Clarity Connect™ now available in new languages

Expands global footprint for new cloud contact center for Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business

CHICAGO, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Clarity announced the release of a new web-based interface for agents in Clarity Connect™ — the best cloud contact center for Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business. This new interface provides Clarity Connect customers with a complete set of agent and supervisor capabilities directly in a web browser along with localization support across multiple languages. The new interface is powered by Microsoft's Skype Developer Platform for Web ("Skype Web SDK") and natively extends Skype for Business' call control to Clarity Connect.

This new interface expands upon the recent release of the Clarity Connect cloud contact center and increases its global footprint. Clarity Connect's federated-delivery model enables clients to move their contact center to the cloud, regardless of whether they have Office 365 or Skype for Business (on-premises or fully hosted). This model is flexible and helps clients keep their cloud deployment options open. For example, clients could migrate some or all of their users to Office 365 now, or choose to migrate users in stages and have Clarity Connect seamlessly transition alongside them later.

"Moving the agent experience into the browser allows us to deliver a user experience that is tailored to the unique needs of the contact center," said Jon Rauschenberger, CTO of Clarity. "Although the web-based interface looks different than the traditional Skype for Business client, it's still natively powered by Skype for Business under the hood."

Andrew Bybee, group product manager for Skype for Business, Microsoft Corp. said, "We're pleased to see Clarity Connect enable Microsoft Office 365 customers get to the cloud. Clarity Connect's federated delivery model is an excellent way to leverage Skype for Business Online to provide an enhanced customer service offering across the globe."

Clarity Connect is now available in English, French, German and Croatian, with Spanish and other languages to be made available in the future. As a part of the launch, Clarity is partnering with Arkadin as the first partner to provide localized, cloud-hosted service on a global scale.

"We're excited to extend our long-term partnership with Clarity Connect to enable more businesses throughout the world and enjoy greater efficiencies in their contact center operations," said Thomas Valantin, Arkadin's Chief Commercial Officer. "Clarity Connect is an excellent complement to our global UCaaS offerings including Skype for Business and Microsoft Office 365."

About Clarity
Clarity, a Microsoft Gold partner and the developer for Clarity Connect, delivers premier products and solutions that leverage Lync and Skype for Business as a communication platform, which allow companies to significantly reduce costs and complexities within their IT environments.

Learn more at

About Arkadin
Arkadin is one of the largest and fastest growing Unified Communications and Collaboration Service Providers in the world. Our collection of market-leading audio/web/video conferencing and Unified Communications solutions enables enjoyable collaboration experiences that are essential to success in a digitally connected global workplace.  As an NTT Communications company, our services are delivered in the cloud and backed by a cutting-edge infrastructure for premium service quality.  Over 50,000 customers spanning the largest global enterprises to small businesses are supported locally in 19 languages through our network of 56 operations centers in 33 countries. For more information:


Craig Reishus
Partner, Sales and Marketing
Clarity Consulting
(312) 863-3100

SOURCE Clarity

Related Links

Clarity Connect Cloud Contact Center Solution – Covering Your On-Premises and Cloud Options

Author: Marty Parker. Republished from the original post on UC Strategies

Buying, expanding or upgrading a contact center today is a major puzzle for almost any mid-sized business or large enterprise. Microsoft Skype for Business, whether the Server edition on-premises or the Cloud PBX version in Office 365, adds another important consideration for most enterprises. This week, Clarity announced its new Clarity Connect cloud contact solution package aimed directly as solving this important puzzle.

