Not so long ago, it took huge investment in time, money, and meticulous planning over many months to integrate computer-based applications with the core telephony platform. Contact Centre functions were often kept centralised to contain costs, and if that platform consisted of multiple PABX systems in a private network, then the time required to integrate across the complete network was vastly increased. Fast forward a few years, and you’ll see how things have changed dramatically.
Users are now simply given secure access to a single cloud platform which is accessible from anywhere over the internet and in some cases intranet, enabling them to connect to the Cloud Provider over private links, ensuring guaranteed quality and performance. Many of the features that were once expensive add-ons are now included in the cloud package such as voice mail, voice recording and varying degrees of analytics.
The Cloud Based Telephony market is a busy one indeed, and it is growing exponentially. The only thing containing this growth are the acquisitions of smaller organisations by larger ones and the merging of the giants. However, the one thing that they all have in common is their need for speed-to-market, particularly as new technologies rapidly evolve. Technologies such as social media, artificial intelligence, and the need to monitor, measure & analyse their impacts on the business.
To achieve this holy grail, Contact Centre vendors must choose wisely the technologies they include in their base product. Identifying their unique market differentiators is becoming more important than merely ticking off we-can-do-it features needed to meet the requirements of an RFP and get a seat at the negotiations table.
These decisions can make or break even the best technology vendors and can be the key to their success or hasten their demise. To achieve this, money is typically invested in researching latest trends, software development or acquiring companies that already have the technology. The vendors may also choose to continue developing older technology to satisfy their customer base or support marketing campaigns that carry incentives to migrate customers to newer technology. If every cloud-based vendor has this in common, the market is left with a myriad of choice, sprinkled with a dose of confusion for the avid Contact Centre stakeholder who is attempting to select a cloud-based contact centre vendor for their core omnichannel platform.
In recent years I have navigated this process on behalf of many customers, whose main objective it was to select a best fit solution for their needs in a single vendor platform.
What became evident was that all vendors, in their race for speed-to-market, have acquired their own unique DNA of strengths and weaknesses. And the single-throat-to-choke dream of many Contact Centre stakeholders remains a dream.
When it comes to positioning their strengths, how do respectable Contact Centre vendors plug their weaknesses? The answer? Through the provision of a secure, robust, API (Application Programming Interface) and a host of development partners eager to plug those gaps & weaknesses for them.
To Supercharge the Contact Centre the best insurance policy is to ensure that your cloud-based Contact Centre has a feature rich API with limited restrictions on use.
For example, if voice analytics is a key pillar of your success, then dropping that provided-in-the-core product and connecting a vendor technology specialising in that field may make sense. The same can be said for WFM (Workforce Management), WFO (Workforce Optimisation), Gamification, Customer Surveys, AI Bots, and the list goes on…
Key to the success is effective MMA (Measure, Monitor and Analyse).
- Measure effectively by agreeing in your business the key performance indicator metrics needed to define success.
- Monitor all sources of data, including that gleaned from external applications.
- Analyse effectively through efficient visualisation of all available data.
Every external application added to the Contact Centre should have its own API that supports your chosen visualisation platform so that you can achieve the highly desired Single-Pane-of-Glass reporting across the Contact Centre. Or possibly the whole organisation, providing true Business Intelligence.
If you adopt this approach then you will be well positioned to Supercharge Your Contact Centre, the rest is up to you and how you manage it. So how do you best manage a contact centre? In most cases this is where you’d be palmed off to another vendor or simply left to work it out for yourself!
In this instance I’d like to offer you the opportunity to sit down and chat about your contact centre needs, I head up our in-house Unified Communications and Contact Centre Technology Consultancy with a proven track record in the development of analytics and the facilitation of cloud migration strategies, for companies large and small. At the forefront I see the growing need for Contact Centre Advanced Analytics and I am commitment to the development of solutions that provide customer “freedom-of-choice” and “ease-of-use” when analysing business and performance metrics in and around the contact centre.
Connect with me, Rob & let’s have an informative and friendly 30 min catch up to discuss your CC needs, challenges and goals!