UCStrategies Spotlight - June 9, 2010

Updated: June 09, 2010

UC Analytics: Is This the Real Human Centric Data Model…Where Organizations Can Connect All the dots?

By Samantha Kane

In today's era of customer relationship management, businesses must strategically invest in tools that will improve the customer experience and maximize customer lifetime value. Best-in-class organizations are increasingly deploying powerful tools for customer analytics—including tools for automated modeling, real-time scoring, interaction optimization, and incremental response modeling.

So what does this have to do with Unified Communications? Everything! Achieving customer centricity requires a holistic, enterprise-wide view of the customer experience.

Organizations need to take a broader view of information, a more effective process to analyze data to understand what is happening and why, and determine a way to improve workflow across and within departments, including external stakeholders.

In today's business climate and digital age, driving efficiency and productivity in compartmentalized functional areas is no longer acceptable. Information must be captured, analyzed, shared and acted upon cross-functionally to improve enterprise operations.

From the contact center to the back office to the C-level suite, everyone needs to not only be marching to the same beat, but working cohesively with the same level of and exposure to actionable intelligence. Doing so may seem to be a tall order, but the payoff can truly be a powerful business enabler that leads to real operational-changing results and the formation of a truly customer-centric enterprise.

With UC Analytics, companies can powerfully leverage and put to use the wealth of information generated by customer interactions across the enterprise—from branch offices to back-office operations to the contact center. From the volumes of data generated, UC Analytics helps organizations uncover critical business trends—both obvious and hidden—as well as the drivers of employee and customer behavior. Companies that devalue or underestimate the inter-departmental impact not only contact centers, but back-office and branch operations have on service, satisfaction and sales, will remain challenged to achieve customer centricity and process optimization no matter the unified communications strategy deployed...

New Customer Contact Center Trends Point to "Mobile UC" Flexibility Growth For Consumers

By Art Rosenberg

As business telephony slowly migrates from legacy TDM silos to mobile, IP-based connectivity and multimodal UC interfaces, the contact center world is trying to stay on top of the changes to traditional customer contact centers. As I have frequently pointed out, "Customer UC" will be a big source of business ROI because it not only helps reduce costs, but also increases customer satisfaction and revenue generation. However, that increase will be maximized most cost-effectively when consumers exploit the flexibility and efficiencies of mobile, multimodal communication devices like the new generation of "smartphones." Market figures show that such smartphones are rapidly being adopted by end users as primary endpoints for personalized multimodal contacts.

Leading analyst firms are trying to project key contact center market changes that new communication technologies will bring by surveying customer organizations about their migration plans from legacy TDM telephony that has controlled contact center activities in the past. The results of a recent market study by Frost & Sullivan was promoted by Interactive Intelligence at their Global User Forum last month to show the directions that contact centers will be taking. The study "highlights" confirm that customer contact centers will be exploiting the benefits of UC technologies to achieve the respondents' top priority of individual end user "customer satisfaction," as well as new cost-effective alternatives for technology implementations through hosted network services...

Cisco's UC Update - Collaboration is Evolving, Maybe Further than You Think

By Jon Arnold

This week Cisco presented their semi-annual UC update, and given how much UC is proliferating lately, it was a good opportunity to hear their latest thinking. While titled a "UC update," it was clear from the start that collaboration was the focus, for which UC plays a fairly minor role. This may not be what UCStrategies readers want to hear, but Cisco has enough market presence to do things their way and put their own stamp on how UC evolves.

The presentation was given by Joe Burton, CTO and VP of their Voice Technology Group, and he set the stage by explaining how collaboration is a core strategic direction for Cisco. In their view, collaboration has four key elements, starting with interoperable solutions to ensure that all the elements work together. Next is video communications, which really is no surprise given their major focus on telepresence, punctuated by the recent Tandberg acquisition. Third is "flexible consumption models", which is another way of saying that collaboration must support both on-prem and off-prem solutions, as well as supporting applications from both the business and consumer worlds. The last element in their model is ensuring secure collaboration, not just inside the enterprise, but between enterprises.

To fulfill this vision of collaboration, Joe talked about three focus areas, around which their news is based. The first two are product-based - UC Session Manager Edition (SME) and Intercompany Media Engine (IME) - and the third is end-user based - Customer Care. SME is actually complemented by CUBE - Cisco Unified Border Element, and together, this comprises the driver of their solution, which serves as a secure network demarcation point. The main idea here is that Cisco is offering a fully integrated environment for businesses to move off the PSTN and further adopt IP services and SIP trunking to support the likes of UC...

The Campus View of UC and SIP, Discussion with Professor Henning Schulzrinne, 2010 Update (Podcast)

By Jay Brandstadter, Michael Finneran, and David Yedwab

Professor Henning Schulzrinne, of Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science, one of the originators of SIP, joins us again this year to discuss Unified Communications, SIP's role in UC and other key topics with Jay Brandstadter, Michael Finneran and David Yedwab in a two-part podcast.

Prof. Schulzrinne, world-renown for his leadership and expertise in SIP and IP communications, offers his views on Unified Communications including the role of SIP as the primary "glue" in UC evolution, proprietary extensions of SIP, UC interoperability, SIP's potential in wireless and Fixed Mobile Convergence, UC applications and business integration, and the future of the PBX...

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