Cisco® Unified Contact Center Enterprise, an integral component of the Cisco Unified Communications system, delivers a comprehensive solution that provides intelligent routing and call treatment with blending of multiple communication channels.
® Unified Communications Solutions unify voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks, delivering a media-rich collaboration experience across business, government agency, and institutional workspaces. These applications use the network as the platform to enhance comparative advantage by accelerating decision time and reducing transaction time. The security, resilience, and scalability of the network enable users in any workspace to easily connect anywhere, anytime, and anyplace, using any media, device, or operating system. Cisco Unified Communications is part of a comprehensive solution that includes network infrastructure, security, wireless, management applications, lifecycle services, flexible deployment and outsourced management options, and third-party applications.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise is a strategic platform that enables you to move to the next phase of customer contact-beyond today's contact center to a Customer Interaction Network. A Customer Interaction Network is a distributed, IP-based infrastructure that encompasses a continuously evolving suite of multichannel services and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. These services and applications can enhance your responsiveness and streamline customer exchanges to help your organization deliver superior customer service. A Customer Interaction Network extends customer service capabilities across the entire organization, giving your business a more integrated and collaborative approach to customer satisfaction and leading to a better customer experience.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise uses an IP infrastructure to deliver skills-based contact routing, voice self-service, computer telephony integration (CTI), and multichannel contact management. By combining multichannel automatic-call-distributor (ACD) functions with IP telephony in a unified solution, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise helps your company rapidly deploy a distributed voice-over-IP (VoIP) contact center infrastructure.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise segments customers, monitors resource availability, and delivers each contact to the most appropriate resource anywhere 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 to the targeted desktop as a contact arrives, personalizing service and increasing efficiency. Throughout the process, distributed fault tolerance helps ensure uninterrupted operation.
Routing Capabilities and Benefits
The routing functions of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise provide the intelligent distribution of contacts as they enter the company's network. When a contact requires redirection, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise applies business logic, sending the contact to the best available enterprise resource. For contacts flowing between sites or among agents, skill groups, or IVRs, the routing optimizes each customer's interaction by retaining collected data, eliminating the need for the customer to restate information.
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. Information from CRM applications can also be used to match customers with agents and expand the data available to screen pop applications.
Web Chat and Collaboration
Cisco Web chat and collaboration helps your contact center agents respond immediately to customer questions, using your Website along with text chat or real-time Web collaboration. Agents can also use Web collaboration in parallel with a voice conversation to provide simultaneous voice and visual interaction. Web collaboration allows contact center agents and customers to share Webpages and collaboratively complete online forms. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise routes customer requests from your Website using the same routing logic used for voice calls. Its reporting function also provides contact center statistics on all interactions, regardless of the communication channel used. By facilitating effective, personalized customer assistance, Cisco Web chat and collaboration features are suitable for both sales- and service-oriented contact centers.
Cisco e-mail management provides a comprehensive solution for managing large volumes of customer e-mail inquiries submitted to your company mailboxes or Website. Based on customizable business rules, Cisco e-mail management 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. Campaigns can be built 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. Agents can be allocated to handle only inbound, only outbound, or both inbound and outbound contacts, offering an effective way to increase resource use in a contact center.
Agent Capabilities and Benefits
Computer Telephony Integration Option
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise helps you deploy a complete CTI strategy, including comprehensive functions at the agent's workstation. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise delivers a rich set of data to 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.
Third-Party CRM Integration
Your company can save costs, improve efficiency, and increase revenues by using Cisco Unified CRM Connector to integrate your third-party CRM applications with Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions. This integration enables the agent to use the third-party 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 CRM information is retrieved by phone number, IVR information, or agent entered information. 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.
Today's call centers need unified call flows, unified business processes, and unified desktops for both call management and business transaction navigation. The Cisco Unified CRM Connector is a comprehensive tool that readily supports popular CRM packages including Oracle PeopleSoft, Oracle Siebel, SAP, Microsoft CRM, and Salesforce. With Cisco Unified CRM Connector, agents can place, receive and transfer customer interactions with full, real-time access to third-party CRM customer data; saving money, increasing revenues, improving monitoring, and enabling excellent customer service.
Customers using Cisco Agent Desktop with Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise can integrate Cisco Agent Desktop with Salesforce.com and Siebel with minimal software development. For other popular third-party CRM applications, Cisco Agent Desktop enables integration using key-stroke macros or dynamic URLs, running the (Web-based) CRM user interface in the Cisco Agent Desktop integrated browser.
