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Cisco Unified Contact Center Express

Cisco Agent Desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 7.0

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Cisco® Unified Communications Solutions unify voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks, enabling easy collaboration every time from any workspace.

Product Overview

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 Express. Cisco Agent Desktop is provided in three versions: Standard, Enhanced, and Premium to match your customer contact interaction management requirements.
Cisco Agent Desktop and Cisco Supervisor Desktop are powerful software solutions for the customer contact center. They give customer contact agents and supervisors Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)-based tools to increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce costs.
For contact center agents, the Cisco Agent Desktop:

• Provides a unified set of customer contact application tools in Windows-integrated deployments

• Presents caller information in real time

• Allows one-click automation of routine operations using the task toolbar

• Provides performance reports that present snapshots of crucial metrics

• Extends real-time collaboration to the broader enterprise through presence integration

• Offers integration to business applications, providing easy access to customer data

For contact center supervisors, the Cisco Supervisor Desktop:

• Provides the management framework to monitor, coach, and train centralized or virtual teams

• Manages contact center environment and process

• Displays snapshots of crucial customer contact center metrics in real time

• Monitors and records agent calls*

• Provides collaboration and intervention tools to help agents meet customer needs and call center objectives

The desktop products can be displayed to agents and supervisors in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, simplified and traditional Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish.
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 GUI, decreasing IT dependency and simplifying customization, maintenance, and change management

Cisco Unified Contact Center Express also offers the option to employ Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent using supported Cisco Unified IP Phone models. This option requires only a Cisco Unified IP Phone for the agent; no PC is required.

Features and Benefits

Cisco Agent Desktop Client Editions for Enhanced and Premium Versions

Cisco Agent Desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Enhanced and Premium versions allows agents to perform customer interaction directly from their desktops using supported Cisco Unified IP Phones or the Cisco IP Communicator softphone. Basic customer interaction functions include make/answer call, terminate call, hold call, transfer call, conference call, agent work state control (allowing changes to the status of an agent's availability), call status display, and agent status display (Figure 1). Customer information is presented to the agent through an enterprise data window and optional screen pops (Figure 2).

Figure 1. Basic Customer Interaction Functions of Cisco Agent Desktop

Cisco Agent Desktop gives agents a full-featured user interface for managing calls and their work state. Chat messaging between the agent and the supervisor or, if enabled in a Cisco Unified Presence environment, between agents and subject matter experts allows the agent to get timely information while assisting callers. "Reason" codes allow management to accurately track agent state (status) changes. Cisco Agent Desktop also supports the Cisco IP Communicator softphone, allowing the agent's PC to act as the phone instrument. Cisco Agent Desktop is extremely flexible in presentation, requires minimal screen space, and is easily configured to meet varied and specific needs of the customer contact center. Standard features include:

• Call control: The agent softphone can answer/drop, hold/unhold, conference, and transfer calls using dashboard toolbar buttons.

• Agent automatic-call-distributor (ACD) state control:

– Log in and log out

– Ready or not ready

– Reason codes for log out and not ready

• Agent or supervisor chat: Agents and supervisors can exchange messages one on one or in a conference with other agents or Cisco Unified Presence-enabled subject matter experts.

• Phone directory: The phone directory displays the phone book to automate dialing of an outgoing call.

• Real-time reporting: Agents can see their real-time statistics directly on their desktop application.

• Agent state log: Work state changes are logged with a time and date stamp to allow detailed tracking and troubleshooting of agent state transitions.

• Contact appearance: The application displays data about the agent's current call status.

• Integrated multitabbed browser (Figure 2): This feature provides a multitabbed browser application within Cisco Agent Desktop to improve productivity in processing a customer request. You can also use the integrated browser in event-triggered workflows to automate a screen pop. This feature is available only with the Premium version of Cisco Agent Desktop.

Figure 2. Cisco Agent Desktop: Premium Version with Integrated Multitabbed Browser

• Screen pop options (available for most Windows- or browser-based applications on an agent's desktop):

– Caller data: Cisco Agent Desktop displays caller data, including caller ID; Automatic Number Identification (ANI); Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS); and queue time, talk time with thresholds, and administrator-defined variables.

– Caller-entered information: The application displays workflow values.

