How can Unified Communication add value in the Contact Center?


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Over the last several years we’ve seen a number of companies re-brand themselves as UC vendors. The vendors have focused their products in one of two areas. They are either coming to market as a platform play IE IBM, Microsoft and Cisco,  or as application vendors such as Aspect, Interactive Intelligence and Siemens. But the problem with UC in the contact center is multi-faceted. First, other than Presence there is no new technology delivered as part of UC. Many contact centers have already stitched together existing technologies to provide similar levels of functionality delivered by UC. In the frugal contact center market it is far from perfect but it works…

The UC vendors are pitching Presence as an enabling technology. Presence would allow agents to identify available experts to conceivably close calls quicker. At first blush this looks like it would increase first call resolution. But the issue lies with the business freeing up those expensive resources to help close calls. The cost conscious contact center manager and the business itself are leery of adding this additional cost layer.

So can Presence help in the contact center? Absolutely. More and more contact centers are developing at-home agent programs. These at-home programs provide contact centers with the ability to reduce infrastructure costs and build more flexibility into their workforce management capabilities.  Seasonal demands, product releases, and product issues all cause spikes in the call volumes. These spikes in demand are not always easily forecasted.  What better way to enhance your workforce management capabilities then too utilize Presence to identify agents who are available to work when you need them? Presence provides a flexible method of identifying available agents and scheduling them for a shift. Virtual contact centers require tools that allow them access to their employees in non-traditional ways and Presence could be one of them.

The value of UC in the contact center is getting clearer but the challenge remains as to when and how you swap out existing technologies. Utilizing Presence to help manage your virtual contact center staffing needs is one more step towards providing an ROI for UC.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alan Hubbard
Alan W. Hubbard, COO, the National Telecommuting Institute, Inc (NTI). NTI was founded in 1995 in Boston, Massachusetts and is a 51(c)(3) nonprofit disability organization. NTI's identifies and develops work-at-home jobs for Americans with disabilities.


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