Agent Desktop Options
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise offers a variety of desktop options for contact center agents, including Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent, Cisco Agent Desktop, and CTI OS toolkit desktop. 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. Cisco Agent Desktop provides ready-to-use agent desktop capabilities that enable agents to perform call-control functions directly from their desktops. Finally, for companies that require specialized, custom desktop capabilities tailored to meet the specific needs of their contact center operations, there is the CTI OS toolkit desktop.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise coordinates an agent's ability to work on multiple tasks from various channels while allowing agents to be interrupted with high-priority tasks as required. For instance, an agent who is assisting a customer using text chat could handle another text 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 e-mail can be sent a voice call, allowing the agent to handle the real-time voice call and then return to the e-mail. 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. Universal Queue can accurately report on an agent's tasks and activities. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise provides real-time status and historical reporting of Universal Queue and interrupted tasks. Real-time displays accurately depict the agent's current task and time associated with it. Historical reports track the cumulative time associated with agent tasks, omitting the time the agent's focus was diverted to another routed task.
Remote Agent and Mobile Agent Support
Remote agent support extends the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise environment by providing CTI, contact distribution, and reporting capabilities to remote agents in branch offices or at home. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise provides identical user interfaces and feature functions to agents regardless of location.
Cisco Unified Mobile Agent adds the capability to enable temporary agents, who can be brought online during seasonal high call volume with reduced startup costs. Agents can choose their destination phone number during signup time and change the number as often as they want, giving the contact center the flexibility to adapt to a fast-moving mobile workforce.
By incorporating agents outside the physical location of a contact center, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise helps companies better use existing and on-demand resources and fully extend CTI functions across the extended enterprise.
Self-Service and Call-Treatment Capabilities
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise offers two options for self-service and call treatment: Cisco Unified IP Interactive Voice Response (IP IVR) and Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal.
Cisco Unified IP IVR 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 that can help them.
Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal operates with both time-division multiplexing (TDM) and IP-based contact centers to provide a call-management and call-treatment solution with a self-service IVR option that can use information available to customers on the corporate Web server. With support for automated 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 Customer Voice Portal, customers 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, and record conversations. These features add value to the supervisors' 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-sell 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 desktop. For example, agents may forget to make themselves available to take calls after a break or neglect to log out when away from their workstation 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.
Remote Silent Monitor
The Remote Silent Monitor feature allows enterprises using Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise or Hosted to transparently access and monitor any calls in the enterprise by dialing in from anywhere with only a PSTN phone line.
It enables service bureaus the ability to allow their corporate customers to listen in to how calls are handled on their behalf by the service bureau's agents. Also, in-house or third-party quality assurance groups can use remote silent monitoring to monitor calls anywhere in the enterprise, including agents in an offshore contact center.
The Remote Silent Monitoring feature provides companies with the confidence that their calls are being handled properly with the highest level of quality.
Streamlined administration allows managers to perform all Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise administration centrally. The administrative interface in Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise allows agents to be set up to handle voice, Web, chat, and e-mail 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.
The Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise solution provides real-time and historical data necessary for mission-critical contact center reporting. The reporting function provides accurate and timely reports on contact center activity, helping managers make informed decisions regarding staffing levels, contact handling procedures, and technology investments. Standard reporting templates provide automatically operational functions for common reporting needs. Custom reports can extend the standard reporting package to meet specific reporting needs. Furthermore, the open software architecture of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise allows for export of reporting data to external data warehouse environments.
The Cisco Unified Contact Center Management Portal 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. Its unified configuration is designed to simplify administration of both the applicable IP-based contact center elements and the Cisco Unified Communications Manager components. The Cisco Unified Contact Center Management Portal is a partitioned system that can support multiple business units with complete autonomy and 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 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 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. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise software also includes a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) feed for integration into a broader corporate fault-management system.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise supports the latest in security and data integrity features and solutions. When deployed, the application servers are hardened, 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.
In addition to supporting the latest antivirus applications from the major vendors, Cisco offers, as part of its unified communications solutions, the Cisco Security Agent, a host-based intrusion detection and prevention application that provides added protection. By analyzing behavior rather than relying on signature matching, Cisco Security Agent complements the capabilities of antivirus software to provide a robust solution to protect your network and reduce operational costs. For more information, go to
Cisco Unified Communications Services
Cisco and its certified partners can help you deploy a secure, resilient Cisco Unified Communications solution, meeting aggressive deployment schedules and accelerating business advantage. Cisco's portfolio of services is based on proven methodologies for unifying voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks.
Cisco's unique lifecycle approach to services defines the requisite activities at each phase of the solution lifecycle. Customized planning and design services focus on creating a solution that meets your business needs. Award-winning technical support increases operational efficiency. Remote management services simplify day-to-day operations, and optimization services enhance solution performance as your business needs change.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise provides a state-of-the-art VoIP contact center solution that allows you to integrate inbound and outbound voice applications with Internet applications, including real-time chat, Web collaboration, and e-mail. This integration allows for unified capabilities, helping a single agent support multiple interactions simultaneously, regardless of the communications channel the customer has chosen. 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, e-mail, 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 private branch exchanges (PBXs) and take advantage of the wide range of Cisco solutions to support the same contact center requirements in a converged network environment-continuing your evolution toward a true Customer Interaction Network.