Cisco – Collaboration to Cognitive Conversation
Cisco’s acquisition of CloudCherry will integrate communications and intelligence across the contact centre and beyond
As the U in UC becomes an ever more critical competitive differentiator, Cisco’s latest release, announced at their 10th Annual Cisco Contact Center Summit positions Webex Contact Center at the forefront of intelligent integrated communications solutions. We caught up with Vasili Triant, General Manager and Vice President of Customer Journey Solutions at Cisco, to examine why its customers are so excited about this development – which he described as “bringing the collaboration portfolio together”.
“Passing calls back and forth, between a PBX or calling platform on one end, and a cloud contact centre on the other, that creates a lot of different challenges”, he explained, “so our customers need it to be integrated. If a contact starts in a web chat or an email, and they want to escalate that into a video call for providing support, then we can just turn that on”. The latest integration enables everything to work in a single space, wherever they are in the enterprise, the communication can finally be truly unified:
“Instead of having one type of messaging capability for knowledge workers and something different for the call centre, it can all be provisioned centrally, as a single service instead of a patchwork of different systems to administer”
“It’s phase one of a multi-stage investment process that we’re doing in the contact center business, but the acquisition of CloudCherry is a significant chunk of work to have accomplished”. Other acquisitions in the AI space include Accompany and Voicea, enabling Cisco to create a next-generation smart contact centre offering, all managed through a central Control Hub.
Integration, Scale, Availability and Manageability
The new version of Webex Contact Center can now scale up to 3,000 agents per tenant with unlimited tenants supported per system – supporting mid-to-large contact centers in the cloud, with global availability. Integrating Webex Calling with Webex Contact Center ensures that the right call will reach the right agent regardless of the scaling challenges, and the release includes new data centres in the UK, Europe and Australia, to provide local data residency and compliance for customers in different regions.
Intelligent elements bring new cognitive conversational capacities too, creating a genuinely data-driven environment for customers: the new conversational IVR-self-service for Webex Contact Centre leverages machine learning to analyse and understand the user’s intent, so questions are answered more efficiently, and insight gained into the whole customer journey – not just the part which happens in the contact centre. Understanding how they got there in the first place, and ultimately what they do next, will enable ever more personalised and effective user experiences throughout the lifetime of their interaction.
It’s all part of a suite of smart insight tools which will be added to the solution over coming months, as the system itself continues to develop and get smarter, integrating increasing layers of AI and ML to continue to enhance the experience of Cisco customers and their end users.