay a bill, order products and track delivery, locate a dealer, schedule a pickup, change name and address information, make travel arrangements, check payment status, receive notification of unusual activity, or request literature or product information.
Management Capabilities and Benefits
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise allows supervisors to view agent states and call information, send text chat messages to agents, interrupt or intercept calls, record conversations, and silently monitor agent calls from the corporate network or through a remote dial-in connection. These features add value to the supervisor's role in the contact center and help them effectively manage their teams.
With supervisor and agent chat capabilities, supervisors can send text messages to agents participating in a call, allowing supervisors to coach agents unobtrusively on cross- and up-sell opportunities and helping agents resolve customer situations. Supervisors can interrupt an agent's call to create a three-way conference, and then interact with both the caller and the agent to help resolve a concern. A supervisor can remove the agent from a call using the Intercept feature, allowing the supervisor and caller to complete the call on their own while the agent handles another customer request.
Supervisors can change an agent's state from their desktops. For example, agents may forget to make themselves available to take calls after a break or neglect to log out when away from their workstations for an extended period. With Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, supervisors can easily log out missing agents or make unintentionally idle agents ready to take calls. This function is critical to highly distributed contact center deployments.
Supervisors also can change an agent's skill profile in real time. This capability gives supervisors tactical tools to manage their agent teams and support contact center management objectives.
Streamlined administration allows managers to perform all contact center administration centrally. The administrative interface in Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise allows agents to be set up to handle voice, web, chat, and email contacts, depending on their assigned skill sets. The interface allows system managers, administrators, and supervisors to develop, modify, or view routing scripts; manage the system configuration; monitor contact center performance; define and request reports; and help ensure system security. This one user interface provides enterprisewide control across the single- or multisite contact center.
Packaged CCE Administrators can use a gadget on the Cisco Finesse desktop to quickly and easily manage the contact center application. Access to the contact center through the gadget can be restricted by role to prevent others from accessing the system.
Customers with multiple lines of business (LOBs) or departments can easily share the same instance of Unified CCE or Packaged CCE using the Departments feature. Departments allows users to assign resources including agents, skill groups, call types, and precision queues by LOB or department. When resources are assigned to a LOB or department, only the supervisor or manager of that LOB or department can view and manage those resources.
In Unified CCE, departments can be managed through the Cisco Unified Contact Center Management Portal (Unified CCMP). In Packaged CCE the native Web Administration allows Departments management.
Along with configuration, scripting access is also segmented when using Internet Script Editor. Finally, using the Cisco Unified Intelligence Center Collections feature, reporting can be segmented to match departments.
The Cisco Unified CCMP provides a simple-to-use web-based user interface to streamline the day-to-day provisioning and configuration operations performed by contact center managers, team leads, or administrators - such as moves; adds; or modifications of phones, agents, skill groups, teams, and other common contact center administrative functions. Agents with appropriate permission are also provided a unique interface on the Cisco Unified Contact Center Management Portal on which they can make changes to their profile and work assignment. The unified configuration of the management portal is designed to simplify administration of both the applicable IP-based contact center elements and the Cisco Unified Communications Manager components. The Cisco Unified CCMP is a partitioned system that can support multiple business units with complete autonomy, and it offers hierarchical administration to support multiple business-level users with specific roles and responsibilities. Finally, to help administrators and managers keep track of contact center modifications, it provides audit-trail reports detailing all configuration changes and usage of the management portal.
System inventory and notification
Taking advantage of the fixed deployment model of Packaged CCE, the system auto-generates a visual representation of a Packaged CCE deployment. It is a dashboard of administrative information including name, IP address, shortcuts to other administration user interfaces such as Cisco Unified CVP operations, administration, maintenance, and provisioning (OAMP), etc. It also serves as a level-one dashboard providing visual notifications of errors or warnings of configuration or runtime problems through periodic auto-scans, keeping check on system health and reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).
System Capabilities and Benefits
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise software takes full advantage of industry-standard hardware platforms, giving you the benefits of many software functions at a modest hardware cost. The open architecture of the system, which includes an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)-compliant database, as well as Java, COM, and .NET interfaces for CTI applications, can integrate with existing contact center solutions, preserving investments in traditional systems and providing a platform for future applications.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise scales from small, single-site deployments of tens of agents up to large enterprise and hosted, distributed deployments that support thousands. Because the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise architecture is software-based, the system scales easily without causing obsolescence of any components. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise is designed to accommodate changing contact center environments.
