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Updated:February 12, 2008
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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.
Today's contact center is about more than just handling inbound telephone calls - it is about fully integrated, multichannel customer interaction. The Cisco
® Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise solutions can help your business implement a single solution to transparently blend multiple communication channels, including voice, web, and email. This solution offers your customers the choice of interacting with your contact center by telephone, web callback, voice over IP (VoIP), text chat, or email. To provide these alternatives to customers, Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise offer Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager, Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager, Cisco Outbound Option, and Cisco Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Option as tightly integrated components.
The Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise are strategic platforms that help customers move into the next phase of customer contact - beyond today's contact center to a Customer Interaction Network. The Customer Interaction Network is a distributed, IP-based customer service infrastructure that comprises a continuously evolving suite of innovative, multichannel services and customer-relationship-management (CRM) applications. These services and applications provide enhanced responsiveness and streamlined customer exchanges to help your organization deliver improved 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.
Cisco Outbound Option Overview
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise help companies distribute inbound service volume to a variety of termination points, including automatic call distributors (ACDs), interactive-voice-response (IVR) systems, home agents, and network terminations. The Cisco Outbound Option with its combination of outbound dialing modes complements the powerful inbound call-handling capabilities of the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise platform with a robust outbound call-management solution.
The ability for agents to handle both inbound and outbound contacts offers a way to optimize contact center resources. Cisco Outbound Option helps multifunctional contact centers take advantage of their Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise investment by allowing outbound capabilities to be enabled on their existing Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise platform. The combined solution allows contact centers to take advantage of the enterprise view that Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise maintains over agent resources.
Features and Benefits
• Dialer: The Cisco Outbound Option Dialer component is responsible for requesting campaign lists from the Cisco Outbound Option Campaign Manager, placing outbound calls, reserving agents, and classifying calls. Each dialer receives skill-group information from the contact center solution. Both Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) dialers are supported.
• Scalability: The use of a SIP dialer results in a significant increase in scalability because Call Progress Analysis (CPA) is performed at the gateway, not the dialer.
• Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO): The SIP dialer provides higher scalability, resulting in fewer dialers, lower hardware cost, and ease of deployment.
• Redundancy and load sharing: The SIP dialer provides warm standby redundancy, whereas the SCCP dialer provides load sharing.
• Dialing modes: Cisco Outbound Option offers three different dialing modes, predictive, preview, and progressive "power dialing":
– Predictive: This mode is a dedicated dialing mode that handles contacts by continually adjusting the number of call originations needed per agent to achieve optimal agent usage.
– Preview: This mode allows the dialer to first reserve or "lock" an agent. When reserved, Cisco Outbound Option posts a screen pop to the agent's CTI desktop, allowing the agent to dial, skip, or cancel the request.
– Progressive power dialing: This mode allows campaign administrators to configure the dialing rate such that Cisco Outbound Option does not attempt to predict the number of lines needed per agent and instead dials a set number of lines per agent.
• Blended modes: This feature helps Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise deliver both inbound and outbound (preview) calls to the same group of agents dynamically. Differing from the dedicated modes, blending allows agents to switch between receipt of inbound and outbound calls on a call-by-call basis. This mode also employs the CTI desktop to deliver contact information to the agent either prior to an outbound call or as an inbound call is received.
• Campaign management: This feature helps call center managers effectively administer and manage dialing campaigns by letting them configure campaigns, create query rules, and import dialing lists. Managers can configure campaigns to provide callbacks, which can be initiated based on the request of a party to be called back, or automatically initiated by the system based on failure to contact a live party. In addition to the campaign management features offered by Cisco Outbound Option, advanced campaign management capabilities such as execution of complex dialing plans, flexible list management, and campaign automation are available through certified third-party providers.
• Personal callback: This feature allows an agent to insert a record into the Dialing List table to be called at a later time. The agent can then enter, directly into the desktop application, the time and date information most convenient for the customer to be contacted. The contact record is modified in the Dialing List table, indicating a telephone number to call and a time to place the call, thereby allowing Cisco Outbound Option to offer the call to the specified agent at the designated time.
• Enhanced Call Progress Analysis: The Cisco Outbound Option Dialer can automatically detect an answering machine, fax machine, or modem for Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise. This feature is available on a campaign-by-campaign basis. Call results are recorded in Cisco Outbound Option reports, which tally the customer premises device detected during a campaign. In addition, a special mode in the dialer allows for beep detection in the welcome message.
• Transfer to IVR: This feature facilitates prerecorded IVR campaigns by providing the ability to play an automated message to a live caller from an IVR system or leave prerecorded messages on an answering machine. With answering machine detection enabled, live callers whom the dialer reaches can be connected to an agent and answering machines directed to an IVR system. This setup eliminates agents from connecting to answering machines - providing better usage of agent resources in the contact center.
• Do Not Call list: This feature lets you add entries into a Do Not Call table. By eliminating calls that are in the Do Not Call list, companies using the Cisco Outbound Option achieve a higher call-completion success rate, while eliminating nuisance calls.
• Import mechanism: Cisco Outbound Option employs a file-import mechanism whereby text-file imports can be performed instantaneously. A third-party application or batch process can create or copy an import text file as soon as it has available contact information. Imports can also be scheduled based on customer preference.
• Integration with the Cisco CTI Option: The Cisco CTI Option supports agents in blended mode by gathering call variables (for example, dialing-list ID, time zone, account number, phone number, campaign ID and name, customer name, and query rule ID) necessary to correctly handle the call, sending it to the appropriate agent or skill group and delivering customer information to the agent either prior to an outbound call or as an inbound call is received.
• Reporting: The sophisticated data storage design of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise allows management of inbound and outbound calls within the same environment, facilitating comprehensive reporting across the enterprise.
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.
Outbound dialing and call blending are vital to companies that desire outbound capabilities and demand maximum use of contact center resources. Combining the power of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Cisco Outbound Option can help you design complex outbound campaigns, maximize the use of skilled agents' expertise, use individual dialing modes, and deliver rich call-contact information to a best-in-class CTI desktop. This combination can help your business achieve higher levels of productivity and customer satisfaction - continuing the evolution toward true customer collaboration.
For More Information
For more information about the Cisco Outbound Option, click
here or contact your local Cisco account representative.