For any contact center, it is clear that any new solution must be:

  • In the cloud – if the cloud meets the needs. This is clearly the new, progressive direction for any software. The cloud is already the proven direction for customer care (just check out, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, and so many online applications), so there’s clear momentum and rationale to use the cloud, if feasible. Cloud-based solutions provide software that is continually updated and don’t require installing and maintaining an expensive, multi-server, redundant on-premises system.
  • Flexible – Cloud-based solutions provide software that is automatically updated to keep pace with the marketplace. Cloud-based solutions are much more likely to adapt to the many services and connectors that are increasingly being produced via the cPaaS (communications Platform as a Service) providers. This includes all of the fast-growing options for UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) such as Office 365 Skype for Business Cloud PBX, Vonage Business, Ring Central, 8x8 and others.
  • Economical – Cloud solutions don’t require installing and maintaining an expensive, multi-server, redundant on-premises system. Further, most cloud-based systems are designed as integrated code which is far more efficient and economical than the multi-vendor lash-ups that most on-premises vendors are offering to their customers. Already, we are seeing the total cost of ownership of the cloud-based solutions dropping below the $100 per user per month level; the forecast is for further declines in those prices as the CCaaS market place continues rapid growth.

A key factor here will be the enterprise’s choice of UC platforms. If the enterprise is committed to legacy-style VoIP solutions such as Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, NEC, ShoreTel and others, then the cloud-based options may be limited to the hosted versions of those products.

However, if the enterprise sees UC as “communications integrated to optimize business processes,” then it is very likely the future direction will focus on Microsoft’s Office 365 with Skype for Business Cloud PBX features. This will bring voice PSTN (public switched telephone network) features into the same context as the entire Office suite of business tools used in most enterprises – i.e., voice is added to email, IM, documents, sharing, online meetings, video, collaborative workspaces, and social networking rather than trying to hook the PBX up to all of these core services through various, often fragile, integration methods.

However, there’s a challenge here since Skype for Business Cloud PBX is not ready for all of the various usage profiles in the enterprise. Some usage profiles, such as collaboration and field, are already well served by Skype for Business Cloud PBX. Other usage profiles, such as administration and executives, have more complex voice telephony needs; it will take a few cycles of feature additions for all usage profiles to be served by Cloud PBX. For the contact center usage profile, Microsoft chooses to work with partners, rather than building the contact center applications into the Office suite. Clarity Connect, the sponsor of this article, was an early member of that contact center partner community, with notable success to date.

As a proactive Microsoft partner, Clarity Connect figured the need for the contact center solution to work seamlessly with both the on-premises Server and the cloud-based O365 versions of Skype for Business. Clarity Connect has now announced a very practical solution to this requirement that will cover all three logical cases: on-premises, Office 365 Cloud PBX, and hybrid of the two.

The approach is to offer Clarity Connect contact center from the cloud via five premier hosting providers. In this way, the same contact center functionality can be provided for all three cases:

  • On-premises: If the enterprise is still running Skype for Business on-premises, then the hosted Clarity Connect solution will connect to the on-premises system via federation, a proven and well-supported Microsoft capability.
  • Office 365 Skype for Business Cloud PBX: In this case, the Clarity Connect contact center will federate with the enterprise’s Office 365 tenant, just as voice partners have been doing since the start of Office 365 services.
  • Hybrid of on-premises Server and Cloud PBX: Since Clarity Connect has included both the on-premises and the Office 365 connection methods in their software, both of those methods can operate simultaneously to cover the graceful evolution that most enterprises will need as they move the voice communications services either from on-premises Skype for Business or from on-premises legacy PBX systems.

The bottom line is that Clarity Connect is very clear (is that a pun?) that enterprises who are using or plan to adopt Microsoft Skype for Business will want a cloud-based contact center that is also based on Skype for Business. Further, that contact center solution will need to live seamlessly with Skype for Business on-premises, in the cloud on Office 365, and in a hybrid stage for several years to come. The Clarity Connect team has responded to this customer demand, just as they did from the outset of their Skype for Business-based Clarity Connect contact center solution

More information on these three options is available at

5 Key Benefits of an Office 365 Contact Center

Cloud contact centers for Office 365 and Skype for Business are finally available, and now you can move to the cloud while still leveraging your existing Microsoft investments. Consider these five key benefits if you’re thinking of making the switch.