• "Hot desking" and extension mobility support: This feature provides the flexibility for agents to sit at any available agent station while maintaining their unique settings.

• On-demand recording: This feature enables agents to record any call on demand.*

• Task automation: Using a single-click method, agents can execute frequently performed predefined actions, such as creating an email message, blind transfer to a specific extension, launching or logging in to another desktop application, etc.

• Event-triggered workflows: This feature enables a sequence of actions to automatically happen when a specific inbound call event occurs, such as displaying a screen pop when a call is delivered to an agent, changing agent work states when a call is dropped, or starting call recording when a call is answered.

Cisco Agent Desktop and Agent E-Mail for Premium Versions

Agent E-Mail is an email queuing and response system, designed specifically for Cisco Agent Desktop for the Cisco Unified Contact Center Express platform (Figure 3).
This feature is tightly integrated into the agent desktop, with controls built into the toolbar and display. It provides contact centers with an essential feature set. The Agent E-Mail feature:

• Queues and routes email messages to staffed and skilled agents, helping strike a balance between email and call-handling activities

• Facilitates the creation of the agent's response to control quality

• Provides a collection of real-time and historical reports that can help you accurately measure your center's email performance

Figure 3. Cisco Agent Desktop: Premium Version with Agent E-Mail

Agents configured with email skills will see two state buttons in their desktop toolbar. The "E-Mail Ready" and "E-Mail Not Ready" buttons are used in conjunction with the familiar voice states to reflect the kind of contacts the agent wishes to handle, mixing and matching their voice and email states as desired. Features include:

• Agent E-Mail Review pane: In the Agent E-Mail Review pane, the sender's content appears as originally composed, in either an HTML or a plaintext format. If there are attachments, the agent can choose to Open or Save the file, as appropriate. If the agent determines the email message was misaddressed and belongs in a different queue, the agent can use the Transfer button to redirect the email message. Alternatively, if the agent is unable to process a message because of time constraints or other problems, the agent can choose to Re-Queue the message.

• Agent E-Mail Response pane: The bottom pane is reserved for the agent's response. Here, the insert template function allows the agent to choose from a collection of predefined texts, reducing the need for original composition and helping ensure the consistency of replies. In those instances where original text is required, the embedded spell checker underscores misspellings and offers alternatives similar to standard word processors. And if the response requires one or more attachments, the "Attach File" button presents a familiar navigational dialog box to the agent. When the agent is satisfied with the response, the agent selects the Send button and the system posts the reply email message. If the contact center uses wrap-up codes, then Cisco Agent Desktop also presents the agent with the wrap-up dialog at this time.

• Agent E-Mail Reports: The Agent's Real Time Display reflects email messages as well as voice contacts. These reports are easily accessible to agents at the touch of a button, and they help agents understand how their work efforts on email contacts contribute to the contact center's performance.

Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition for Enhanced and Premium Versions

The Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition (Figure 4) 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 4. Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition

Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express

The Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent (Figure 5) provides ACD functions on supported Cisco Unified IP Phones. Although the Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent is available for the Standard, Enhanced, and Premium bundles, for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 5.0(2) and later releases this phone service is the sole agent interface for the Standard version. (Cisco Agent Desktop software is not available in the Standard version.)
The Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent does not support all features of the Cisco Agent Desktop, but in many cases it eliminates the need for a Cisco Agent Desktop to be installed on the agent's PC.
Features of Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Standard include:

• Call control using the standard Cisco Unified IP Phone capabilities

• Agent ACD state control:

– Log in and log out

– Ready or not ready

– Reason codes for log out and not ready

• Hot desking (extension mobility)

• Display of real-time statistics for number of calls in queue and longest call in queue

• Display of caller data

Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Enhanced includes all the features of Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Standard plus:

• Work wrap-up agent state: Agents can complete work from a previous call and, when finished, are available to receive routed calls.