Distributed fault tolerance
From the network to the desktop, all Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise components and external application links provide carrier-class, distributed fault tolerance at both the hardware and software levels, with real-time application failover capabilities. Self-diagnostics and self-healing features allow the system to automatically take advantage of redundant components when required; the system is resilient to hardware component failures, communications network failures, and asynchronous software errors.
Both enterprise and hosted contact centers require applications that provide management information and a single point of performance monitoring and troubleshooting. As you face the challenges of deploying, upgrading, and managing contact centers with integrated software, you may incur setup and ongoing operational and maintenance costs that affect your ability to provide your end users a cost-effective solution. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise software provides a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) interface for integration into centralized network management systems. It also provides integration into a broader unified communications management infrastructure, bundled with Cisco Unified Communications Manager. It provides new levels of availability and manageability during deployments and upgrades, as well as during normal contact center operations.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise supports the latest in security and data integrity features and solutions. When deployed, the application servers are hardened to reduce the attack surface and system vulnerability. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is available on all web-based applications, and Transport Layer Security (TLS) and IP Security (IPsec) support is available for sockets-based communications to secure data in transit across trusted and untrusted networks.
Cisco ASR 1000 Aggregation Services Router support
The Cisco ASR 1000 consolidates the Cisco Unified CVP Voice Browser with other network functions on a single server, reducing hardware and support requirements.
The precision queue routing function of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise provides the intelligent distribution of contacts as they enter the company's network. When a contact requires redirection, the contact center application applies business logic, sending the contact to the best available enterprise resource. For contacts flowing between sites or among agents, precision queues, or IVRs, the routing optimizes each customer's interaction by retaining collected data, eliminating the need for the customer to restate information.
Cisco Pre-Routing and Post-Routing functions
The Cisco Pre-Routing function makes routing decisions for each call while it is still in the carrier's network, enabling the Cisco platform to effectively segment customers, balance calls across the enterprise, and deliver each contact to the best enterprise resource the first time.
The Cisco Post-Routing function provides the intelligent distribution of contacts already connected to a peripheral in your network, whether it is an ACD, PBX, IVR, or web or email server. When a contact requires redirection, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise applies business logic, instructing the peripheral to send the contact to the best available enterprise resource.
Customer profile routing
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise extends the sources of data available for making contact routing decisions and for populating agent desktop applications. For instance, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise can perform a lookup in your customer database during routing to guide its decisions. You can also use information from CRM applications to match customers with agents and expand the data available to screen pop applications.
Wherever an agent is based, the system delivers context-call event and customer-profile data - as a contact arrives - allowing the agent or application to personalize service and help maximize efficiency.
Agent request API
The agent request API enables businesses to add voice callback as a feature to their custom-developed applications for the web and for mobile applications. Businesses can present callback as one of the ways or channels their customers can contact them, allowing customers to choose the channel of communication that works best for them.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise provides real-time and historical data necessary for mission-critical contact center reporting across all media types. The solution provides accurate and timely reports on contact center activity, helping managers make informed decisions regarding staffing levels and contact handling procedures. New for Cisco Unified Intelligence Center 10.0 is Live Data for Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise. This feature provides a new real-time architecture with significant real-time refresh rate improvements through actionable reports with asynchronous and just-in-time data updates.
Standard reporting is provided by the Cisco Unified Intelligence Center, which offers numerous report templates intended to meet common reporting needs. With the availability of the underlying data model and schema, you can easily develop custom reports to extend the solution to meet specific reporting needs. Furthermore, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise allows for the export of reporting data to external data warehouse environments for extended storage and advanced analytics.
For Packaged CCE, the Live Data feature provides immediate access to real-time contact center information. Reports available from Cisco Unified Intelligence Center and reporting gadgets available on the Cisco Finesse desktop take advantage of this next-generation architecture.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise coordinates an agent's ability to work on multiple tasks from various channels while allowing the agent to be interrupted with high-priority tasks as required. For instance, an agent who is assisting a customer using text chat could handle another chat request at the same time, increasing the agent's productivity. Agents also can be delivered a task of a different channel type from their active task. For example, an agent responding to a customer's email message can be sent a voice call, allowing the agent to handle the real-time voice call and then return to the email message. In this way, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise can optimize your agents' activities, helping ensure the highest level of customer service with the resources available.