  1. Development and extensibility
    Microsoft has a robust development platform that enables vendors to build on Skype for Business to add new features, while working seamlessly with it. This means that “native” contact center solutions for Skype for Business take advantage of the full functionality of unified communications and collaboration of O365. Native cloud contact centers for O365 generally don’t even require separate a desktop client application to be deployed, and anyone who is an O365 user can handle contact center interactions without further client-side installation – game changers for quick setup and for mobility.
  2. Multi-channel communications and collaboration
    O365 and Skype for Business were built from the ground up to support multi-channel communications using the same underlying technology and user interface, and can easily accommodate new features such as web chat. Native contact centers use this powerful foundation to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. Using these channels are increasingly important as communications have gone digital - voice interactions will be in the minority as compared to new channels (e.g., IM and web chat) by the end of 2016. By contrast, other products that are not native may require agents to use one software for calls, another for web chats, another for internal IMs, a separate desk phone for internal calling, and then something else for social media or video routing. Agents get pulled in many directions, making them less effective at customer service. It also can lead to agents becoming overwhelmed, which can lead to high turnover.
  3. Ease of deployment and no upfront investment
    O365 and cloud contact centers in general are easily deployed. There are no significant up-front costs or additional IT investments needed – instead, software is provisioned within a known hosted environment, ensuring a successful deployment. In addition, growth in your contact center can easily be accommodated with no additional investments in technology infrastructure. It’s becoming more important to enable people to take calls at multiple locations with several devices, especially for subject-matter experts who may not take calls full time.
  4. Mobility and disaster recovery
    Microsoft put a great deal of effort into seamless and secure external access in O365, so that users can take calls from outside the corporate network without compromising security for those communications. Contact center platforms built natively for Skype for Business leverage these investments in mobility and security without any additional effort. With mobility optimized, there are huge implications for speedy user onboarding, disaster recovery, remote workers, and workers who move around or aren’t easily reachable on a desk phone.
  5. Significant cost savings
    Companies can realize significant savings by moving their contact center to a cloud contact center for O365. Getting rid of expensive PBX infrastructure can provide quick budget relief and reduce maintenance resource costs. In addition, contact centers native to Skype for Business are often available at a lower price point than traditional call center products. This also means that you can deploy contact software where it would have been cost-prohibitive to do so prior, and so add intelligent routing and management tools to help desks, internal customer service operations and informal contact centers. In addition to direct cost savings, O365 contact center expenses can often be classified as operating expenditures instead of capital expenditures. O365 contact centers also can often accommodate monthly seat invoicing, enabling organizations to efficiently manage seasonality in customer service.

The Office 365 contact center the market has been waiting for

I’m excited to announce the launch of the Office 365 contact center the market has been waiting for.  With Clarity Connect, clients can now gain all the advantages of a cloud contact center while still taking advantage of their investments in O365 or Skype for Business. 

Moving to the cloud enables clients to save significant costs for infrastructure and maintenance, with marked improvements in scalability, employee mobility, and disaster recovery. Since Clarity Connect was developed exclusively for, and is native to, Skype for Business, clients also have seamless access to all of Skype for Business unified communications and collaboration functionality. 

Many companies have not fully made the move to the cloud, but are eager to move as quickly as they can. Clarity Connect’s new cloud-management model enables clients to move their contact center to the cloud, regardless of whether they have Office 365 or Skype for Business (on-premises or fully hosted). This helps clients keep their options open too – for example, they could keep their contact center on Skype for Business (on-premises) and make the move to O365 later, with Clarity Connect seamlessly migrating alongside.

Clarity Connect is full featured and exceptionally well designed.  With our new cloud management model, it is the most significant and fully-realized contact center solution for O365. To learn more, contact us at today.


Four ways to get more out of Skype for Business

Skype for Business is a powerful collaboration platform and these four powerful tips will maximize your investment in it and improve service for internal and external customers:

1.      Empower informal support groups. “Informal” contact centers have knowledge experts or other employees who aren’t your typical call-center agents assisting internal or external clients. With the Response Group Services (RGS) feature in Skype for Business, ad-hoc customer engagement or internal support teams have most of the tools they need without the hefty PBX investment that traditional call-center software would require. With RGS, informal support groups simply have the ability to answer and queue voice calls that are routed using basic IVRs. RGS is a standard feature in Skype for Business and with it can provide simple ACD functionality you need for the most informal groups without any additional third-party applications.