• Agent-initiated recording: Agents can start and stop recordings of any call on demand.*

Figure 5. Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent

Cisco Supervisor Desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express

Cisco Supervisor Desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express allows supervisors to perform management and agent collaboration functions directly from their desktop; these functions include agent status, agent state control, silent monitoring, barge-in intercept, chat, team messaging, and record (Figure 6). The Cisco Supervisor Desktop gives the virtual contact manager an extensive list of tools to interactively collaborate with agent teams to efficiently manage and improve contact center performance metrics.
Through the Cisco Supervisor Desktop, the supervisor can view a display of agent states (login, logout, and ready), change agent states, and view call information. Monitoring features also allow the supervisor to silently monitor agent-client interaction, status, enterprise data, and call history, as well as recorded agent-customer conversations.
When intervention or assistance is necessary, the Cisco Supervisor Desktop also provides the means to silently communicate with agents through text chat and with the entire team through team messaging.
Cisco Supervisor Desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Standard includes the following features:

• Monitoring and collaboration with agents in real time: Improve performance and customer satisfaction through the use of advanced supervisor features:

– Agent observing: Supervisors can view an agent's ACD state and phone status with caller data.

• Changing the agent state: Supervisors can change an agent from logged in to logged out or from ready to not ready.

• Real-time display: Supervisors can view agent and skill-group statistics.

• Hot desking and extension mobility support: This feature gives organizations flexibility by allowing supervisors to sit at any available workplace while maintaining their unique settings.

• Collaboration with Cisco Unified Presence clients: In environments where Cisco Unified Presence is installed, collaboration can be extended beyond the contact center, and supervisors can interact with subject matter experts throughout the enterprise.

Figure 6. Cisco Supervisor Desktop

Cisco Supervisor Desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Enhanced and Premium includes all the features of Cisco Supervisor Desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Standard plus:

• Silent monitoring: Supervisors can silently monitor agent and caller voice interaction.

• Barge in: Supervisors can join any call in progress.

• Call intercept: Supervisors can move any call from any agent to themselves.

• Recording: Supervisors can perform on-demand recording and playback of agent calls*

• Chat: Supervisors can use instant messaging capability to coach agents.

• Scrolling marquee team messages: Supervisors can send text messages to broadcast important news to all agents on their team.

Cisco Supervisor Desktop control of IP phone agents for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Standard includes:

• Ability to change an agent from "Logged In" to "Logged Out" or from "Not Ready" to "Ready"

Cisco Supervisor Desktop control of IP phone agents for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Premium and Enhanced also includes the following features:

• On-demand recording: This feature enables agents to record any call on demand.*

• Monitoring of agent status, silent monitor, barge in, and intercept: Improve performance and customer satisfaction through the use of advanced supervisor features:

– Agent monitoring: Supervisors can monitor agent state and agent phone status with caller data.

– Silent monitoring: Supervisors can silently monitor agent and caller voice interaction.

– Barge in: Supervisors can join any call in progress.

– Call intercept: Supervisors can move any call from any agent to themselves.

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 chat dialog from the Cisco Agent Desktop toolbar. In the chat selection window, the agent can see a preconfigured list 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 7).
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 7. 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 Desktop Administrator and Cisco Desktop Work Flow Administrator

The Cisco Desktop Administrator and Cisco Desktop Work Flow Administrator allow system administrators to define and configure the behavior of agents' desktops and workflow from a centralized location.
Using the Cisco Desktop Work Flow Administrator, administrators can choose which controls are visible on the agent's toolbar, define unique icons for agent toolbar buttons, configure reason codes and the phone directory, and customize the user interface of agent desktops.
From the Cisco Desktop Administrator interface, 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 accelerate 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, and launch of external applications.
Cisco Unified Work Flow Administrator still uses the Windows-based client, and this application can be used as the launch pad from which the administrator can get to the Cisco Desktop Administrator.
With the web-based Cisco Desktop Administrator, administrators can perform setup and essential configuration settings for enterprise data, Agent E-Mail, the Monitoring and Recording setting, integration with Cisco Unified Presence, and Cisco Unified Presence users. In addition, the Cisco Desktop Administrator is used to manage the assignment of agents to workflow groups.
Together, these applications allow for the flexible configuration of Cisco Agent Desktop to meet various operational needs and maintain overall workflow automation efficiently and cost-effectively.