Remote-agent support extends the Cisco Unified Contact Center environment by providing CTI, contact distribution, and reporting capabilities to remote agents in branch offices or at home, through either a broadband network connection or their home telephone line. Cisco Unified Contact Center provides identical user interfaces and feature functions to agents regardless of location.
The Cisco Unified Mobile Agent feature adds the capability to enable agents to choose their destination phone number during login time - and change the number as often as they want - giving the contact center the flexibility to adapt to a fast-moving mobile workforce. With the growth of work-at-home programs, agents can be given location flexibility while reducing startup costs on the part of the contact center. An additional benefit of this capability is allowing agents to be on any phone device on any third-party switch infrastructure.
By incorporating agents outside the physical location of a contact center, Cisco Unified Contact Center helps companies better use existing and on-demand resources and fully extend CTI functions across the extended enterprise.
Table 2. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Options
Social media customer care
Cisco SocialMiner®software provides a social media customer care solution for Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise that enables your company to proactively respond to customers and prospects communicating through public social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook or other compatible public forum or blogging sites. By providing social media monitoring, queuing, and workflow to organize customer posts on social media networks and delivering them to your social media customer care team, your company can respond to customers in real time through the same social network they use to communicate.
This innovative capability is enabled by Cisco SocialMiner software, which searches multiple social networks to capture public customer postings - and then organizes, filters, and prioritizes these postings and presents them to your customer care team for response. Your customer service representatives could respond to a customer service problem or reach out to new customers looking for information about your products or services.
Cisco SocialMiner software combined with Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise can help your company enhance customer service, improve customer loyalty, add new customers, and protect your brand.
Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager
Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager can help your contact center agents respond immediately to customer questions, using your website along with text chat or real-time web collaboration. Web collaboration allows contact center agents to chat live with customers through the web and, in a blended collaboration session, the agent and customer can talk live on the phone and review web content simultaneously to address questions quickly and effectively. In addition, with the Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager web callback feature, customers can request a callback from a contact center when the right agent is available, rather than waiting in a voice or chat queue. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise routes customer requests from your website using the same routing logic used for voice calls. Because it facilitates effective, personalized customer assistance, Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager is suitable for both sales- and service-oriented contact centers.
Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager
Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager is a comprehensive solution for managing large volumes of customer email inquiries submitted to your company mailboxes or website. Based on customizable business rules, Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager accelerates the response process by automatically directing messages to the right agent or support team, categorizing and prioritizing messages, suggesting relevant response templates, and, if desired, sending automated replies. Quick, accurate turnaround of inquiries helps build stronger customer relationships, added value, and greater efficiency in the contact center.
Cisco Outbound Option
The Cisco Outbound Option, with its combination of outbound dialing modes, complements the powerful inbound call-handling capability of the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise platform. You can build campaigns to use predictive, progressive, or preview dialing, which is integrated with inbound calls and compliant with contact center service levels to offer a powerful blended solution. You can allocate agents to handle only inbound, only outbound, or both inbound and outbound contacts, offering an effective way to increase resource use in a contact center.
Cisco Unified Contact Center 10.0 is a major release. Upgrades from prior releases require a Cisco Essential Operate Service (ESW) subscription.
Adapt to market changes while increasing productivity, improving competitive advantage, and delivering a rich-media experience across any workspace.
The combined strengths of Cisco and our partners provide a portfolio of services that can help you prepare your infrastructure for future changes aligning to long-term business goals. Together we create innovative, network-centric architecture solutions resulting in a scalable and responsive foundation that can help you realize the full value of your IT and communication investment.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise provides a state-of-the-art contact center solution that allows you to integrate inbound and outbound voice applications with Internet applications, including real-time chat, web collaboration, email messaging, and social media. This integration allows for unified capabilities, helping a single agent support multiple interactions simultaneously, regardless of the communications channel the customer chooses. Because each interaction is unique and may require individualized service, Cisco provides contact center solutions to manage each interaction based on virtually any contact attribute.
Furthermore, Cisco can bridge the gap between TDM and IP infrastructures, integrating voice, chat, email, and web collaboration applications over both technology platforms. Thus your company can preserve the value of existing current investments in call center products such as ACDs, IVRs, and PBXs and take advantage of the wide range of Cisco solutions to support the same contact center requirements in a converged network environment - leading to increased customer satisfaction and continuing the evolution toward true customer collaboration.