However, RGS has limited functionality and management tools. If you find that your informal contact centers are growing in importance and complexity, you may consider adding contact center software such as Clarity Connect. Contact center software enables you to efficiently route inquiries to the right agent based on historical or record real-time data – such as the nature of their request, the skills of the agent or a previous interaction. And as your informal contact center grows in importance to the organization, Clarity Connect can add management tools to provide accountability and help with process improvement. In essence, your informal support groups could have the same capabilities as a standard enterprise-level contact center – at a fraction of the cost.

2.      Add collaboration capabilities to your help desk. The internal help desk is an important, but often overlooked, resource to improve the efficiency of your organization. Skype for Business can enable the fastest, smoothest internal-support response, as it was built from the ground-up to be a true collaboration platform. Your IT support staff can use its IM, voice and screen-sharing features to more effectively communicate with other employees. In addition, the presence functionality facilitates communication at a time that’s mutually convenient for both parties.

 Although many don’t think of a help desk as a contact center, contact center software is the perfect addition for a large or complex help desk. As with informal contact centers, contact center software can provide significant boots to efficiency by adding intelligent routing as well as management tools to improve performance.

3.      Deploy web chat. Web chat combines the speed of service that customers expect from dialing an 800 number with the ease and familiarity of digital correspondence through online messaging. In a recent eDigitalResearch study, web chat was ranked the highest among all channels for customer satisfaction, meaning that there is great potential for web chat to grow in popularity.

Thankfully, Skype for Business was built from the ground up to handle a number of different communication channels, and easily accommodates web chat if added via software such as Clarity Connect. In addition, with Clarity Connect, you could have the ability to intelligently route and record important data at every point in the support interaction, and integrate it seamlessly with your customer care operations. Web chat also allows off-shore support agents to communicate more easily with English-speaking customers. Web chat can also enable a post-chat survey within the chat window, encouraging customers to provide feedback that can help you improve the experience.

Chat bots are the newest addition to web chat functionality. These bots can be created in Clarity Connect with call flow coding, using intelligent rules you define to converse with customers through a web chat widget. When a customer initiates web chat, your self-help chat bot can take the lead, prompting the customer for specific input that ideally will lead to rapid, agent-free handling of simple requests – such as a tracking number lookup. Adding another layer of automation to your service and support groups will divert traffic away from your agents and handle simple requests that would otherwise crowd the support queue. If the customer has a more complex inquiry, this conversation could be intelligently escalated to an available agent who can take over and chat with the customer directly.

4.      Contact centers native to Skype for Business are possible by virtue of Microsoft APIs that enable deep integrations and flexible customization. Deploying a native contact center to handle customer interactions eliminates the expense of maintaining separate telephony systems and can also improve your customer service in a number of ways.

With a traditional call center, your agents might have to navigate between two or more software clients while interacting the customer, adding unnecessary complexity to the process. With a contact center native to Skype for Business, such as Clarity Connect, you can deliver full contact center functionality within the same window as a Skype for Business call. As a result, the reduction in handle time from this unified approach can lead to efficiencies and cost savings.

A natively integrated contact center also enables you to elevate your support with the powerful collaborative capabilities of Skype for Business. Multi-channel communication enables new ways to manage customer service: you can escalate from chat to voice, and even add screen sharing or video calling to allow for the quickest resolution to your customer’s issue. If the first agent is unable to resolve the issue alone, the native contact center makes it easy for that agent to collaborate with a subject matter expert in order to efficiently serve your customer. When your agents are able to instantly communicate and share information within a unified communications platform, average handle time will drop while agent utilization rises.

Skype for Business is a great platform for collaboration and customer service. Contact center software that is native to Skype for Business, such as Clarity Connect, can provide a powerful enhancement to your internal and external customer service while reducing costs.

Learn more about how a contact center that is native to Skype for Business can make the difference in your organization.



