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Buzz Grows at Call Center Week, as Multi-Channel, Analytics and SIP Themes Gain Traction

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We’re blogging live from the show floor at Call Center Week 2013 in Las Vegas and having a lot of insightful conversations with customers and prospective customers.  One observation is that we’re seeing more CXO’s.  They say that increasingly the contact center is a profit center, not a cost center, and as a result, it gets their attention.  Another observation is that an upgrade cycle is underway.  Those last TDM holdouts are making the move to IP, and many premises-based enterprises are making the move to cloud.  Fortunately, ShoreTel Contact Center is in a position to address both these trends.

Several other themes surfaced this morning.

Multi-channel is often a win-win.  Several attendees expressed that multi-channel, and in particular Web chat, is the communications channel preferred by the end customers they serve. Those end customers only want to pick up the phone when they have to – and often find the experience frustrating.  They prefer the quick, less intrusive means of communicating on their terms. It’s a win for the end-customer.  It’s also a win for the enterprise.  Often Web chat (and e-mail and interactive voice response) cost less per interaction than a voice phone call.  Serving a customer base with multi-channel is a win for the enterprise.

Analytics has extended into the social space.  Gaining end-customer insight often helps an enterprise serve that customer more effectively, for example, getting that customer’s interaction (voice, e-mail, web, or social) to the resource best suited to handle it.  Look for this trend to continue as organizations leverage it to be more efficient and supportive.

SIP continues to gain traction.  Clearly not a new trend, however, SIP is allowing enterprises to reconsider how they deploy their contact centers.  Many organizations have agents and separate contact centers scattered across a broad geography.  In the past, inbound calls landed at each location.  Some organizations are finding it more efficient to move that traffic to SIP trunks that terminate on a centralized data center that is running the contact center. The agents can continue to be spread across the network, however operations are centralized – often leading to greater cost efficiencies.  Again, ShoreTel is able to address both centralized and fully distributed models.

If you are attending the conference please come by our booth for a demonstration of ShoreTel’s Contact Center.