Tagged: CTI

The Next Frontier: Cloud to Cloud Integration

The following post is from guest contributor Sheila McGee-Smith, President & Principal Analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics. You can follow Sheila on Twitter @McGeeSmith.

SMS Blog Picture

It has been several years since cloud-based contact center applications started the meteoric growth that has more and more companies considering software-as-a-service solutions every day.  The pros and cons have been debated in business and technology magazines and as well as in online venues:  OPEX versus CAPEX, application agility, security issues, etc.  For companies that are still weighing a move to the cloud, are there new factors that should be considered?  For companies that have already made the shift, are their additional ways that deployments can optimized?

The move of contact center technology to the cloud has not occurred in a vacuum.  The cloud phenomenon cuts across other application areas as well, such as CRM, IP telephony and unified communication, analytics, etc.

Those who have been around the contact center market for more than a few years will remember the pain in both time and expense required to integrate a contact center agent screen with something as simple as a customer database.  Computer-telephony integration, or CTI, had such promise for delivering a better customer experience but was seldom implemented because of the complexity.

Intuitively it seems that it should be easier for cloud applications to “talk” to one another than getting multiple premises-based applications integrated.  And it is!  There are different ways this ease is evidenced in the market.

  • Pre-built integrations:  Check with your IT department – given the popularity of Salesforce.com and Oracle’s RightNow platforms, there is a high probability your company is already using a cloud-based CRM system.  Then talk to your existing or prospective cloud contact center solution provider – there is likely a pre-built integration available.  Five9, for example, has recently updated its integrations to both Salesforce and RightNow.
  • Eco-system partnerships:  With cloud-based solutions, it’s easier than ever for companies with complementary technologies to integrate their offerings to provide customized solutions to meet the needs of specific customers.  Five9’s relationship with business analytics company Birst is a great example of this.  For companies with a need for sophisticated analytics and dashboards, the cloud-based solutions of both companies can be easily combined.
  • Cloud Application Programming Interfaces (APIs):  Cloud-based data and applications don’t always exist in a public cloud; many companies make data and applications available via private clouds, deployed in company owned and/or operated data centers.  Cloud APIs, like Five9’s Reporting and Statistics Web Services, allow other enterprise applications to access Five9 contact center data while the Configuration Web Services API can be used to add new leads to lists, provision new Five9 users or manage campaigns within a 3rd-party application.

Providing an exceptional customer experience requires seamless integration of multiple data repositories and applications across the enterprise.  No one application or data source can really promise to provide all the information required to completely track a customer journey through your business.  But the goal of being able to access data and applications regardless of where they are located is a one that can be attained with increasing simplicity by relying on cloud-based solutions.

More Fun, Less Stress: Enjoy an App-Enabled Summer

This blog was originally posted on blogs.salesforce.com by Matt Wolf. You can follow Salesforce on twitter at @salesforce. 

Salesforce BlogHave you ever noticed how efficiency and communications can break down in the summer when everyone is on vacation? Business inevitably slows when you have to pinch-hit for a vacationing colleague who left you to fill in. But, if you use apps from the AppExchange, covering when others are out of office can be stress-free because all of the tools and information you need are easily accessible in the cloud.

CPQ from BigMachines

BigMachines

Apps from veteran AppExchange partner BigMachines take the headaches out of creating accurate quotes from contracts no matter how complex they are or who is out on vacation. Instead of using numerous, distinct, and outdated spreadsheets to configure products, pricing, and discounting rules manually, leverage BigMachines’ on-demand cloud app to synthesize inputs and create and manage all your product configuration, pricing and quoting needs easily. Quotes generated by BigMcahines are developed faster and are accurate 100% of the time. BigMachines extends CRM capabilities to streamline the entire opportunity-to-quote-to-order process, and their platform has been built for rapid on-demand deployment using the familiar salesforce.com CRM interface. BigMachines is an AppExchange customer favorite. It has won AppExchange “Customer Choice” award for Pricing and Quoting five years in a row.

BigMachines provides powerful CPQ capabilities to make Salesforce work harder for you including:

  • Guided selling and proposal generation
  • Product configuration
  • Quoting, with links to automated pipeline forecast
  • Complex pricing and discounting

And, if you are a growing, mid-sized business, check out BigMachines’ 100% native Force.com CPQ solution, BigMachines Express. It’s simple, fast, and familiar!

Cloud Contact Center CTI from Five9

Five9

Sometimes when someone is out of office, the one who suffers is the customer. With Five9, you won’t have to worry about that. Five9 improves your communications with customers and prospects bringing you advanced capabilities to maximize employee productivity. Adding Five9’s integrated voice to your Salesforce email, chat, and social channels will help you relax this summer. Five9 will provide a unified experience for consumers during the moments that matter even when team members are out of the office. This means you do business right, even when someone is at the beach – even if that someone is you.

The Five9 Virtual Contact Center offers the reliability of an enterprise-class solution, the business flexibility of the cloud, and advanced technology including:

  • Inbound interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD), and computer-telephony integration (CTI)
  • Outbound predictive, power, progressive, and preview dialer
  • Automated inbound and outbound blending
  • Workforce optimization (WFO) tools

Milestones PM by Salesforce Labs

Milestones PMWhen someone is out of office, it often means their projects get put on hold. Not so if you have stellar project management.Milestones PM by Salesforce Labs give you just that for free. One of our most popular project management tools, Milestones PM makes it easy to manage projects and tasks seamlessly even when someone is out. Track projects, milestones, tasks, blocked tasks, overdue tasks, time and expense budgets and whole lot more.  Milestone PM has a simple interface, Chatter integration and detailed reporting capabilities including:

  • Gantt charts with tasks and milestone drag functionality
  • One line task creation
  • Email integration with comment threading and attachment handling
  • Template creation, export and import
  • Reports and dashboards

Manage your workload more efficiently this season with these useful apps from the Salesforce AppExchange. We guarantee they will free you up to enjoy more of your favorite summertime activities!

Download our free ebook, The Six Key Elements of Addictive Apps, and learn more about how to build great apps for your business.