The Changing Shape Of The Contact Center Supply Chain

March, 2017

Things have changed considerably with contact center technology. As a result, the way in which procurement is carried out also needs to change in order to make the right choice of suppliers.

A few years ago life was relatively simple for managers procuring new technology for their contact center.  “Round up the usual suspects”, issue an RFP, secure funding, select a winner, pilot and roll out.  Repeat every 5 years.

Once a contact center supplier reaches a critical size they lose the ability to innovate, owing to the need to maintain their customer base and manage change risk.  There have been several disruptive technology changes that compound this issue:

  • ISDN->SIP
  • phones->multimedia/multisession
  • standalone systems->distributed/cloud
  • bespoke UI->everything in a browser

This has led to new players with immature products entering the market, and the usual suspects struggling to keep up with the pace of change.  We’ve seen one industry behemoth after another bite the dust, leaving contact center managers with a real problem implementing solutions that provide the new functionality that their sponsors require and the reliability and stability of mature product underpinnings.

So how to overcome this challenge and pick winners in the brave new world of the cloud?

In our view the old-school RFP process doesn’t enable contact center managers to make value judgements to pick cloud solutions that deliver, and will support a contact center effectively over a 5 year term or more.  Here are a few of our suggestions on things to take a long hard look at when entering a relationship with a cloud contact center provider:

  • Whose switching and streamed media fabric is the cloud provider using?  How does the cloud provider manage this?  Don’t trust the provider that says ‘its ours’ and refuses to elaborate.  Developing reliable switching and streamed media fabric is expensive and difficult, and best left to OEMs and large open-source projects.  The underlying fabric used, and how the provider manages it to deliver scale, redundancy and media processing functionality is an important yardstick.
  • How does the ACD deal with managing different media streams in a unified fashion?  Can the agent do both single session blending for multiple media types, and have multiple session delivery?  What rules exist to allow the contact center to manage multisession behaviour?  Answers to this will expose whether the cloud supplier has a homogenous offering; ASD® (Automatic Session Distributor) instead of siloed ACD + email + chat + SMS.
  • How can the cloud contact center solution integrate with existing CRM and back-office systems?  Are the APIs natural and consistent?
  • Data integration.  Contact centers still need to keep control of their data.  Can the cloud provider work directly with contact center data sources leaving you in charge of the data whether hosted in-house or private cloud?
  • Is the reporting provided by the service provider configurable, and how well does it perform at scale?  Can it deliver all of your real-time and historical needs in an easy-to use form?  Lastly and most important, what is the underlying database technology?  A service offering based on a big data platform is far more likely to meet your needs over the system lifetime than one based on legacy database technology.

 

What We Offer

Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC), offering multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions, for quick and easy deployment by partners offering CCaaS or enterprise users. All Sytel cloud components are secure, resilient and scale seamlessly from 10 agents to 10,000+, whether local, mobile or remote.

  • Flexible Contact Center Platform

    Softdial Contact Center™ – tightly integrated modules, designed to deliver at scale

  • Blended Media Desktop

    Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

  • Work Anywhere

    Browser-based tools, no software installation required

  • Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

    Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

  • Customise, Localise, White Label

    Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

  • Integration Via APIs

    ‘Swap out’ components and integrate with 3rd party apps

  • World Class Development

    Continuous evolution pushing technical boundaries

Capabilities

Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) is designed to be flexible, extensible and scalable, integrating with any legacy equipment, and meeting the most complex of requirements.

  • All Media Types

    Voice, chat, email, social, etc – fully integrated and blended

  • Agent Multi-Tasking

    Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type

  • Dynamic Media Blending

    Automated, ‘best available’ decisions to blend and balance work load across all media types

  • Predictive Dialing

    Best-of-breed performance under compliance

  • Intelligent Routing

    Smart rules and ‘best-available’ decisions to drive great customer service

  • Agent Scripts

    Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

  • Voice and Screen Recording

    See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

  • Analytics and Data Feeds

    Measure and evaluate performance at every level

  • IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

    Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

  • Customer Journey Tracking

    Stored customer contact history, to aid routing and add context to conversations

Modules

A complete suite of tools, with unique flexibility to extend and swap out modules to deliver a tailored contact center solution for any environment

  • Softdial One™

    Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators

  • Softdial Scripter™

    Create complex process flow scripts for agents, IVR, chatbots and other applications

  • Sytel AI Dialer™

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing under any compliance rules

  • Softdial Pathfinder™

    Precise routing rules for ‘best available’ connection

  • Softdial Media Server™

    Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

  • Softdial Reporter™ 5

    Fully customisable performance stats, charts and reports, across all channels

  • Softdial Publisher™

    Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

  • Softdial Recording Monitor™

    Audio and screen recording of agent activity to ensure the highest standards

  • Softdial Campaign Manager™

    Comprehensive configuration and control for outbound campaigns

  • Softdial Repository™

    Central storage and configuration of common resources

  • Sytel Global Compliance™

    Flexible ‘no contact’ rules to protect contact center and consumer

Markets

Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications

  • Customer Service

    Connect quickly to well equipped agents

  • Sales & Telemarketing

    Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

  • Healthcare

    Secure, highly-configurable multichannel communications for excellence in patient care

  • Market Research

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

  • Collections

    Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app