NEC Review – Covering All Bases For Call Management and Analytics
Review of the NEC MyCalls analytics suite for Univerge systems
There’s an old saying about there being more than one way to skin a cat – not, when you stop to think about it, the most pleasant of images.
Nonetheless, it is a phrase which seems apt for NEC’s MyCalls analytics suite. Although I’m assuming there is no direct equivalent in the company’s native Japanese, NEC clearly takes the view that there is more than one way to go about call management. With eight separate modules available, MyCalls is a seriously comprehensive take on the different forms call handling and analytics can take.
Developed as the reporting platform for NEC’s Univerge phone systems, MyCalls is billed as ‘the complete call management solution.’ Like the Univerge product range, it has gone through a series of versions and upgrades, building up a package of solutions for different sizes of business and different telephony uses.
To this end, NEC makes the point that MyCalls is not just intended for call centres – in fact, call centre solutions make up just two of the eight modules available. Fully compatible with the latest Univerge SV9100 PBX system, MyCalls is positioned as a call analytics and management all rounder, suitable for every type of contact centre, from sales rooms to help desks.
In this review, we will give an overview of what the different modules offer, and try to give some guidance on how they meet the needs of different audiences. We will also assess some of the business benefits NEC claims its call management suite can offer Univerge customers.
Please remember, the opinions contained in this review are those of the author only. UC Today is a completely independent news and insight service for the UK’s Unified Communications industry, and does not endorse, market or promote any particular brands or products.
How Does It Look?
Eight different modules means eight different interfaces, although there are some consistent stylistic themes. The visual layouts are all very clear, with large format numerical or text boxes displaying key data, and bold colour differentiation. Other information is displayed in a combination of graphs, charts, tables and lists.
What Can It Do?
At its core, the MyCalls suite is an analytics and CTI platform which plugs into the Univerge series of telephone systems and transforms the data generated by the network into actionable business insight. All data and call management options are available in real time on easy to navigate dashboards, so managers, supervisors and agents can see how they are performing against service KPIs, and take steps to improve performance accordingly.
The entry level module, MyCalls Basics, is bundled in with the Univerge SV9100 free of charge for the first 12 months. Basics logs every call in and out of the phone system, with key information recorded such as source and destination numbers, call duration, waiting times and extension activity. Straightforward reports can be generated from this information, for example analysing calls by a specific criteria such as waiting time. But this data is also aggregated in close to real time to display key stats on the dashboard, such as total number of inbound/outbound calls, queue, abandonment rate etc.
Above the Basics package, MyCalls Call Manager offers greater oversight of individual agent and group activity, such as who is on a call, who is available, which calls in the queue are abandoned etc. Alarms can be set so supervisors can see immediately where and how SLAs have not been met, and there is an in-depth range of reporting options which are able to analyse aspects such as call costs and staff performance.
MyCalls Enterprise performs similar functions to Call Manager but is designed to collect, consolidate and interpret data from across multiple sites, so is intended for larger distributed businesses.
MyCalls Operator Console is the latest addition to the suite and provides a call management platform specifically geared towards reception staff. It helps to support efficient call handling with lists of all active calls and agents, with a company directory and presence information so operators can find who they need to refer a call to quickly and check if they are available. It also gives reception staff oversight of calls waiting, transferred calls and parked calls, with a range of handling options.
The MyCalls Desktop integrates the phone system with a company’s CRM platform, so when a call is received, customer information pops up for the agent to view. This helps to streamline the customer journey much more efficiently, ensuring all contact history is always available whoever takes the call, and the thread of queries or assistance can be picked up immediately. Desktop also provides on screen call handling, for example with a company directory and presence information displayed, and one click options for transferring calls or placing a call on hold.
MyCalls Call Recorder by default records each and every call in accordance with statutory standards for encryption and data protection. There is an intuitive search and export function for finding calls, with the ability to add notes and search by keyword. Advanced playback features include speed control, looping and call markers.
Finally, there are two dedicated call centre modules, MyCalls Call Centre and MyCalls Agent Control. Call Centre is built around an Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system for intelligent call routing, plus in depth real time call, agent and ring group analysis with supervisory control over ACD queues and group membership. It also includes a feature called predictive abandonment, which uses historical data to forecast likely peaks in abandonment rates at busy times.
The Agent Control module gives agents the ability to log themselves in and out of ACD queues according to demand and availability, spreading responsibility for performance management throughout teams. Agent Control also provides customisable rules for agents to log in and out of availability, so there is always very clear oversight on resources.
What do we like?
Not only is the range of features offered by the MyCalls suite very comprehensive, it is highly flexible too. Customers can deploy any of the eight modules they like, in any combination – so you can pick and choose the call handling, management, reporting and recording functions which are most relevant to your business, or you can get the full monty and run all eight.
A particularly neat feature is the inclusion of an IM app in the Manager, Desktop and Operator Console modules, which makes it very easy for colleagues to communicate even while they are busy taking calls.
Who is it for?
The NEC MyCalls suite is suitable for a very wide range of business types and functions, from small one office sales teams or helpdesks through larger offices with a main reception all the way to multisite enterprises. However, the Univerge SV9100 phone system MyCalls is mainly intended to run with is positioned as an SME to midmarket product, so that gives some indication of where MyCalls is mostly being aimed at.
What is it compatible with?
MyCalls is designed to work with a range of NEC telephone PBX solutions, including the Univerge range.
Where to buy and for how much?
For subscription and pricing information, including for NEC phone systems, contact your nearest NEC reseller.
UC Today Opinion
To go with a pretty comprehensive set of call management and reporting features, NEC also makes a pretty comprehensive list of claims about how MyCalls can help a business. These range from increasing productivity and efficiency to boosting staff training and skills levels, from reducing costs in the contact centre to improving customer satisfaction through better service. And we can’t really argue with any of those claims.
With MyCalls, NEC has worked hard to cover all bases of call management and analytics, and has done a very good job of it. There are indeed many different ways to approach call data intelligence, and MyCalls takes the wide view, offering customers a very broad set of business and customer service benefits as a result.
Are you an NEC customer running the MyCalls software suite? Which modules do you use, and how do you rate them? Or are you an NEC reseller, and if so, which parts of MyCalls are most popular with your customers? Please post your thoughts in the comments section below, feel free to share this article on social media to invite your friends and colleagues to join in, too.