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Updated:March 2, 2006
Cisco® Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise-an integral component of the Cisco Unified Communications system-delivers an integrated suite of capabilities that enables your business to deploy a single solution blending multiple communication channels while easing the transition from traditional disparate automatic call distributor (ACD) environments to an efficient and cost-effective IP-based contact center infrastructure.
Cisco 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 Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise is a strategic platform from Cisco that enables you to move beyond today's contact center by migrating your traditional ACDs to a Customer Interaction Network-a distributed, IP-based customer service infrastructure that comprises a continuously evolving suite of multichannel services and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. These services and applications provide enhanced responsiveness and streamlined 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.
Through a combination of multichannel contact management, intelligent routing, and network-to-desktop computer telephony integration (CTI), Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise segments your customers, monitors resource availability, and delivers each contact to the most appropriate resource anywhere in the enterprise. To complete this transaction, the software profiles each customer using contact-related data such as dialed number and calling line ID, caller-entered digits, data submitted on a Web form, or information obtained from a customer profile database. 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, queue lengths, and more.
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise gives your customers the choice to interact with your contact center by phone, Web, voice over IP (VoIP), text chat, or e-mail. Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise provides centralized management control over customer contacts, allowing you to implement a single set of business rules that uniformly address customer needs independent of contact channel or resource location.
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 Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise to route each contact to the optimum resource anywhere in the enterprise. Wherever an agent is based, the system delivers a unique and rich set of call event and customer profile data to the targeted desktop as a contact arrives, personalizing service and maximizing efficiency. Throughout the process, carrier-class, distributed fault tolerance from the network to the desktop helps ensure uninterrupted operation in the contact center.
Features and Benefits
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, private branch exchange (PBX), IVR, or Web or e-mail server. When a contact requires redirection, Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise applies business logic instructing the peripheral to send the contact to the best available enterprise resource. For contacts flowing between sites or among agents, skill groups, or IVRs, Cisco Post-Routing optimizes each customer's interaction by applying the retained data collected by the Cisco Pre-Routing function, eliminating the need for your customer to restate any previously collected information.
Customer Profile Routing
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise extends the sources of data available for making contact routing decisions and for populating agent desktop applications. For instance, Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise can perform a lookup in your customer profile database during routing to more effectively segment customers and determine the best destination for each contact. Moreover, information obtained from CRM packages can be used to even more precisely match customers with agents and expand the data available to screen pop applications.
Computer Telephony Integration Option
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise enables companies to deploy a complete network-to-desktop CTI strategy, including comprehensive functions at the agent's workstation. Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise delivers a rich set of data to business applications, providing enterprisewide call-event and customer profile information to a targeted agent's desktop. Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise sets a new standard for true enterprisewide, network-to-desktop CTI with minimal custom development or systems integration, enabling your organization to 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, Salesforce.com, and Remedy. 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.
Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager
Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager 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 Intelligent Contact Management 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 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 e-mail 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
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise enables companies to distribute inbound service volume to a variety of termination points, including ACDs, IVRs, home agents, and network terminations. Cisco Outbound Option adds outbound dialing modes to this powerful inbound call-handling capability. The blending of agents handling both inbound and outbound contacts offers a way to increase resource usage in a contact center.
IVR integration supports customer identification and segmentation, skills-based routing, and IVR load balancing while extending the value of IVR investments. The open IVR interface of Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise allows any IVR application to communicate with the Cisco platform, enabling the IVR to act as a routing client, as a managed resource, and as a queue point. A service control interface enables Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise to control IVR scripting, providing a single, unified scripting environment to which business rules can be applied. This Cisco solution also supports call queuing at a premises- or network-based IVR and directs the IVR to connect the call when an appropriate agent becomes available anywhere in the enterprise.
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise provides a collection of real-time and historical data necessary for mission-critical contact center reporting. Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise provides accurate and timely reports on contact center activity, enabling managers to make informed decisions regarding staffing levels, contact handling procedures, and technology investments. Standard reporting templates provide ready-to-use functions for common reporting needs. Custom reports extend this package to meet more specific reporting needs. Furthermore, the open software architecture of Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise allows for the consolidation of timely and accurate information from the Internet, carrier networks, ACDs, IVRs, Web servers, databases, business applications, and other resources, creating a more complete view of the contact center enterprise.
Distributed Fault Tolerance
From the network to the desktop, all Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management 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-diagnosing and self-healing, the system automatically takes advantage of redundant components when required and is resilient to hardware component failures, communications network failures, and asynchronous software errors. Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise also includes a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) feed for integration into a broader corporate fault-management system.
Multicarrier, Multivendor Capabilities
The Cisco solution helps you meet business objectives without the limitations of proprietary or custom solutions. The open architecture of Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise supports a heterogeneous environment of carrier networks, ACDs, PBXs, and IVRs, and complementary software applications-enhancing the value of existing investments. The solution enables your company to include multiple toll-free carrier networks in a single contact center enterprise while supplying advanced functions beyond those of traditional offerings.
Cisco also offers platform independence, while extending the value of premises-based equipment, by supporting a mixed environment of ACDs and IVRs. And integration with common applications for CRM, agent scheduling, workflow management, voice recording, and other activities allows your company to address unique business requirements while maintaining an enterprise view of contact center performance.
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise supports both enterprise and single-site architectures and can scale to accommodate thousands of agents at multiple sites. If your company's use of Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise grows to span many locations, the system is designed to accommodate your changing environment while protecting your initial investment.
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management 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 Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise allows your company to integrate traditional inbound and outbound voice applications with today's Internet applications such as real-time chat, Web collaboration, and e-mail. This integration allows for unified capabilities, enabling a single agent to support multiple interactions simultaneously, regardless of the communications channel the customer has chosen. Each interaction is unique and, therefore, may require individualized service. Cisco provides contact center solutions to manage each interaction based on virtually any contact attribute.
Within these capabilities, Cisco can bridge the gap between traditional ACDs and IP infrastructures, integrating voice, chat, e-mail, and Web collaboration applications over both technologies, allowing your company to maintain 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-continuing your evolution toward a true Customer Interaction Network.