With apologies, this month’s blog is a bit of a history lesson on contact center scripting.
Back in the 1990s the two essential components of a contact center solution were a scripting application to model agent processes and CTI integration to allow first-party control of the PBX or ACD turret.
Legacy scripting died a death around the turn of the millennium as existing vendors failed to re-architect for the web and to provide extensible and all-encompassing models such that IVR, voice, fulfilment and other business transformation tasks could all be achieved with the same toolset.
Sytel was lucky enough in 2004 to have as a first task for our embryonic scripting solution to develop integrated IVR before a replacement for the traditional agent desktop. This forced us to think long and hard about how to make scripting an all-encompassing tool for real-time contact center processes. This led to a number of design conclusions:
- An agent is an agent is an agent. Whether human or robot, and dealing with voice, packet media or even no media, the ACD needs to treat all agents equally. This allows sessions of any type to be handled seamlessly between robots and humans.
- You can never have enough LEGO® bricks. Good scripting allows non-programmers to build contact center flows using the tools at their disposal. Providing a large toolkit is good. Providing a toolkit that can be extended is better.
- The design of scripting should promote re-use. Write a ‘get-through-the-gatekeeper’ script that works; a good scripting solution should enable reuse of that component. Most modern software re-uses existing good ideas and constructs; we may be dwarves but we stand on the shoulders of giants.
- The UI layer should be abstracted. In the 14 years since Sytel first produced a scripting product we have been through 4 different web interface technologies. This was only possible through abstraction. The UI landscape changes continuously.
Today Sytel’s Scripter is deployed in many different contact center contexts and continues to grow and evolve.
The magic that this blog’s title implies is simply providing the ability to evolve an application by smart design. This has proven critical to ensuring that, regardless of how the industry’s requirements shift, these can be met without foisting endless upgrades on end-users. It also minimises time-to-market for new end-user applications. Need to integrate an AI bot with a dialog tree application for chat? Simple! If you build new LEGO® bricks this takes days rather than months.