Power your help desk with Skype for Business

The collaborative help desk, powered by Skype for Business and Clarity Connect

The collaborative help desk, powered by Skype for Business and Clarity Connect

A well-managed internal help desk ensures smooth day-to-day operations for your company and is an essential resource for your employees. Unfortunately, the internal help desk is one of the most often overlooked parts of an organization, even though productivity is lost
anytime your people are unable to work. This can even have a ripple effect – when one person is delayed in completing a task, it can cause delays for others who are waiting on that piece of work to be complete.

Collaboration and communication are the foundations for outstanding internal customer support, and both can be greatly enhanced with Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync) – the only unified communications platform built from the ground up specifically for multi-channel collaboration.

A help desk powered by Skype for Business can take advantage of:

  1. Multi-modal communication. Internal employees can simply send an IM to the help desk for quick handling of small tasks. If the issue is more complex and requires greater collaboration, the support agent and the employee can escalate to a call, or even look at the same screen with the “present screen” capability in Skype for Business.
  2. Presence. With Skype for Business, both the internal customer and the support agent are able to see each other’s status (available, away, busy, or offline), improving the ability to collaborate with co-workers, subject matter experts, or other agents at a mutually convenient time.
  3. Dynamic interactions. Presence and multi-channel communications together makes Skype for Business a true collaboration tool, reducing resolution time and improving the effectiveness of your help desk. Help desk staff have the ability to seamlessly add available resources to the conversation, such as a subject matter expert or a level two agent. A simple IM chat between the agent and the customer can easily become a multi-channel conference between three or more individuals, all within the Skype for Business client – facilitating real-time collaboration and leading to the fastest resolution of help desk tickets.

Extending Skype for Business’ Functionality

The powerful functionality of a Skype for Business help desks can be extended with third-party software, the best of which will be natively integrated via Skype for Business APIs. For example, enhancing your help desk with contact center software can add:

  1. Intelligent routing. The best contact center solutions have the power to leverage available data in order to intelligently route conversations to the right support agent based on the nature of their request, the skills of the agent, and the rules you’ve defined. Without intelligent ACD functionality, support requests would have to be manually routed from the queue to the agents, leading to an unwanted increase in handling time and a net decrease in agent utilization that can ultimately result in lower CSat scores. In addition, native contact center solutions can use presence information in Skype for Business in order to intelligently route a ticket to an agent who not only has the appropriate skillset to resolve the issue, and also is available to respond to the inquiry.
  2. Self-help chat bots. A native contact center platform adds further capabilities to the chat bot through intelligent routing and the ability to leverage historical data from past interactions. In the Skype for Business chat window, internal customers have the ability to IM the chat bot, which automatically responds with advice or troubleshooting tips based on rules that are defined in the call flow editor. Self-help chat bots are great for your help desk because they can decrease the workload on your support staff.
  3. Reporting. Historical and real-time data is available to empower your workforce to make the appropriate changes when needed. A collaborative contact center is driven by data: measuring organizing it to make it easy for management to see actionable opportunities for improvement. With help desk enabled by Skype for Business, meeting or exceeding service goals gets a lot easier. Proactive notifications are available for key performance indicators as well, making sure that you’re aware when certain criteria have been met.

Treating your help desk as a crucial component and enabling the fastest, smoothest response using a true collaboration platform can be a game changer for every organization. Want to learn more? Find out how Clarity Connect can take your internal support to the next level.

What are your customers saying? Are you listening?

Listen to the voice of your customers with Clarity Connect and Virtual Observer.

Adding a speech analytics component to your collaborative call center can be the positive change your organization needs to maintain optimal service levels while achieving cost-reduction goals. With the partnership between Clarity Connect and Coordinated Systems Inc. (CSI), it has never been easier to implement a quality-assurance process that improves call center performance and delivers a deep view into the voice of your customers. Clarity Connect, the leading contact center native to Skype for Business, is fully integrated with CSI’s Virtual Observer (VO). Audio from every interaction is recorded by Clarity Connect and imported into Virtual Observer to enable the calls or IMs to be searched, evaluated, phonetically indexed, and more. VO offers screen recording and syncs it with the audio recording from Clarity Connect, blacking out screen recording for sensitive data. 

