Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
Cisco Is Bringing Cognitive Collaboration to the Contact Center
Cisco unveiled three AI features for its Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Unified Contact Center Express at Enterprise Connect 2019. These features should help, but don’t replace your agents with bots anytime soon.
- Customer Journey Analyzer: Available to both cloud and on-premises contact centers, this feature allows you to perform end-to-end analytics on the customer journey.
- Cisco Answers: This cloud-based feature provides call agents with real-time information on their customers (including information from social media). It is powered by Google AI.
- Customer virtual assistant: An AI bot that integrates with UCCE.
With these features, Cisco Collaboration is living up to its reputation of adapting to change – it is currently scoring 73% on Product Strategy and Rate of Improvement in SoftwareReviews, with 31% of respondents saying that they are delighted (N=51, March 20, 2019).
The Cisco Answers feature is aligned with market trends. According to this study of 5,000 people, 76% of callers expect agents to know relevant information about them and their history with the company. As more people engage with companies over social media, this visibility can be very beneficial (if not a little creepy).
I hesitate with chatbots. In the same study, 33% said “the most important aspect of a good customer service experience” is “getting my issue resolved in a single interaction (no matter the length of time).” When the chatbot reaches its functional limits, it will need to quickly and smoothly trade off with an agent. This critique isn’t against Cisco’s product; it’s against chatbots that are poorly implemented and too heavily relied upon by customers.
The Customer Journey Analyzer and the Cisco Answers features should help improve the customer experience. Don’t over-rely on chatbots and undo that hard work.
Want to Know More?Modernize Communications and Collaboration Infrastructure
This note highlights the top three trends to watch for in the 2022 UCaaS marketspace: AR/VR digital workspaces will see sustained investment; UCaaS and customer experience management technologies will continue to blend; and speech functionality will become more sophisticated through AI-driven technology.
Enterprise Connect is North America’s premier conference for advances in communications, collaboration, and customer experience technologies. In this note, Thomas Randall provides his trends and keynote highlights for Enterprise Connect 2021, held September 27 to 29.
On August 24, 2021, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise briefed its Q2 performance for FY21. Q2 saw positive revenue growth of 11.4% YoY, delivering 20% against the previous year.
On July 14, NEC and Intermedia briefed Info-Tech about their ongoing partnership and continuing global rollout of UNIVERGE BLUE.
On May 24, 2021, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) briefed on its Q1 performance for FY21. FY20 saw ALE’s global revenues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and these effects continue to ripple into FY21. While global cloud sales continue to dominate, alongside a strong quarter in China, global revenue was down 5% year-over-year (YoY).
On April 28, 2021, Windstream briefed Info-Tech on its UCaaS portfolio, which includes their primary pure cloud offering, OfficeSuite UC, alongside their other solutions powered by Avaya and Mitel.
On April 20, 2021, Nextiva briefed Info-Tech on its Nextiva One suite, with a focus on its communication applications: Business Phone (voice) and Cospace (videoconferencing and collaboration). Nextiva plans to expand beyond the US later this year.
On February 22, 2021, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) released its Q4 report. While overall global revenues were down on last year’s Q4, ALE’s cloud-based solutions continued to surge. These surges are in part explained by mid- to large-sized organizations beginning significant investments to prepare for a post-pandemic world.
On December 8, Masergy – a software defined networking services company – briefed Info-Tech on its UCaaS solution. Masergy UCaaS is built on the Cisco collaboration platform, providing a value-added service through Masergy’s SD-WAN solution and Secure Edge Network.