Cisco is among the world’s leading network services provider, with many decades of innovation backing its products. The company managed to pivot wonderfully in the era of the cloud, going from a primarily hardware and components-dependent business to platforms, applications, and managed services. Of course, this move was bolstered by its many acquisitions over the year that introduced capabilities like AI and contact centre technology to its ecosystem.
Today, Cisco is eager to be the partner of choice for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises alike. That’s where the Unified Contact Center Express offering comes in. Unlike Unified Contact Center Enterprise, which is meant for 24,000 agents or Packaged Contact Center for 12000 agents, Express squarely targets the SMB segment. It is designed to meet the needs of a 4000-strong contact centre workforce and includes all the business essentials required to maximise productivity. Let’s review its features and capabilities in more detail.
Inside Unified Contact Center Express
Expectedly, Unified Contact Center Express has a lot in common with its more robust cousins, but where it does differ is in its ease of use, and the comprehensive nature of offerings. Here’ a quick look at some of its features:
- Interactive voice response (IVR) – There’s a ready to use IVR module that can be customised if necessary. You can use the solution’s Dual-Tone Multifrequency (DTMF) to route calls based on keypad presses, or even present a screen popup to the service executive. We liked that there is optional support for advanced technologies like speech recognition and text to speech
- Computer telephony integration (CTI) – This is ideal for companies with a remote contact centre, where employees regularly use home devices to take calls. Thanks to CTI, service executives have the flexibility to operate through cellular networks or broadband internet lines
- Cisco Finesse – Finesse is a desktop client for agent and supervisor that’s built into the Cisco Unified Contact Center Express. Finesse is customisable so that you can equip executives with access to the right business productivity tools. Importantly, Finesse is compatible with both inbound and outbound functions
- Customer insights – Cisco Unified Contact Center Express gives you several ways to gain insights into the customer experience, including a post-call survey, emails, and web intercept surveys. This generates useful action points for supervisors, improving service executive performance
- Workflows – Cisco Finesse can be used to define business workflows across voice and digital channels. The solution’s logic-based interface could prove instrumental in reducing handle times, and improving the quality of service
- Workforce optimisation – Cisco Finesse lets you introduce gamification to motivate contact centre agents. Employees earn badges for meeting quality benchmarks and adhering to CX best practices. Supervisors can also track workforce improvements via these badges (keep in mind that this feature is available only with Cisco Unified Contact Center Express’s Enhanced and Premium versions)
- Cloud Connect – This is a new feature that allows companies to integrate an on-premises application to the Cisco Unified Contact Center Express. There is regular configuration synchronisation to keep reporting activities consistent and accurate
- Reporting – There are several out of the box reports for both historical and live data – we liked that the Cisco Unified Intelligence Center Premium comes embedded in the Express version, removing the need for SMBs to invest in a separate tool. There is also a Customer Journey Analyzer feature in the trialling pipeline
Why Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Makes a Difference
Cisco has put in a lot of time and effort into Express, regardless of the size of the targeted company. There’ve been 10+ releases in the last year alone, each with fresh upgrades, additions, and improvements. A clear technology roadmap implies that SMBs are in good hands when they invest in Cisco Unified Contact Center Express. It also helps that it is available in three tiers – Standard, Premium, and Enhanced – so that you have maximum flexibility.
What We Think
With Express, Cisco has hit the nail on the head. It is often difficult for SMBs to find the right contact centre solution, and they might shy away from larger, enterprise-focused products. Cisco Unified Contact Center Express offers a secure, sophisticated alternative with all the essentials available natively. In-solution business intelligence, a feature-rich desktop client, and sophisticated IVR make this one a no brainer.
Finally, take a look at Cisco’s portal for license management that streamlines subscription tracking and alterations, for the total package.