May 7, 2013: 24/7 Connectivity

Although they are seldom considered “early adopters,” large corporations often serve as laboratories for emerging technologies, testing the waters for the next big thing. Speaking to industry analysts at the end of April, executives at Cisco’s Unified Customer Collaboration division noted that corporate contact centers are providing the focal point for the next big thing in Unified Communications (UC).

Cisco executives say contact centers are the proving ground for “The Internet of Everything” — a $14.4 trillion market for unified communications technology that brings together people, data, and process into one network. With unified communications, the sum of the connectivity possibilities has more value than the components.

Reporting on Cisco’s analyst meetings, Dan Miller of Opus Research writes:

“The centrality, not to mention the very existence of contact centers, has been called into question during the past decade as corporate spending gravitated toward e-commerce websites and mobile apps in recognition that each customer’s journey starts with a generic Google search, then lands on an enterprise’s website, where a transaction may be consummated or deflected to a local retail store. Mobile devices, especially smartphones equipped with web browsers or e-commerce apps, have also taken their toll on traffic to and from contact centers. Thus, IT execs were well-counseled to invest in UC servers, networking, middleware, and software, which, in turn, became the underpinning for presence-awareness, collaboration, multichannel, and mobile communications throughout the company.”

Unified Communications has become the foundation of customer service. Of course, this really isn’t new. For decades, the contact centers have been manned by operators with a telephone headset and a data terminal. But with Unified Communications, the contact center is now the focal point for all inbound and outbound data communications — voiceover IP (VoIP) telecommunications, data, text, video, clickstream, etc. Agents can be anywhere there is a stable Internet connection. Unified Communications platforms have now evolved to provide that same level of 24/7 reliability, so you can now control costs while increasing agent productivity and improving customer satisfaction over a single, stable IP communications link.

At Premises Systems, we know a lot about maintaining 24/7 connectivity and offering superior customer support. We work closely to partner with our customers to understand their support needs and implement the connectivity they need from initial meeting to steady state. If you are interested in a UC strategy for your contact center, let’s talk.

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