Listening to the voice of your customers is critically important for any organization – it’s a prerequisite for delivering the best service and support. For our purposes here, we’ll consider the voice of the customer in two different ways; customers’ responses through post-interaction feedback, and listening to the words and phrases customers used during a recorded interaction. 

VO’s Call Insight speech analytics functionality is a powerful tool that can help call center managers in any organization. The phonetic engine listens to each recorded interaction, automatically scoring the agent’s handling of the interaction based on key phrases spoken by the customer or agent. For example, John is an agent on the GeneriCo Support team and is currently handling a customer’s service inquiry regarding a battery life issue on their new Surface Book. He uses the proper phrases when speaking with the customer, and is able to resolve the issue. The customer, happy with John, says that it was the “best support experience she’s ever had.” VO’s Call Insight automatically scores this interaction with high marks, and sends the report to both John and the call center manager for further review. On the other hand, what if the call went poorly? John and the customer exchanged some unfriendly words and proceeded to argue on the call, which ended with the customer hanging up on John. The speech analytics engine will take note of the negative interaction in the post-call report so that John and his manager can take immediate corrective action to ensure that the transgressions won’t happen again. Training materials could also be served up automatically to the agent based on which part of the interaction they scored low on. 

Once you have insight, you’re ready to take action and bring the agent into the quality assurance process with VO’s Agent Portal. Here, agents can view and respond to their evaluations, automatically receive e-learning/training material based on their Call Insight scores. These powerful tools give you a true view of your customers’ sentiment and the performance of your agents, ensuring that your staff are always in touch with their performance and working towards improving the customer experience. VO’s Dashboard Analytics allows call center staff to drill down from department views, to agent views, down to question views and additionally enables the ability to click right to any referenced event recorded in Clarity Connect. Together, Virtual Observer and Clarity Connect provide the power you need to create the ideal call center experience for both your agents and the customers they serve.

As the premiere contact center solution native to Skype for Business, Clarity Connect provides a perfect platform for the WFO tools in CSI’s Virtual Observer. When you combine the premier Skype for Business contact center with the best WFO solution, you’ll gain unprecedented insight into your customer sentiment and agent performance – allowing you to act on customer feedback and improve the customer experience as a whole. 


Want to Learn More?


5 reasons you should be using web chat for customer care

In today’s business environment, your customers expect a frictionless support experience. Although the essential principles of customer service have not changed, customers now demand efficient and immediate support for the products and services they buy. Often, this means that they want channels that are more efficient and flexible than traditional touch points such as phone or email.

Traditionally, customers emailed or phoned to receive support. While the cost of email support is considerably less than phone support, email is not ideal for an interactive two-way dialogue. This can cause a simple service request to take several attempts and back-and-forth email messages to resolve – encouraging continued use of costlier voice calls.

Web chat, one of the newest support channels, combines the speed of service that customers expect from dialing a 1-800 number with the ease and familiarity of digital correspondence via email. Integrating web chat on your website with Skype for Business is the first step on the path to a well-rounded support system that satisfies customers while offering an excellent ROI due to reduced costs. Web chat enables your organization to:

  1. Communicate in real time with customers. The best web-chat tools will track the agent’s presence so that when a customer initiates a chat, they are intelligently routed to an available agent who has the skillset needed to address their inquiry.  Within the dialogue window, customers should see if an agent has read their message or if an agent is typing a response, which facilitates the agent-to-customer collaboration and personal attention that today’s customers demand.
  2. Make the lives of your agents easier and improve efficiency. Pre-scripted blocks of text can be readily selected from a menu to solve common issues quickly and effectively, cutting down resolution time. To the same point, communicating through web chat is a low-effort task compared to speaking with customers on the phone. Finally, web chat is great for off-shore agents because they won’t have to worry about an accent causing friction in a customer’s support experience.