Cisco Agent Desktop Workflow and Enterprise Application Integration

Cisco Agent Desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Enhanced and Premium versions 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. Events such as startup, shutdown, agent state change, ringing, answering, and hang-up can be used to trigger evaluation of workflow rules and initiate actions.
For example, consider the following workflow:
Step 1. A call is received by Cisco Unified Contact Center Express.
Step 2. Call data is collected and delivered by Cisco Unified Contact Center Express to Cisco Agent Desktop.
Step 3. Cisco Agent Desktop uses call data to execute workflow action to retrieve customer-specific records or data from a customer-relationship-management (CRM) system and performs a screen pop to display information to the agent prior to answering the call.
Integration actions include the following: Web integration, Inter Process Communication, launch external application, and run macro action as follows:

• Web integration action (Premium only): Integration with applications accessible from a browser

– Call information is used as input to URL search strings for integrated browser screen pops.

• Interprocess communication action (Premium only): 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.

• 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 or other external application structured to write to a third-party database or other application.

• 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.)

Further information about third-party application integration is available at: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/custcosw/ps427/products_white_paper0900aecd804c6cdd.shtml.

Cisco Agent Desktop Software Packages

Features of the Cisco Agent Desktop software packages differ in the three versions of Cisco Unified Contact Center Express to meet the price and performance needs of today's call centers (Table 1). Each Cisco Agent Desktop software package includes the full suite of applications: Cisco Agent Desktop, Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent, Cisco Supervisor Desktop, and Cisco Desktop Administrator.

Table 1. Feature Content for Cisco Agent Desktop Software Packages

Feature Summary

Standard

Enhanced

Premium

Cisco Supervisor Desktop

Supervisor-agent chat

X

X

Cisco Unified Presence integration

X

X

X

Change agent state

X

X

X

Team messages

X

X

Real-time skill and agent statistics, logs, and report displays

X

X

X

Silent monitor, barge in, and intercept

 

X

X

Calling and recording viewer (up to 32 simultaneous recordings and playbacks)*

 

X

X

Calling and recording viewer (up to 64 simultaneous recordings and playbacks)*

 

 

X

Cisco Agent Desktop

Agent E-Mail

   

X

Agent-initiated chat

X

X

Cisco Unified Presence integration

X

X

X

Cisco IP Communicator support

X

X

Phone directory

X

X

Real-time agent report displays

X

X

Wrap-up data and reason codes

X

X

Task buttons

 

X

X

Event-triggered workflows

 

X

X

Enterprise data thresholds

 

X

X

Automated recording (as part of workflow)*

 

X

X

Agent-initiated call recording (Switched Port Analyzer [SPAN] or endpoint)

 

X

X

Cisco Unified Outbound Dialer

 

 

X

Integrated multitabbed browser

 

 

X

Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent

Caller data display

X

X

X

Queue status data

X

X

X

Reason codes

X

X

X

Work wrap-up agent state

 

X

X

Agent-initiated recording

 

X

X

Supervisor-initiated barge-in, intercept, monitoring, and recording*

 

X

X

Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition

Agent E-Mail

     

Agent-initiated chat

 

 

 

Cisco Unified Presence Integration

 

 

 

Cisco IP Communicator support

 

X

X

Wrap-up data and reason codes

 

X

X

Task buttons

 

X

X

Event-triggered workflows

 

X

X

Enterprise data thresholds

 

X

X

Agent-initiated call recording (SPAN)

 

X

X

Application Integration

Web integration action

   

X

External application action

 

X

X

Interprocess communication interaction action

   

X

Keystroke macro action

 

X

X

Summary

The Cisco Agent Desktop software suite provides agents, supervisors, and administrators with powerful tools to increase productivity and reduce costs in the contact center. Cisco Supervisor Desktop provides the management framework for monitoring, coaching, collaborating, and training centralized or virtual teams in performance metrics. Cisco Agent Desktop provides accurate information to agents' desktops for more efficient, personalized contact 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 Express allows companies to quickly and easily deploy computer telephony integration (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.

For More Information

For more information about Cisco Agent Desktop, visit http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/custcosw/ps427/index.html or contact your local Cisco account representative.
*The actual maximum number of simultaneous recording or silent monitoring sessions that can be deployed on a given hardware server depends on the performance and capacities of that server as well the number and type of other features also deployed on that server. Your Cisco or Cisco partner account team can assist you in determining the maximum number of simultaneous recording or silent monitoring sessions available for your deployment.