  3. Increase agent utilization. Web chat has the potential for multiple support inquiries to be handled simultaneously, leading to more satisfied customers and more available agents. Your agents’ ability for real-time concurrent resolution is dependent on the nature of the customer inquiry and the complexity of your product or service, but this opportunity is simply not possible without deploying web chat.

  4. Customize the chat experience. Many web chat products can be deployed with different levels of visibility depending on the context of the page on which it resides. For example, when a visitor lands on the support page of your website, your web-chat widget can alert the visitor that you have agents ready and willing to assist. Guiding customers to use your web-chat widget will free up your phone queue and remind them that your support staff is available.
  5.  Easily ask for customer feedback. With web chat, agents can seamlessly present a post-chat survey right in the same dialogue window after the customer’s inquiry has been addressed.  Offering a post-chat feedback opportunity allows customer satisfaction data to be recorded so you can optimize your support process.

By facilitating real-time collaboration, lowering the amount of effort required from both your agents and your customers, increasing agent utilization, and recording important data, web chat can be the driving factor that enables your support team to consistently satisfy your customers.  It can also improve ROI while streamlining your support process.

How contact center software can help you – outside the call center

The concept of a contact center only being able to answer customer calls is woefully outdated. Modern, software-based contact centers add new functionality that can help improve internal processes and even generate more revenue, while lowering the burden of effort on the customer and the agent.

Once upon a time, the call center was a behemoth of machinery, feeding calls into a room full of individuals doing nothing but answering the phone for eight hours a day.  Calls were handled efficiently by the agent most suited to answer the request, by virtue of intelligent routing.  However, each of those agents had a phone wired directly into the ACD - and adding or removing seats required extensive planning and costs.

With the advent of VOIP and its evolution to UC, adding inexpensive seats became as simple as a configuration on a website: Presto! You have a new agent connected to the cloud-hosted, WISP-like call router.  What many people don’t realize is that this easier configuration and lower per-seat cost opened new avenues that have potential to streamline everyday activities, lower business costs and even generate more revenue while increasing customer satisfaction.

Scenario #1
Ted the technician is configuring a Widget 5000 for a customer - when he runs across a request he’s not sure how to implement.  Ted IMs Terry the technician, who directs him to Erin the senior engineer.  Ted then IMs to Erin, since her presence shows green (even though she’s in the middle of working to resolve an outage).  Erin is able to answer Ted's question - but, as the most senior engineer, pulls her away from a project where she's billing at $500/hour.

Not too bad, right?  Well, a couple things could be improved:

  • Terry took extra time from Ted, Erin, himself and the customer
  • Erin answered the question - but the 10 other engineers in her department (who bill at half the rate) also knew the answer and were available.  

What if these users were configured in an intelligent router?

Instead of Ted going through Terry and Erin, he just sent an IM to their "Engineering Helper" endpoint saying "I need Widget 5000 help."  The intelligent router determined that one of the engineers had Widget 5000 expertise, and then identified that Eddie the newly promoted engineer knew what to do sent the message to Eddie.  The same question would have gotten the same answer – but involving fewer people, and using and less of expensive and scarce resources without the delay.

Scenario #2
Generico is rapidly expanding their sales team.  To encourage friendly competition, Generico’s CEO decides to send the salesman who makes the most calls to Napa Valley for a week.

Steve the salesman makes 400 calls in a single week - setting a new record, and securing his spot to Napa!  Strangely, even though his call numbers are off the charts, his actual sales are far below his goal.  Stacy is bummed that she only made 250 calls, but at least her sales numbers were up!

If Generico had proxied sales calls through contact center software, the CEO would know the real story due to more explicit reporting and recording functionalities.  With contact center software, Generico would have been able to see that Steve had lots of calls under 10 seconds in duration, and 50 calls to the same phone number.  Listening to recordings of his calls, Generico could identify that he was being rude to customers, resulting in his low sales numbers.  Steve really should have been reprimanded and Stacy rewarded for her excellent job! 

Learn more about how contact centers can improve employee communications, helpdesks and other applications today.